January 19, 2023
The boat market is in a transitional phase. It is a trend we have seen a few times over the years, and its behavior is relatively predictable. This is our view of what is happening and how it impacts our clients.
Inventory is rapidly building across all segments, whether it is new boat dealers or yacht brokers. By definition, this marks the end of the incredibly strong sellers market from the past few years and the beginning of a buyers’ market. This shift will not have much of an impact on the vessels over $1.5 M, as that market does not see the large swings in inventory as does the market under that level.
This is not a catastrophic prediction of doom. The boat market is not dying or in trouble, it is just a shift in the way the market functions. So how will this impact our clients here in Florida during this season?
For those owners looking to potentially sell a boat, the time is now. You can possibly catch on to the tail of the busy market, which will extend out due to the number of SW Florida boaters that now have insurance checks in hand and are looking to replace their lost vessel. This also makes it a perfect time for those that want to upgrade or downsize their vessel. Sell your current boat now and buy your new vessel when the buyer’s market settles in.
For folks currently in the process of selling a boat, recognize that asking price is incredibly important. You may want to consider a small pricing concession now while the market is strong and maximize your return. It is not a good practice to maintain higher asking prices and reducing the price down the road – you will just be chasing the market down until it levels off. Consider a re-assessment of your current asking price with your broker and look for an opportunity to get your vessel sold now.
For anyone that has been holding out for the right time to buy a boat, it is here. Since there is more inventory available, you have the luxury of looking at multiple vessels and deciding which one best suits you and your budget. Make sure to do your research or work with an experienced broker to find those boats that have been priced right and would be the perfect fit for you!
In summary, due to the shift to a buyers market, there will be some downward pressure on pricing. However, this is not the bottom dropping out of the market, it is just an adjustment. Our opinion is that the boat and yacht market (especially here in Florida) will remain strong throughout the buying season this winter and spring, with normal slowing during the later summer and fall months.
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