It’s one more reason why we live in Florida. While bad weather contributed to a nationwide brokerage sales decline in the 2014 first quarter, ending March 31, the Sunshine State bucked that trend posting modest sales gains, according to Yacht World. Total brokerage sales across the country fell by 6.7 percent to 5,681boats from 6,092 in the 2013 quarter, while the total value of boats sold declined by nearly 22 percent to $724,024,044 from $926,582,044, according to dealers reporting to Yachtworld’s Soldboats.com sales tracking system.


Dollar sales nationwide actually were higher in January and February as compared with the same months in 2013. However, they fell by just over 44 percent in March to $267,947,112 from $481,827,555 a year earlier.


Brokers in the Southeast took the brunt of the decline; a clear indicator that a round of steady winter storms hitting the region took a heavy toll. However, sales in Florida, the leader in brokerage sales, rose by 3 percent in January and February.


The number of boats sold in the 25-45 foot size category also declined in the Southeast overall, especially in Georgia where unit volume was off by more than 40 percent from the 2013 first quarter. Sales in this size category in Florida largely were flat.


The bad weather also impacted the time it took to close deals. Average Days to Sale increased to 272 in the 2014 first quarter from 257 a year earlier.


While Florida posted modest growth in the first quarter, some brokers did notice a slight slowdown in March. “We had a great January and February, but March was a little disappointing,” said Jon Burkard, president of Allied Marine, based in Stuart, Fla. “It’s been a rollercoaster, and it’s hard to say if it’s because it’s tax time or something else.”


In general, Burkard said the brokerage market remains healthy, and pricing actually is increasing, especially for newer used models. “We are seeing some boats sell for 10 to 15 percent more than a couple of years ago,” he said. 


Editor’s Note: This story is a summary of the full report appearing in Yacht World’s First Quarter 2014 U.S. Market Index, which can be viewed at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/dmm-cdn-test/yachtworld/YW-US-Q1-Market-Index-Final.pdf.

Article Author: Gary Beckett