Looking back at 2011
With the end of the year in sight, Camper & Nicholsons reflects on the last twelve months and gives a brief commentary on 2011's market activity.
Times may have been hard over the past years, but in a welcome turn of events the third quarter of 2011 (July-September) showed an increase in the value of yachts sold in the 24-metre+ size range when compared to the same period of 2010 and 2009. On an equally positive note, the value of yachts sold since the beginning of the year was also up overall on the same period of 2010 and 2009, showing that this wasn’t just a third quarter blip but rather a gradual but significant upturn in the market overall year to date.
The market is certainly not roaring away and could still not be described even by the most optimistic of Brokers as buoyant, but rather Buyers and Sellers are finding more common ground and more readily being able to agree sales prices than they were over the last two years. Most Sellers now appreciate that if they want their boat to sell they have to price it accordingly in competition with its peers on the market, whilst Buyers have (mostly) stopped talking exclusively about distress deals and bank repossessions. They are now looking for more sincere value driven deals where they can see that they are getting an appreciably better deal than they would have a few years ago. They also want assurance that the yacht they are buying has been well maintained and is a good investment overall.
The upturn is not just in value terms but also the volume of yachts sold. The number of yachts sold from the first quarter to the third quarter rose from 207 units in 2009, and 235 units in 2010, up to 270 to date this year. It needs to be noted though that these figures are for known sales, whilst certain brokerage sales remain private and unknown, though this has always been the case so is unlikely to be significantly significant. However, while a general upturn is welcome news, it is only when you drill down into the detail that you can see that the market is still segmentally split by size and type, and that the improvement is confined to certain very specific areas, with others trailing behind. All in all, 2011 has been an exciting and interesting year for yachting, and looks to have paved an inviting and stable road ahead for 2012.