Leading superyacht brokers are experiencing a drop off in enquiries but remain optimistic despite the economic downturn caused by the global coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to BOAT International, brokers attributed the reduction in activity to travel restrictions imposed around the world.
Y.CO head of sales, Will Christie, said the lull in enquiries had been "immediate". “Unfortunately, no business will be immune to the effects of this crisis and the superyacht market is included," he said.
“We have seen an immediate drop off of new enquiries, but that is to be expected as travel restrictions and self-isolation were imposed so quickly. People are understandably prioritising, looking after personal and business affairs.”
President and founder of US broker Denison Yachting, Bob Denison, agreed that prospective buyers are being more cautious.
“We’ve had a few clients pull back on making offers, instructing us to wait until the market stabilises. These decisions seem to be a lot less about fear of COVID-19, and more about taking a deep breath as clients watch macro-economic conditions," he said.
Some brokers have drawn comparisons between the current economic climate with the 2008 financial crisis. However, Christie argued the industry is now "better prepared" than it was in 2008.
"In 2008, the market grew at an incredible rate with yachts being sold at massive premiums to their build costs with readily available finance to new owners," he said. "When the bubble burst the correction was big and painful."