How much does a new build superyacht cost?

26 August 2021 • by Nic Robinson

The average cost of a superyacht has shifted little in 10 years. And as Nic Robinson finds out, some size categories show more consistency than others.

Superyacht sales have ballooned this year on the back of the coronavirus pandemic, driven by new owners seeking lockdown escapes. And while the business basics of supply and demand would usually see prices rocket, that has seldom been the case for new builds over the years.

The average value of a new build superyacht (24 metres-plus), in fact, has not consistently tracked up or down in the last decade as builders continue to fight for share in an increasingly competitive market, according to exclusive BOAT Pro data.

Newbuild values over 10 years

Numbers in brief:

  • €21.7M – average price of a newbuild yacht in 2015
  • €18.3M – average price of a newbuild yacht in 2019
  • €19.8M – average price of a newbuild yacht over a decade
  • €600,000 – the average asking price increase of a pre-owned yacht in Q1 2021 versus Q1 2020
  • The latest data is just a click away on BOAT Pro

In the past 10 years, volume deliveries of new build superyachts tracked from a low of 254 in 2015, to a high of 356 in 2019. Taking into consideration that some years were affected by deliveries of larger and more costly yachts, the average selling price of these yachts still varied little – €21.7M and €18.3M in 2015 and 2019 respectively.

Newbuild superyacht volume deliveries

The total average sales price for all new build superyachts delivered between 2011 and 2020 was €19.8M from 3,085 units.

This is in stark contrast to the values of many other markets that consistently rise or fall over time. Food bills rise, the cost of energy and fuel continually increases and, particularly during lockdowns, so had the average price of a dog in many parts of the world. The one factor driving these increases is usually demand eating into supply.

For example, mobile phone prices began high at the advent of the technology (£1,500+ in 1992), before dropping to a low of £220 in 2000, as technological advances made them more affordable. They then steadily increased again to an average of £1,300 last year as demand for smartphones rose and the cost of components increased.

Superyacht prices also appear to have been affected little by inflation unlike the automotive sector. In 2008, the average cost of a car in the UK was £24,383M which then rose by 38% to £33,559M in 2018. However, over the same period, inflation increased by 2.44% a year to a cumulative 36.87% over the decade, which drove up the price of UK cars.

Newbuild car values in the US consistently increased between 2016 and this year by over $6,000 to an average of $39,950.

Superyachts also maintained steady values in the face of world inflation turbulence. According to the World Bank, global inflation hit 4.82% in 2011 before a sharp drop to 1.39% in 2015. Recovery began in 2016 with a rise of 0.06% to 1.46%. 

Inflation rose again in 2017 by 0.73% to 2.18% and then to 2.46% in 2018 prior to a 0.16% drop in 2019.

Commodities, like steel, followed the peaks and troughs of global inflation, dipping to a low in 2015/16 before doggedly rising to near $193.85 per dry metric tonne earlier this year. 

Aluminium prices tracked similarly, but rose sharply at the end of 2020 to a high of $2,450 per tonne in June this year. 

Despite inflation and commodities rising or falling in price, the average value of newbuild superyachts remained steady over the 10 year period. 

In the brokerage market, the average asking price of a vessel for the first quarter of this year rose by €600,000 as sales reached record levels of 133 – up 46% year-on-year. But this uptick does not necessarily signify a sustained rise in values as brokerage prices track in a similar way to newbuild.

Brokerage values

BOAT Business spot analysis:

One reason for inconsistent average values could be due to yacht prices varying so widely when looking at all vessel sizes. The sale of just one expensive, larger superyacht in a year, for example, can skew the data.

In 2010, the sector saw the fewest brokerage sales in the period to 2020 – 208 compared to 414. But the former’s average value eclipsed 2020’s sales prices at €11.9M versus €8.3M.

However, when looking at superyachts in the 24–30m range, average prices remain flat, with a peak of €7.9M in 2011 and a low of €7.5M in 2019.

The same trend appears in all size categories, showing average values overall have neither significantly increased or decreased in a decade.

Taking into account the rise and fall of global inflation over the decade, as well as commodities, it is clear builders have taken smaller slices of profits in some years to maintain competitive prices.

Within newbuild and brokerage the most popular size category for sales is vessels between 24 and 30 metres. In the decade to 2020, 1,510 newbuild yachts in this range were sold at an average price of €7.8M.

Average prices for 24-30m yachts over the decade sat mostly at €7.7M, seeing a high of €7.9M in 2011 and a low of €7.5M in 2019, with both years showing 126 and 192 sales respectively. Those in the sector have few ways to explain the phenomenon, other than the fact it is a crowded market and prices must remain competitive to attract new business.

24-30m value sales

Italy’s newbuild market does, to a certain extent, buck the trend and shows a sustained period of value growth over the four years to 2020, coinciding with increased volumes.

In 2017 Italy, the largest build country, delivered 123 superyachts with an average value of €12.8M. Both volume and value increased to 194 and €15.6M in the four years to 2020. For the decade to 2020, the average value of a newbuild yacht sold by Italian builders was €15.2M.

Italy's 10 year value sales

High output, however, doesn’t always mean higher values. Germany, for instance, produced 46 superyachts between 2011 and 2020, yet eclipsed many other build nations' average values. This is driven by length and a higher cost per gross tonne, with German superyachts averaging 56.7 metres, cementing it as the producer of the world’s largest yachts and therefore the most expensive.

The Netherlands tracks closely behind, producing yachts with an average length of 42 metres, followed by Turkey at 35 metres – each coming in second and third respectively in average values.

Build country by value

If the past decade is anything to go by, there is an expectation superyacht values will not rise significantly in the coming years. However, many superyacht bosses in newbuild and brokerage have experienced unprecedented demand for vessels since 2020. The five years ahead could therefore be the turning point for an overall, consistent, increase in superyacht values, especially as some brokers say inventories are tighter than usual.

  • Data compiled by Lydia Hinxman, Raphael Montigneaux and Nic Robinson.

This feature was first published on BOAT Business in June 2021 and has since been updated.