Brokerage sales slip in March

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The cold winter of 2014 continued to affect U.S. brokerages as sales declined 8 percent in March to 2,439 boats from 2,642 in March 2013.

Most of the decrease was attributable to 150 fewer sales of boats shorter than 26 feet, as 841 boats of that size changed hands, according to YachtWorld member brokers reporting in their proprietary database SoldBoats.com.

The total price paid for the boats sold in March was down 44 percent compared with the same month in 2013. Sales were valued at $268 million, compared with $482 million the year before. Nearly all of the $214 million difference was attributable to sales of less-expensive superyachts; 17 boats larger than 80 feet sold for $261 million in March 2013 and 15 boats of that size sold for $52 million in March 2014.

Not including boats larger than 80 feet, the aggregate price paid for boats in March was down $5 million or 2 percent. The average price paid for a boat smaller than 80 feet actually increased to $89,100, up 6 percent from $84,200 the previous year.

Brokerage sales for boats between 26 feet and 79 feet were incrementally lower in most size ranges. Volume was down 5 percent in the 26- to 35-foot range with 890 sold, and 11 percent in the 56- to 79-foot range with 59 sold.

An exception was the 36- to 45-foot segment, where sales were up 3 percent, with 511 boats sold. And although sales were 5 percent lower in the 46- to 55-foot segment, the aggregate price paid increased by 8 percent to $38 million; the average price paid increased from $274,000 to $309,000.

The volume of sales in the first quarter of 2014 was 7 percent behind sales in 2013 as 5,683 boats were sold. The total price paid for boats during the quarter was $724 million, a decline of $203 million, or 22 percent.

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

John Burnham is the editorial director of YachtWorld.com.

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