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April 2011 Market Report

April saw the momentum developed in March 2011 continue, particularly as it saw the first yacht over 70 metres sold so far this year.

April 2011 in numbersNew ordersLaunchesDeliveriesNew on the marketPrice UpdatesSales


25 superyachts over 24 metres were reported sold as against 24 in the same month last year, but total asking prices were down by 28% at €188 million compared to €261 in April 2010, mainly due to the fact that five yachts over 50m were sold in April 2010 as against only one last month. That one sale was the 73.5m motor yacht Sapphire, recently delivered by Nobiskrug. The number of yachts moving off the market so far this year continues to grow, with 79 sales against 66 this time last year, but again total asking prices fell, from €729 million in January – April 2010 to €551 million up to the end of April 2011, a drop of 24%.

Superyachts sold in AprilTotal asking prices of superyachts sold in AprilClick here for full details of the superyachts sold in April 2011

More analysis, including a variety of sales trackers, is available in the Brokerage Sales section of Market Intelligence.

New on the Market and Price Reductions

As always in the current climate, yachts coming onto the market continue to outnumber those sold as we counted 33 new listings compared with 25 sales in April 2011. And again, this has had a marked effect on prices, with 39 price reductions recorded during the month.

New Orders, Launches and Completions

We reported five orders for new superyachts last month, the largest being placed with Delta Marine for a 66m motor yacht. 11 launches took place, with Benetti’s 65m Nataly being the largest. Ten yachts were delivered to their owners in April 2011.

Full details of new orders, launches and completions are available in Market Intelligence.

The Broker Perspective

We called a selection of brokers for their view on the current market and were told by several European-based brokers that the weak dollar was making clients look increasingly to the USA market for bargains. Cromwell Littlejohn at Merle Wood & Associates disputes this however, saying that clients will pay Euros or dollars if it’s the boat they want. At Ocean Independence in Zurich, Peter Hurzeler comments that the market is still very much price-guided but at least it’s much more lively this year.

Back in the USA, we spoke to Michael Nethersole at Northrop & Johnson: “I must say that all deals these days are somewhat challenging compared to the good old days of three or more years ago, but deals are being done as your monthly figures show. The sailing boat and explorer yacht sectors seem to be doing quite well. Maybe because these buyers have 'a plan' and time is more important than money. As one of my favourite clients said, not too long ago, ‘Michael, I can always make more money, I cannot make more time’. If a client has a plan, this is a buyer's market and there is no better time to start that plan than now. Luckily for me and Northrop & Johnson, we have a number of clients with plans…”

A Builder’s Perspective

We turned to Billy Smith at Trinity Yachts for his take on the current state of affairs: “The good news is that there are more enquiries and more of them are from international clients. But the problem persists of irrational expectations. If a relatively new boat sells for a low price, buyers take that as a benchmark figure, ignoring the unique set of circumstances around that sale.

And builders are in an inflationary spiral, with costs of raw materials and equipment going up all the time. For example a set of engines for a 50m yacht now costs over $400,000 more than just 12 months ago, due to new emission requirements. On the plus side, I’m happy to say that 70% of our order backlog is now from international clients as against 80% for USA buyers five years ago.”

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