2017 was a good year for the superyacht industry, with both sales and deliveries on the rise.After a rather slow year in 2016, new superyacht sales successfully bounced back in 2017 to an estimated 183 yachts sold, up 27% compared to the year before. The increase in new-build sales was particularly evident in the sub-50-metre yacht segment.
A healthy growing market
Although the overwhelming majority of superyacht sales in 2017 were motor yachts, twelve new sailing superyachts were sold last year, five more than those sold in 2016. Taking a closer look at motor yachts, a little over half of the new-build yachts sold during 2017 were projects built to order, while construction of the remainder was begun on speculation. 80% of the new superyachts sold during 2017 were in the slightly smaller size categories, measuring less than 50-metres in length. But the market for motor yachts between 60 and 80 meters also continues to grow, with 18 new-builds sold during 2017. In comparison, the sales of very large yachts over 80-metres in length fell somewhat in 2017, down from eleven yachts in 2016 to six yachts.
Who is building all these yachts?
But who is building all these yachts, one may ask? Italian shipyards accounted for 88 of the 183 new-builds sold during 2017. But in terms of volume, which is commonly measured in gross tonnage, the Netherlands nearly matched the Italians in sales, despite only selling 23 yachts that same year as Dutch yards tend to build larger yachts on average than Italian yards. In terms of gross tonnage, German yards come in third after the Netherlands, despite selling just four new-build yachts during 2017. This is because the average length of a sold German new-build is a whopping 83-metres. Most other yacht building countries have significantly smaller market shares, especially in terms of gross tonnage.
However, superyacht clients were not just interested in buying new superyachts in 2017 - used superyacht sales were also up, growing 16% - a sign of a healthy, growing market and good news for future new-build sales. According to the latest information by SuperYacht Times, the number of deliveries of new-build superyachts in 2018 could reach up to 180 units! This is a substantial increase when compared to the last four years, during which new-build deliveries average between 140 to 150 units per years, with a combined value of approximately 4 billion euros per year.
Turning for the better
Overall SuperYacht Times expects an average of 180 new build deliveries per year over the next few years. This, of course, depends on yacht sales holding steady at a high level and shipyards’ ability to keep up with the pace. More and more shipyards are bound to enter the fray as the growing market is set to attract new players. As of mid-July 2018, SuperYacht Times had recorded sales of 74 new-build yachts over 30 metres of length for the current year. Therefore it seems achievable that sales of around 160 new-build yachts will take place, with the performance of sales in the 30-to-45-metres segment being a key factor towards achieving that number. In addition, more than 135 used yachts have already been sold this year, which means that a total of around 250 used superyacht sales throughout 2018 is reachable.
So far it seems as if the superyacht market is continuing to turn for the better, enjoying the boost it had in 2017.
Text: Ralph Dazert, Head of Intelligence at SuperYacht Times
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