Business Transformation

The Current State Of The Yacht Sales Market

Luxury Superyacht

As anticipated, there was a drop in sales and value due to the pandemic. The lockdown in key yachting hubs on both sides of the Atlantic, travel restrictions and the general market sentiment put several sales transactions on hold, with some buyers waiting to finalize the yacht sales process and others waiting to have a better picture of Covid-19’s impact on the markets.

74% of yacht sales recorded were used vessels and 26% new build orders – this percentage breakdown is in line with the 2019 market. In terms of sales by size range, 73% of vessels sold were between 24-40 meters, also in line with the 2019 market. Sales in the large size category (60m+) accounted for 2% of total sales, with 5 yachts sold. The equivalent number in 2019 was 6% with 17 yachts sold.

From January to May, a total of 345 yachts that were 24m and above were newly listed for sale, 209 of which were motor yachts and 36 sailing yachts. The vast majority of yachts (79%) were 24-40m, there were 58 vessels (16%) in the 40-60m size range, and 12 yachts (3%) in the 60m+ size category. The number of yachts listed on the market during the first quarter was 28% lower than in previous years, with 482 yachts listed during the same period in 2019.

The number of price reductions recorded during the first five months of 2020 is a little lower compared to previous years, with 561 yachts announcing price updates. The average price reduction across all size segments was €472,000. The number of price reductions announced in 2019 was 643 with an average price change of €744,000.

Although the percentage of 2020 sales in the 30-50 meter size segment is similar to previous years, IYC has recorded a higher number of sales in this category to first time buyers, compared to previous years. We sense that this trend is across the market.

Resources and network are the primary differentiating factors of a larger broker firm versus a smaller one. Having teams and offices across key countries helps build a larger network, but at the same time have in depth knowledge and understanding of the local culture and the clients’ needs. This enables the firm to be targeted and insightful in its recommendations

Resources are another key differentiator, with a larger company able to invest in talent, marketing, PR, technology and market insight. IYC is a marketing oriented firm; we invest heavily in digital, with a particular focus on Search Engine Optimization and Google Advertising. We also have a strong share of voice in the media through PR activities. IYC also employs a team of analysts who collect and process market data from the sales and charter industries. This allows us to be strategic in our approach by understanding where the market is going and how to effectively market each vessel. As a result we have seen an increase in the number of charters and sales booked ‘in-house’. In addition we invest in tools aiming to generate leads that connect the buyer with the seller. IYC also has a large presence at all major yacht shows in strategic locations.

A smaller firm is more reliant on its B2B connections (ie. other brokers from larger firms) and its existing limited client network. Considering that the average yacht ownership is 5 – 10 years, there is a certain limit to the number of client connections that the boutique broker can develop.

There are a handful of deals currently on the market, but the real benefit to the buyer is an increase of yachts listed for sale.  At the same time, sellers are still being conservative when it comes to price reductions and we have not seen any major price correction.

IYC is one of the world’s largest international yachting companies with over 100 passionate professionals based in 12 strategically located offices around the globe.

We are committed to expanding our network, employing the best professionals in the industry and investing in the development of proprietary software solutions, to deliver our clients unrivalled service of the highest industry standard.

We are consistently recording impressive sales figures and ranking as one of the top brokerage houses around the world. In 2018, IYC was #1 in number of yachts sold, accounting for 11% market share of total yachts sold above 25 meters, with a similar performance in 2019. IYC has an extensive selection of yachts for sale, with our sales listings valued at more than $1 billion. Our listings include some of the top and most respected vessels in the superyacht fleet.

A yachting lifestyle is unlike anything else; it is the finest experience of being at sea that one can achieve. IYC offers a wide range of services including yacht sales & purchase, chartering, charter management, yacht management, insurance & claims management, crew placement, and new build consultation. In everything we do, our approach puts informed decision-making at your fingertips. Key factors that make IYC stand out include our robust yacht & client database, our strong negotiating skills, our focus on market intelligence, our digital presence and strategic marketing campaigns.

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Stefanos Makrymichalos
Stefanos Makrymichalos, chief executive officer at IYC - The International Yacht Company. Stefanos Makrymichalos obtained a bachelor degree in International Business, and a Marketing degree from Otterbein University, Ohio. Shortly after his graduation, he moved to London where he resided for four years, and started his career in marine insurance, specializing in the risk management and claims management of mega yachts. In 2005 he co-founded one of the leading yachting companies in the East Mediterranean. Stefanos is currently living in Fort Lauderdale, USA. Stefanos Makrymichalos is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Follow him on LinkedIn.