Sailboat Brokerage Sales Continued to Improve During the Summer
In recent months, the brokerage market for sailboats in the United States has shown a steady improvement against the first half of the year. According to data reported by YachtWorld.com member brokers, unit sales over the last four months were only 10 percent lower than the same time period in 2008 – a big improvement on the nearly 30 percent year-on-year decline for the first six months of the year. Valuation of boats sold has also steadied out, down only 19 percent in the last four months, compared with a 39-percent drop in valuations over the first half of the year.
In keeping with seasonal trends, sailboat sales in October were about 8 percent lower than September, dipping below 500 boats for the first time since April. The 484 boats sold in September 2009 was roughly on par with the same month a year earlier, but the sales value of $34.6 million lagged behind sales of $39.6 million in October, 2008.
Looking more closely at the unit sales by length, whereas last month boats under 35 feet were selling better than they were a year earlier, the smaller-boat categories cooled off a little in October 2009, down by a handful of boats compared with October of last year. On the other hand, sales of boats ranging from 36 feet to 55 feet held roughly even with the previous October; a trend that first appeared in the September sales data.
Although the valuation of sailboats sold in October was $5 million behind the same month a year earlier, the smaller and mid-size boats were sold at almost the exact same valuation. The difference is attributed to boats in the two larger size categories. Boats 46 to 55 feet sold for $1.4 million less, and boats larger than 55 feet sold for $3.8 million less.
Last month, we began looking at the length of time boats were on the market before selling, which remains at an average of 277 days, up 1 percent from last year at this time. While most sizes of boats are taking 3 to 10 percent longer to sell, boats in the 36- to 45-foot range are bucking the trend and averaging 4 percent fewer days to sell. In October, however, boats in several size ranges sold a little faster than the year before, not only among 36- to 45-footers, but also in the 46- to 55-foot range.
—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.