Brokerage sales show gains to start 2013

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Brokerage sales in the United States were slightly higher in January than in January 2012, with 1,672 boats changing hands, up 1 percent from 1,655.

The gain reported by YachtWorld.com member brokers in SoldBoats.com, their proprietary database, was relatively modest, but the total was higher than in any of the five previous January months.

The total price paid for boats that sold during the month increased 22 percent from the previous January, from $194 million to $236 million. The difference was attributable to higher-value sales in the superyacht category of boats larger than 80 feet, which rose from $34 million to $77 million. The rest of the market was remarkably even year over year.

In the powerboat category, the number of boats sold was nearly flat, declining from 1,319 to 1,317; the boats sold for a total price that was up slightly, from $166.3 million to $166.4 million. The growth in sales volume came from the minority side of the market. Sailboat closings increased from 336 to 355. Sailboat sales also showed the entire increase in price paid, climbing from $28 million in 2012 to $70 million in 2013.

Unit sales generally increased among smaller boats. For boats under 26 feet they were up by 2 percent, to 530 boats. They also rose among boats 36 to 45 feet by 6 percent, to 395 boats. The total price paid in those size ranges increased by double-digit percentages, to $11 million among the smaller boats and to $54 million among the 36- to 45-footers.

The exception among the smaller boats was in the 26- to 35-foot range, which held even with unit sales of 591 boats. The total price paid for these boats declined $1 million, or 3 percent, to $33 million.

Sales were 13 percent lower among boats 46 to 79 feet, dropping from 160 to 140, but changes in total price paid were not uniform throughout the category. In the larger size range of 56 to 79 feet, the total price was $10 million lower. Among boats 46 to 55 feet, it increased from $25 million to $28 million despite fewer unit sales.

A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the March issue of Soundings Trade Only.

- John Burnham

Dominion Marine Media editorial director

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