Report: U.S. lenders expect boat loans to remain ‘positive’ in 2019

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Boat loan delinquencies have declined since 2012.

Boat loan delinquencies have declined since 2012.

The National Marine Lenders Association has released its annual marine finance study for the U.S. market. The 2019 Annual Statistical Report gave an encouraging picture of marine finance trends for 2018. The association said in a statement that portfolio boat lenders are expecting “positive” business during 2019. The report also noted that boat loan delinquencies were below 1 percent for the seventh straight year.

“The Annual Statistical Report reveals that portfolio lenders enjoyed another good year generating loan volume and anticipated the same in 2019,” John Haymond, NMLA president and senior vice president of Medallion Bank, told Trade Only Today. “Boat loan performance not only held its own – it did very well overall again in 2018. Boat loan delinquency and charge-offs continued to outperform all other types of installment loans.”

The report provides data from financial institutions that originate and hold retail or floor-plan boat loans and service companies that originate and broker consumer boat loans to financial institutions. It’s a compilation of information from 50 lenders that represent a large share of the marine market.

Haymond said that study participants were not asked questions about the economy, but most expect another good year. “Most economic factors are remaining in positive territory as retail spending, consumer confidence and others remain resilient,” he said. “The slowdown in durables, such as new boat sales, has been expected by most in the industry due primarily because of the historically long economic expansion we are currently experiencing.”

The data shows that 78 percent of portfolio financial institutions’ boat loan customers were in the 35- to 54-year age group. Average boat loan turnover rate was reported at a “healthy” 48 months. The report said that income tiers over $100,000 comprised the greatest percentage of boat loan consumers and that 19 percent of those earned more than $250,000 annually.

For 2018, according to the data, boat lenders increased their focus on indirect lending and smaller-sized vessels, reporting growth in the $25,000 to $100,000 finance range. Last year also continued the five-year trend of decline in finance values above $500,000.

The 101-page report can be purchased at www.marinelenders.org

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