Last year was a busy one for the new-build sector, with many of the projects ordered during the post-Covid boom coming into fruition. According to the latest data from Superyacht Times, a total of 167 new yachts were launched in 2023 with the largest proportion of these falling within the 30-40m size category.
According to Head of Sales Adam Papadakis, there is good reason why this size segment continues to dominate. “The 30-40-metre market allows an optimum entry point from a running cost point of view to the superyacht and tri-deck arena,” he explains. “Furthermore, today’s innovative designs, considered layouts and advanced materials maximise space and create features in a way that was once only available on much larger yachts.”
Interestingly, the 100m-plus sector performed disproportionally in 2023, with six new yachts launched in this size range. “One theory is these owners contribute a comparatively smaller proportion of their net worth towards yachting, meaning the larger yacht segment is less elastic to any macroeconomic effects,” notes Sales Broker Sam Tucker.
“These owners contribute a comparatively smaller proportion of their net worth towards yachting, meaning the larger yacht segment is less elastic to any macroeconomic effects”.
The new build and used brokerage markets, however, experienced a slight downward trend in 2023 compared to the last few years. According to data from BOATPro, there were 389 yacht sales (both new build and used) in 2023 compared to 550 in 2022 and 752 in 2021.
Sales Broker Rob Lander reflects that 2023 started with continued high levels of demand in the new build and brokerage sectors, with a lag effect still present from the pandemic where demand outstripped supply. “This resulted in a continued lack of availability in the new build sector and a sustained increase in activity in the brokerage sector with, in some cases, an increase in brokerage prices and the overall volume of transactions,” he advises.
“The past six months, however, have seen a correction and cooling of the market with hundreds of price reductions being announced over this period, thereby creating more of a buyers’ market. Availability of build slots has also improved, and more brokerage yachts have recently come to market. Supply levels in the latter half of 2023 have been better than previously in 2022.”
“The past six months, however, have seen a correction and cooling of the market with hundreds of price reductions being announced over this period, thereby creating more of a buyers’ market”.
According to data from BOATPro, there were 201 price drops equivalent to 159.4 million euros in Q3 2023. This is a 47% increase compared to the same quarter in 2022, which saw 137 price drops equivalent to 112.9 million euros. “As the market is now shifting in favour of buyers, we are seeing more ‘realistic’ asking prices as owners signal that they are keen to get a deal done,” adds Sam.
Despite this market correction, shipyards remain busy with new-build orders. “I expect this to have a positive effect in the first two quarters of 2024 as more inventory feeds onto the market and boosts sales into an upward trend,” predicts Adam.
It’s a yacht broker’s role to be at the forefront of such market shifts that shape the demand and nature of new build and second-hand yachts. Moravia Yachting’s Yacht Sales Market Report 2023 provides an in-depth overview of the current trends and dynamics within the new build and second-hand brokerage markets, as well as the global yacht fleet. To download your copy, please click here.