The U.S. brokerage market showed strength even though sales volume declined 5 percent during the first quarter of 2015 when compared with figured from a year earlier. A total of 5,427 boat exchanged hands in the quarter, down from 5,715 in 2014. Total sales value increased by 5 percent to $750 million.
Both powerboat and sailboat sales decreased, but only powerboats saw an increase in aggregate values, which increased by 8 percent, even without including superyacht sales. Conversely, the total value of sailboats declined 7 percent. Average powerboat price increased by 13 percent to $109,000, while average sailboat prices declined by 4 percent to $79,000.
The 46- to 55-foot segment was the only portion of the market to experience an increase in sales volume, rising 10 percent on sales of 367 boats. Prices went up too, with total values 20 percent higher, rising to $110 million. Average prices increased 9 percent when compared by the first quarter of 2014, increasing from 4275,000 to $300,000.
Sales have been stronger among larger express cruisers and smaller motor yachts, particularly on the East Coast. Also affecting price and sales volume has been the lack of quality, recent-model inventory, with buyers beginning to purchase the best remaining boats over fear of losing out on the best units.
Average days needed to sell a boat in that segment also dropped during the quarter from 395 to 363 days. Other segments also experienced a drop in days on the market, except for boats over 80 feet.
Volume decreased in every other segment by 5 to 7 percent. Average price, however, increased by 11 percent for boats under 26 feet, 7 percent for the 26- to 35-foot segment, and 20 percent for the 56- to 79-foot segment.
Among the 396 sailboats exchanging hands, total value was down 16 percent to $40 million, an average declined of 9 percent.
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