After a couple of weak months to start the year, U.S. brokerage sales picked up steam in March as 2,443 boats were sold, an increase of 10 percent from 2,215 last year.
According to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in SoldBoats, their proprietary database, significant gains were made in sales of boats under 45 feet; sales volumes of larger yachts were relatively level, but the boats were generally less expensive than those that sold a year earlier.
The net result was lower sales value throughout the market. Sales overall were $283.6 million, $37.5 million less than the $321.1 million recorded last March.
An unusual characteristic of the March sales was that more boats less than 26 feet long were sold than in the category of boats 26 to 35 feet. Sales were up 13 percent in the under-26-foot category, as 874 were sold. In the 26- to 35-foot range, sales rose 8 percent to 850. The average sold price in both sizes also increased. Among the smaller boats it rose from $19,000 to $23,400, and among the larger boats it climbed from $46,500 to $53,900.
Sales of boats 36 to 45 feet also climbed significantly from 449 to 512. The average sold price increased 3 percent from $133,500 to $137,900.
Although sales declined by one boat in the 46- to 55-foot range, with 127 changing hands, the total sold price increased by more than $2.1 million to $38.8 million and the average sold price gained 7 percent to $305,400.
In contrast, the 62 boats between 56 and 79 feet that sold brought 20 percent less than the 61 that sold a year earlier. The average sold boat value was $625,200, down from $792,900.
And the 18 boats 80 feet and up that sold brought their owners only $3.2 million, on average, a steep drop from the $6.5 million that superyachts of the same size brought their owners in March 2015.
For the first quarter, sales volume was up 2 percent in the United States, with 5,564 boats sold. The aggregate value of the sales was $703.6 million, down 6 percent from $749.6 million a year earlier.
John Burnham is the managing editor of Dominion Marine Media.
A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the May issue ofSoundings Trade Only.