This month is showing a few trends. Inventory keeps growing. Last year we had a small “drop” in advertised inventory around November 1st. The behaviour repeated this year but with much more impact across ALL the big boat advertising sites. And not only the ones in the same “ownership group” like Yacht World and Boats.com. It was almost everywhere! The drop was quite large as you can see on the graph.
Some was probably due to brokers cleaning up their listings for boats already sold. (Some brokers keep boats listed – just to get your contact details)
But another interesting trend is brokers pulling boats of the big sites, but leaving them for sale on their own websites? Our guess is they won’t pay to advertise over the Christmas holiday. Or they might pull the Real Estate trick of “re-listing” later so the listing look new.
Used Boat index in Numbers
|Date||Index overall||Scandi/N EU||Sailboats||Motorboats|
|1 year ago||107.28||103.24||103.27||110.71|
|2 months ago||119.72||112.06||116.84||124.79|
|1 month ago||124.17||112.71||122.22||130.99|
For most index figures we are still above last month’s inventory but a little behind peak just before November 1st. Our Used Boat Index is still seeing growth in “Index Overall”, “Sailboats” and “Motorboats” with “Motorboats” setting new availability record at index 134.54.
The only decline in Used Boat availability is in the North EU/Scandinavian index where we have an overall drop of 0.07 points from last month, but a drop from peak end of October of 1.7 points after the big “cleanout”. But as we have said repeatedly – that is normal for that specific market. And it is still up with almost 10 points above the index same time last year. This year the trends are just amplified.
Overall Inventory is still growing, and we predict by next month’s update we are seeing new records everywhere apart from Northern EU/Scandinavia.
What is happening in other market segments?
Our macro world-wide prediction models are showing slow downs everywhere. Luxury items are being discounted at giant rates. A year ago, you could not find a newer Porsche 911 GT3 for sale new or 2nd hand at normal retail pricing – now they are sold with discounts and a huge inventory listed online. The trend is showing everywhere in the used car market. Only small cars sell fast and have increased in 2nd hand value lately.
The trend is the same in shipping, where we are back to shipping cost pre-covid. The US is hard hit with shipping companies going bankrupt. Not a week goes by without a major shipping player announcing restructuring or bankruptcy. Link to FreightWaves shipping latest bankruptcy update.
In the rental market AirBNB owners are all having issues. There is oversupply and lack of demand. We see a lot of advertising of “Short term let” properties up for sale and they do not move fast anywhere in the world.
Our Macro models show we are in for a beating financially and while the boat market might be more resilient, it WILL come here too but we are still at the beginning.
Black Friday sales updates will provide additional trends up or down. We will try and find some updates for next Used Boat Index Update. But as many US financial analysts are starting to talk “deflation” it does not look good at the moment.
Other Marine Updates
“Owners are being more realistic about their expectations on price”.Quote from Berthon International boat brokers November update
We have a huge respect for Berthon as a broker and reading between the lines I think they are politely telling the selling owners “You are getting there, but you are not quite there yet!”. In our estimate most 2nd hand boats are still advertised 20-30% above what they should be selling at currently. Some are even listed at close to 50% above what they should be, for their age and maintenance condition.
Berthon also say the motorboat market is busy. But our Used Motorboat Index show inventory is growing the fastest. The growing inventory will of course increase interest, but does it produce actual sales? Only time (and our Index) will tell.
More “failed sales” and “re-listing’s”
We are also noticing an increase in boats for sale that had shown as “Under Offer” before, coming back onto the market. Our field spies say the causes are mortgage refusal, insurance issues or finally, survey issues.
It mirrors the housing market in the UK where the same properties keep popping up again and again after a “Under Offer” or “Sold Subject to Contract” notice.
If you put in an offer on a boat – make certain you make the purchase conditional upon mortgage, insurance ability and full survey.
If you need a mortgage, you need a fully comprehensive insurance, and the price of insurance has skyrocketed. We would recommend getting some insurance quotes before you put in offers.
We are working on a recommendation on what to look out for when looking at 2nd hand boats. A lot can be learned from reading between the lines of the broker description and careful study of the pictures. And surprise, surprise – some brokers judgement of a boats condition is VERY different to reality. So please – ALWAYS – pay to have a full survey and sea trial done.
The Marine-Review Used Boat Index is based on aggregating for sale numbers from a range of different boat selling sites. We are trying to be as objective as possible but as any human we have opinions which might slant our predictions. But we are often right in our macro predictions.
For information of the creation of the index click here
Last months update: October 2023 Used Boat Index