After a record-setting month in May — the best in five years — U.S. yacht brokers recorded another strong month in June, selling 3,558 boats, 172 fewer than in May but 101 more than in June 2012.
YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in their proprietary database, Soldboats.com, said they not only sold 3 percent more boats, but they also sold them for a total of $482 million, 55 percent more than the previous year.
Powerboat sales, which were up 5 percent, drove the overall gains in June, as 3,025 boats were sold. By comparison, sailboat sales were 5 percent lower with 533 boats sold. Powerboat values increased by 67 percent as $445 million changed hands; sailboats brought $37 million, a decrease of $8 million from June 2012.
The largest volume gain was among boats 26 to 35 feet, as 1,430 were sold, 106 more than in the same month last year. Most other size ranges had flat or increased sales; sales of boats under 26 feet fell by 35 to 1,230 and the category was the only one that showed a decrease.
Most of the value gain was in the superyacht category, where sales increased modestly, from 17 boats to 20, from June 2012, but the aggregate price paid climbed from $38 million to $191 million.
Of more significance to the majority of brokers, higher average prices were paid for all boats up to 45 feet. Despite the dip in unit sales of boats under 26 feet, the total price paid increased by $1 million, or 4 percent, to $27 million. In the 26- to 35-foot range the total price paid increased from $72 million to $82 million. Among boats 36 to 45 feet the price increased from $81 million to $88 million.
Prices appeared to come under uneven pressure among bigger boats. In the 56- to 79-foot range, unit sales and the total price paid were relatively flat, compared with the previous June. But in the 46- to 55-foot range the aggregate price declined from $45 million to $44 million despite sales of 160 boats, seven more than in June 2012.
The strong second quarter in the United States almost made up for a slower first quarter in terms of overall sales. During the first six months of this year 16,245 boats were sold, 1 percent fewer than in 2012. The total price paid was 21 percent higher with $2.13 billion changing hands.
Average prices improved in the high-volume part of the market under 45 feet by more than 3 percent, as 14,959 boats were sold for $901 million. Although the market between 46 and 79 feet showed softness, superyacht sales rose by 4 percent, with 103 boats sold, and their combined sale price was $737 million, more than double the amount that 99 boats sold for in the first half of 2012.
A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the August issue of Soundings Trade Only.
— John Burnham
YachtWorld.com editorial director