Brokerage & sales markets remain healthy at the end of 2022

There is much uncertainty in the world, financial markets are shaky, gas prices are skyrocketing. Inflation is very much happening. You don’t have to be an economist to know that things aren’t all Moonlight and roses.

As we enter the 4rd quarter of the year I speak with several brokers from different segments of the market. And once again, it seems we are blessed with an industry that is -dare we say it?- unshakable… As one broker put it: “Most of our clients are not affected by rising interest rates as they don’t need to borrow . In some markets that will be an issue – and perhaps for some boat dealers who have to stock yachts and borrow to do so. The clients that buy expensive motor yachts are generally not people who are personally worried about the electric / gas bill. But increased fuel costs may cause some to wonder about how much use they put their motor yacht through.”

Lukas Stratmann of Ocean Independence is brief, he’s too busy selling boats I guess: “Our market of superyachts between 30 and 40 metres is still very strong!”

Jens-Petter Flesvig from Heitmann Marin in Oslo says:

“Lagoon sold 45 boats in Cannes! But where people used to buy more on the show, the deals happen in a less impulsive way, mostly after the boat shows.”

At the Oslo Boat Show, Heitmann displayed mostly production boats (Jeanneau, Beneteau) for the domestic market. Sales of yachts under 1,5 million has slowed down. However, it has only slowed down in relation to the epic post-lockdown spike in sales. Motorboat sales in the same market segment however, are K.O. due to fuel prices. In Norway they were close to 3 Euro per litre in the summer and early fall.

Boatbuilder’s production halls are full and working full steam because of the post covid peak in combination with the backlog in production and availability of parts. This has changed the privileges of the good clients. Jens-Petter explains: “We used to be good clients because we would order a stock of 10 boats” Now we are given the possibility to order as much as 3 boats because we are good clients!”

The Brokerage market has had its expected cool-down after the post lockdown peak and brokers are happy to have some listings again whereas a few months ago they couldn’t make money because they had no boats to sell.

Simon Turner from Berthon Palma shares similar observations:

“I would say that yes – there are now more listings coming on the market than say six months ago.”

As an example: 30 Swans are listed globally, the majority are quite new – later than 2017. That is an area where there was sparse availability. Older boats are still stuck in the market to a degree over the last 2 years of buoyant sales. 76 Oysters are listed, again most fairly new. In the last 2 months, about 50 motor yachts, over 30m and over 1 million Euro have been listed.

“We have found that the sales market is still pretty good.”

Contrary to the input from Norway, and perhaps due to Palma attracting a more international clientele, Simon mentions:

“The recent modern yachts we have listed (sail or power) –and in particular sub 50’- have been sold.

He adds: “Larger (more costly) yachts naturally have a smaller client base but again sales continue and again particularly the modern yachts. The strong USD has meant some boats sold now quickly from Europe / UK to the US.

I do not see any alarming situation in the market. I would say it has slowed – but that was expected – even before the recent oil / gas situation and lower EU currency, increased interest rates.

Boats that have stayed on sale through say the last 12 months (in the good times) certainly need to rethink something – either, price, place, broker, condition of vessel … why have they not sold and what will help?

The political world is also changing – recently in France, in Italy, Sweden and of course the UK!

Whether this will affect our yachting industry we shall have to wait and see.

Meanwhile Princess Yachts emailed us to report record order books.

By Jens Oomes

Photo credit – Princess Yachts

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