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NMBA survey sees slow 2Q boat sales

The National Marine Bankers Association’s second-quarter survey found that all lender respondents — service companies and banks and finance companies — indicated that dollar volume was the same or up from the same period in 2012, surprising some lenders who had projected that volume might be lower.

Only 16 percent of lender respondents to the survey for the quarter that ended June 30 said new-boat financing represented more than 50 percent of their dollar volume; 75 percent indicated that new boats make up less than 26 percent of their lending. The NMBA said this suggests that at least 50 percent of the finance volume is coming from used-boat transactions, which follows historical patterns.

The NMBA said 92 percent of the lender respondents expect third-quarter dollar volume to be greater than or equal to the same period last year, the highest level of optimism the group has shown since the first quarter of 2012.

For the first time since the first quarter of 2012 lenders reported less stringent credit requirements — and dramatically so, the NMBA said. Throughout 2012 and into the first quarter of this year a steadily increasing number of lenders reported credit tightening. During the second quarter only 8 percent reported credit tightening, down from 20 percent in the first quarter, and 8 percent also reported less stringent credit criteria.

Those who reported stricter standards mentioned liquidity and net worth requirements as the areas they believed had become more demanding. The NMBA said 33 percent of lenders reported that consumer credit quality improved in the second quarter, the largest increase since the fourth quarter of 2011.

Twenty-six percent of NMBA lender members responded to the second-quarter survey. The majority have a national presence.

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