Updated: May 16
Are you looking to purchase a yacht but have been holding off, waiting for prices to drop?
Well, you might be in for a surprise. Despite what many buyers have been saying for the past year and a half, boat prices have not been dropping. In fact, they've been holding steady and even increasing in value. As a result, many buyers are finding themselves waiting with empty slips, afraid of losing their spot on the marina waiting list.
Why is this happening?
It all started with the pandemic. With people looking for a place to get away close to home, boating interest spiked in 2020. This led to an influx of people who had never boated before, as well as those who had been out of the boating world due to busy schedules. Even avid boaters found themselves struggling to compete for quality inventory, with many only willing to sell if they had something lined up because of the strong demand.
Before the pandemic, boat sales were steady, with a booming economy and a demand for smaller, faster boats that fit busy office-based lifestyles. However, the demand for quality, lightly used inventory was already high, especially for model years from 2013-2016. Financing and insurance requirements favored newer boats, creating steep competition in the used market.
To make matters worse, new boat manufacturers like Sea Ray, Cruisers Yachts, Carver, and Silverton stopped producing yachts altogether and focused on smaller boats, outboard power, and open boats. This further limited inventory and increased demand for larger, cruising yachts.
But the pandemic changed everything. Remote work became the norm, and housing prices doubled in many areas, leading to a surplus of cash for many homeowners. With interest rates low and the housing market high, many people turned to yachts as a cost-effective second home or full-time living option.
The limited production of new boats, combined with the limited inventory from 2008-2012, has created a perfect storm in the used yacht market. As a result, sellers are finding it a great time to upgrade, while buyers are finding a new lifestyle they couldn't enjoy before with heavy in-person workloads.
So, what does this mean for you as a buyer?
It means that it's more important than ever to work with a good broker. A broker can help you navigate the market, find the right yacht for your needs, and negotiate a fair price. With the market as competitive as it is, you don't want to go it alone.
The current state of the yacht market may be surprising, but it's also full of opportunities for both buyers and sellers. With the right help and guidance, you can find the yacht of your dreams and start enjoying the calm seas in no time.