When something sinks in the yachting industry, it usually signals bad news. Not so with the recent free fall in the value of the Euro. Last week, the Euro slumped to a 12-year low against the U.S. dollar, closing at $1.0578 USD. The Euro is now approximately back at the value it was in January 2003, a year after most European countries adopted it as their mode of currency.
While this change of fortune makes American goods more expensive for Europeans, the opposite holds true for Americans. What does this change of fortune mean for the luxury yacht market? The boat of your dreams has suddenly become much more affordable.
“Now is the time to buy a yacht from a prominent European manufacturer or one that’s on the secondary market while inventory is still high,” said 4Yacht’s Craig Timm. “Yachts from the biggest and best shipyards in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy will be much less expensive than they were even a few months ago thanks to the favorable exchange rate.”
Over the past year, the Euro has dropped 23% against the American dollar, dowm from nearly $1.40 at this time a year ago. Since the beginning of 2015, the Euro has dropped nearly 12%, recently losing nearly five cents in dollar value in a single week. Most financial indicators point to a continued Euro nosedive with many analysts expecting the currency to dive below parity in the next several weeks. The trend should continue at least through the end of 2016.
“Not only will American buyers get more boat for their money or have the potential to buy an even larger boat than in the past, they also pay less for boat surveys done in the Eurozone, thus saving on ancillary costs associated with luxury yacht ownership,” Timm said.
Currency dealers have said the Euro’s continued depreciation and the upward swing of the American dollar are the result of divergent monetary strategies put forth by the European Central Bank and the U.S Federal Reserve. The Fed is expected to begin raising interest rates sometime in 2015 while the ECD will continue its €60 billion bond-buying program.
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