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Brokerage Sales Remain Lower; Average Sale Prices Rise

By John Burnham, YachtWorld editorial director

Brokerage boat sales declined 5 percent in August compared to the same month in 2013, with a total of 2,862 boats changing hands, down from 3,027. Based on reported sales by YachtWorld member brokerages in their proprietary database,, the total price paid declined 1 percent, from $304 million to $302 million, and the average price paid per boat rose 5 percent.

As in July, when sales were also off against the previous year, both power and sail sectors completed fewer sales. Powerboat sales were down 5 percent, with 2,347 boats sold, and sail was off by 6 percent, with 515 boats sold. The $257 million paid for the powerboats was lower by 3 percent, but the average price paid climbed by 3 percent, from $107,000 to $110,000.

The number of sailboats sold decreased by 6 percent, but the value of sales increased from $39 million to $45,000 million. That increase was nearly all due to the sale of two superyachts (over 80 feet) for a combined $5.6 million, when none were reported sold a year earlier in August. Nonetheless, excluding the sale of the 80-plus-foot sailing yachts from the calculation, the average price paid for sailboats during the month increased 6 percent.

Superyacht sales also stood out as the only growth segment, with a total of 22 power and sailing yachts changing owners, up from 15 a year earlier. Yet the average sale price achieved in this volatile category declined 38 percent from $4 million to $2.5 million.

In contrast, all other size ranges experienced the opposite results—reduced number of sales yet at higher average prices. Unit sales were off by the most among boats 56 to 79 feet (-8 percent) and boats under 26 feet (-7 percent). The other two mass-market categories—26 to 35 feet and 36 to 45 feet—were each down 5 percent.

One of the strongest gains in average price was recorded among boats 26 to 35 feet, where 1,105 boats sold for an aggregate price of $61 million, up slightly from August, 2013, when 1,169 boats sold for $60 million. The average price paid in this size range rose from $51,000 to $55,000, an 8 percent pick-up.

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

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