Marine lenders report decline in 3Q new-boat loans

Marine lenders are seeing a drop in third-quarter new-boat sales.
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Marine lenders are seeing a drop in third-quarter new-boat sales.

The National Marine Lenders Association snapshot quarterly trending survey for the period that ended Sept. 30 shows the lowest percentage of lenders reporting that more than 50 percent of their third-quarter business was loans on new boats since 2013.

Only 30 percent of respondents indicated that new-boat sales counted for more than half their volume of third-quarter boat loans, down from 41 percent in the second quarter and 42 percent for the third quarter last year.

Lenders also report a decrease in the average loan amount, which could be reflective of third-quarter business being smaller boats or older boats. The association said 24 percent of reporting lenders said their average loan size is down this year, compared with 2014.

Boat show margins have been squeezed since the third quarter of 2014, the data showed. Eighty-three percent of respondents said their volume is the same or up from the third quarter of 2014; 88 percent expect the fourth quarter this year to be up or the same as last year.

Overall, lending criteria and credit quality have held fairly steady during the past several quarters.

This quarter’s questionnaire asked lenders what their loan-activity expectations for the fourth quarter are as a result of the fall boat shows. Forty-seven percent of respondents expect their volume to increase more than 5 percent; 36 percent expect no change from the quarter last year.

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