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Solid Brokerage Sales Gains to Start the Year

By John Burnham, YachtWorld Editorial Director

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U.S. brokers posted a moderate increase in sales volume in January and a major gain in total price paid for the boats sold. Brokerage volume rose 5 percent compared to the same month in 2016, and total value increased by 62 percent, with 1,585 boats selling for $323.3 million. 

According to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in SoldBoats, the dollar value was an extraordinary result, some $80 million more than any other January in the last five years. On the other hand, while the total volume was above the previous two years, it was still slightly less than the average number of boats sold in January during the previous five years. 

Superyacht sales above 80 feet drove most of the increase in value. Seventeen boats changed hands during the month for a combined total of $131.6 million compared to 11 boats in the size range that sold in the previous January for $20.4 million.   

Most of the volume gains were in the 26- to 35-foot grouping, where unit sales increased from 527 boats to 593, a 13-percent lift. Sales volumes also increased incrementally among boats under 26 feet, up 3 percent, and 46 to 55 feet, up 6 percent. 

The value of the boats sold increased by double-digit percentages in all size ranges below 56 feet, especially among boats 26 to 35 feet, which gained 41 percent, from $29.5 to $41.6 million. The lone category with lower values, 56 to 79 feet, experienced a 17 percent drop in sales volume and a 27 percent decline in total value. 

Powerboat sales for the month were up strongly, by 11 percent, with 1,302 boats sold, while sailboat sales declined by 17 percent, with 283 boats changing owners. All of the value gains in the month were in powerboat sales, although the value drop in sailboat sales was only 14 percent, which represented a 4 percent increase for the month in the average sailboat price paid. 

—John Burnham


Note: A version of this article first appeared in Soundings Trade Only Today.


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