4 things you need to know about the superyacht market in July

Half of the yachts launched so far this year are Italian

The first half of 2016 has produced several distinctive trends in the superyacht market, foremost of which is the enduring popularity of Italian brands.

We know of 55 Italian superyachts that have been launched so far this year, compared with 60 from the rest of the world combined.

Azimut-Benetti leads the way with 20 launches, including the 90 metre flagship superyacht Lionheart (pictured above and recently delivered), while Perini Navi, Admiral - The Italian Sea Group and Cantiere delle Marche have all launched their largest models to date in 2016.

What’s more, Admiral has taken an order for a 63 metre superyacht and CRN has sold its 62 metre in-build superyacht Project NL 303.

Spanish charter supply continues to rise

The Spanish charter market has continued its recent upward trend, with early indications suggesting that this could be a strong summer for the Western Mediterranean destination, both in terms of supply and demand.

Anne Sterringa, Camper & Nicholsons International’s head charter broker in Palma, remarks that there are 115 yachts over 20 metres available to charter in the Balearics, up 34% on the 2015 figure of 86.

“There is a steady increase of charter enquiries for the Balearics but not in the same proportion as the increase in the number of yachts available. This creates an opportunity for clients who have some flexibility with their dates,” she added.

Tamsin Priestley, director of yacht charter at Y.CO, echoed this sentiment: “We are seeing an increasing number of bigger and better yachts for charter in Spain and the Balearics, such as 44 metre Heesen yacht Jems (pictured above), although anything over 45 metres is still relatively rare.”

Alev Karagulle from Burgess Yachts has offered one potential explanation for the upswing in demand: “With the trend for cruising the Eastern Mediterranean at an all time low, charterers are looking for alternative Mediterranean destinations.”

The brokerage market is holding steady

Despite the political uncertainty of an impending US election and the UK’s surprise decision to leave the EU, the brokerage market has thus far managed to match the strong level of sales posted in the first half of 2015.

A grand total of 184 yachts were sold between January to June 2016, which is only marginally down on the 189 sold during the same period in 2015. Notable sales include the 75 metre Peene-Werft Leander G (pictured above).

Toby Maclaurin, director of sales and marketing at Ocean Independence, said: “The values of brokerage yachts sold so far this year is comparable to 2015. In terms of volume of sales in a six-month period, our first half has been disappointing in comparison, but the second half is starting to look like it will be more promising.”

Joe Foggia, sales broker at Northrop & Johnson, offered a US perspective on the market: “Overall, it has been a robust 2016. The first quarter was substantially down from the first quarter of 2015. However, in the second quarter as the political situation became more defined, we saw many more sales. By the end July, I believe we may be ahead of same time in 2015.”

Karagulle added: “There is a quiet confidence in the market with the most sought-after pre-owned yachts holding their value well and fewer significant price reductions being entertained. The US, China and other non-EU countries are currently leading the charge.”

Brexit will make yachts more expensive for UK buyers

The result of the recent British referendum on EU membership will have many long-term implications for the yachting industry, but the most immediate one has been a downturn in the value of sterling.

Jonathan Mealey, director of global currency account specialist Centtrip, said: “Sterling has lost circa 10% in value since the referendum and we have seen people taking advantage of the relative strength in the US dollar.”

In terms of the superyacht market, this will affect the buying power of clients with sterling liquidity. For example 85 metre Lürssen superyacht Solandge (pictured above), which is currently asking €169,000,000, is now over £14 million more expensive in real terms to a buyer paying in sterling than it was before the referendum. On June 23 this was the equivalent of £128,916,113, whereas by July 5 that sum had risen to £143,341,815.

However, on the other hand, yachts priced in pounds will represent better value for overseas buyers.

Mealey added that this situation is likely to persist: “Weakness in sterling will likely continue for the foreseeable future, with the possibility of a further leg down should the Bank of England cut rates or increase monetary stimulus.”

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