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Mixed results in March for brokerage sales

U.S. brokerage sales slipped 2 percent in March to 2,554 boats, but the price paid for those boats rose 31 percent to $495 million.

The figures compared with 2,606 boats sold for a total price of $378 million in March 2012, according to member brokerages reporting in their proprietary database

The increase in value was entirely attributable to sales of expensive boats above 80 feet, a category in which 17 sold for $261 million. The other 2,537 boats that were sold in March brought an aggregate price of $234 million, down from $250 million in the same month a year earlier.

Sales were relatively stable in March in the largest part of the market — boats under 45 feet.

Among boats under 26 feet, sales declined from 953 to 934, but the total price paid increased from $20 million to $21 million. Sales were level for boats 26 to 35 feet, with 916 sold, and the total value was also even at $51 million. For boats 36 to 45 feet, although sales declined 3 percent from 512 to 495, the total price paid increased 18 percent from $70 million to $83 million.

Prices declined in the larger sizes: Sales of 46- to 55-foot boats were down slightly from 130 to 128, but the total price paid decreased from $41 million to $35 million, a drop of 15 percent. Sales of boats 56 to 79 feet slowed from 77 to 64 —17 percent — and the total price paid declined 35 percent from $68 million to $44 million.

The sailboat side of the market continued a 2013 trend of holding up better than the power segment; 473 sailboats changed hands in March, a 2 percent increase from the previous year. The total value was down from $36 million to $35 million. Powerboat sales were 3 percent lower at 2,081, but the total price paid rose 35 percent to $460 million. However, the higher prices that were paid for superyachts masked a price decline in the rest of the market.

First-quarter sales in the U.S. brokerage market were down 5 percent from 2012, with 5,905 boats sold. Total value was up 17 percent, on $938 million in sales. Volumewise, the strongest part of the market was between 36 and 45 feet, where 1,255 boats were sold, up five from 2012; the total price paid was $184 million, up 10 percent.

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

— John Burnham editorial director



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