Big Boats Drive Stronger Sales in November
Sales results in November for the sailing yacht brokerage industry were by some measures the best of 2009 to date, with 36 percent more boats sold than in November 2008 and a whopping increase in valuation of 118 percent, to $47.5 million. November is the first month all year that valuation has out-paced the previous year.
Admittedly, the sale of 448 boats reported by YachtWorld.com member brokers looks especially strong because the benchmark month of November 2008 had anemic sales of only 330 boats. But the jump in unit sales among bigger sailboats was also more than 50 percent higher than just a month earlier, in October.
Unit sales of boats in the 46-55 foot category tripled in November, compared to November ’08, with 34 boats sold, and doubled among boats over 55 feet, as a dozen boats changed hands. In those two categories, the increase in valuations was even more striking, increasing from $3.5 million a year ago to about $20 million this year.
Unit sales among smaller sailboats also improved in November 2009 with a 20 percent gain for boats less than 35 feet and a 40 percent gain for boats in the 36-45 foot category.
Through the first 11 months of the year, sales of all boats 26 feet and above were down roughly 18 to 20 percent compared to 2008. Sales of boats smaller than 26 feet were off only 10 percent. Total valuation for the year to date is off by 25 percent, an improvement compared to a month ago when valuation was more than 30 percent lower. However, it seems likely that the market will end the year below $400 million, whereas a year ago it was roughly $500 million.
In November, there was a slight drop in the average time-to-sale figures for boats sold. However, the market average remains at about nine months – a few days longer than a year ago.
—John Burnham, Editorial Director, YachtWorld.com
Sail America has teamed up with YachtWorld.com to provide a report of sailboat brokerage sales. Each month Sail America will distribute a report of the previous month’s activity and annual trends.