The past five years has seen a gradual decline in the number of Russian clients buying into the superyacht lifestyle, according to Camper & Nicholsons’ 2016 State of Wealth, Luxury and Yachting report, but this trend is showing some signs of reversing in 2017.
David Seal, sales broker at Northrop & Johnson, told Boat International that the green shoots of recovery are emerging in this market: “I have seen an increase in Russian buyers in the last quarter of 2016 and hope to see this continue into 2017. Yachts are still so aspirational for wealthy Russians, and so they will always find a way to indulge in their passion whenever they can.”
Meanwhile, Simon Goldsworthy, senior broker at Camper & Nicholsons' London office, argues that this trend may be due to the rising cost of crude oil. “The recent OPEC decision to limit oil supply should help the Russian economy and stock market. Many Russian clients have a lot of their wealth in that stock market so they should start feeling wealthier and more confident to buy yachts. I see Russia as coming back strongly in 2017.”
Alev Karagulle from Burgess Yachts sounds a note of caution, adding: “The decrease in Russian business over the last couple of years has been significant so the return of this important market is not going to happen overnight."