U.S. SAILBOAT BROKERAGE MARKET: SOLID GAINS FOR FIRST HALF OF 2010
In June, for the eighth month in a row, the U.S. brokerage sailboat market made gains both in unit sales and sales valuation compared to the same month a year earlier. The increases in June, as in May, were smaller than they were in the first four months of the year, but according to sales reported by yacht brokerage members of YachtWorld.com, unit sales for the first half of 2010 were cumulatively up 21 percent to 2,974 boats and total valuation of sales was up 32 percent to $225 million.
In comparing first-half-of-year sales for 2007 through 2010, we find by three measures that 2010 sales have recovered one-third to one-half of the volumes and valuations seen before the lowest sales months of late 2008 and early 2009. Unit sales of 2,974 in 2010 are up about 500 boats from last year but still approximately 500 shy of 2008 and about 1000 units short of 2007.
Total sales valuation of $225 million is up $55 million from 2009 but still $54 million short of 2008 and $93 million shy of 2007. The average valuation of each sale has made a somewhat greater recovery, at $76,000 per transaction, up from $69,000 last year and only $5,000 short of the approximately $80,000 average valuation in both 2008 and 2007.
Looking at units sales by length over the first half of the year, all categories have shown growth of more than 15 percent, but the larger the category, the greater the growth, with boats 46 to 55 feet up 34 percent to 167 boats and those greater than 55 feet up 44 percent to 36 boats sold. Total valuation of sales has increased more evenly across categories, by 28 to 39 percent, except in boats under 26 feet, which has increased only 9 percent.
Despite the improving news for yacht brokers and those selling their boats, the market has shown possible softness in a couple of ways. The average time to sell a boat has increased over 2009 by about a month, to 308 days. In addition, as mentioned at the outset, recent increases over 2009 sales have been much smaller; after several months of big double-digit gains, May unit sales were up 13 percent and June, only 3 percent. Valuations have remained a little stronger, up 24 and 12 percent, respectively.
—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 distributes a report of the previous month's activity and annual trends.