European yacht brokers experienced solid sales figures for the first half of 2014 with the number of unit sold increasing 10 percent to more than 3,600, while total value rose 30 percent to $1.21 billion. The average time to achieve a sale also continued to rise, averaging 359 days.
Powerboats continued to be a strong segment, with value rising 37 percent on 15 percent more boats sold. Sailing yachts rose 5 percent with value increasing 10 percent. Smaller boats under 26 feet experienced a significant 15 percent increase in volume. Average sale price in this category increased 18 percent to an average of $30,623.
Gains in the 26-35-foot rose by 7 percent in volume and 8 percent in total value, while the 36- to45-foot segment rose 10 percent in unit sales with total value static, indicating a droop in average price. A 15 percent increased in sales volume and values for bots in the 46- to 55-foot category showed strong demand for the first two quarters combined, although average price for each boat declined slightly in the second quarter with mean time to achieve sales rising sharply to 527 days. Segments showing the biggest growth were 40-to 50-foot flybridge boats along with entry-level diesel sport boats.
The United Kingdom showed particular strength in sales once last winter’s storms abated, somewhat from the increased valuation of the British pound against the Euro. Markets in France and Spain continue to lag behind.
During the first six months of 2014, sales of 56- to79-foot boats remained weak, with volume growing by 7 percent, but total value also down by 7 percent. The 80-foot and longer super yacht segment continued strong, with a 20 percent increase in volume while total value rose a whopping 65 percent with average selling price at $7.46 million.
Industry experts indicate that well-known, branded boats that are in good working order sell within four to six weeks on the market. There is a shortage, however, of good vessels on the market, with poorly presented boats and overly optimistic owners who have unrealistic sales expectations dominating. These boats, as well as yachts from lesser-known brands often stay on the market for longer periods.