Brokerage sales slip in September

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With 2,414 boats changing owners in September, sales in the U.S. brokerage market were off 7 percent compared with the same month in 2013.

Yet the average selling prices held even or they improved, except in the superyacht market over 80 feet, according to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in, their proprietary database,

The aggregate price for all boats sold in September was $221 million, down 5 percent from $232 million in the same month last year. Excluding superyacht sales, however, the aggregate price rose from $206 million in 2013 to $218 million this year. At the same time, the average sold price moved upward from $81,000 to $90,000.

One of the reasons for the increase in the average price was that sales were higher in the pricier 36- to 45-foot and 46- to 55-foot segments. And most of the drop in sales came in the two smallest segments, under 26 feet and 26 to 35 feet, which are higher-volume and lower-price categories. But that was not the whole story, as average prices increased in small-boat segments, too.

The highest-volume size range, 26 to 35 feet, saw sales fall 7 percent with 962 boats sold. The sales value increased by 1 percent, however, and the average sale price was up 9 percent from $50,000 to nearly $55,000. Among boats under 26 feet, sales were down 15 percent with 635 boats sold, but the average price increased 5 percent to $14,000.

The strongest results were reported among boats from 46 to 55 feet with 166 sold, a 12 percent gain from September 2013 and a total price of $46 million, a 25 percent increase. The average boat of this size sold for $279,000, 11 percent more than a year earlier. In the 36- to 45-foot range, sales increased 5 percent and the total price paid was up 9 percent, driving the average price up from $121,000 to $126,000.

John Burnham is the editorial director of Dominion Marine Media.

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