May has proved to be the most lucrative month of the year thus far for the sale of 30m+ brokerage yachts, by a significant margin. The month accumulated 29 completed yacht sales and a cumulative value of just under the €315 million mark.
To put this into perspective, the second most valuable month of 2017, March, yielding a cumulative value of transactions of just under €280 million, had a €155 million (final asking price) contribution from a single sale; Moran Yacht & Ship’s sale of 85.1m Solandge.
Up to the start of May, only 12 sales achieving a final asking price of €10 million and above had been completed, however 14 were completed in May alone. This meant sales in May hit an €11.48 million average selling (final asking) price, a 112 per cent increase on the month before, with what was a comparatively low largest sale of the month by value (Sycara IV, $27.5 million).
While February and April achieved 36 sales cumulatively, only three €10 million-plus sales were achieved in these two months, with the majority of sales comprising production line vessels from the 1990s and early 2000s. As such, both months saw average selling (final asking) prices remain under €6 million.
In the context of President Trump’s election in November 2016 and subsequent inauguration in January 2017, it is worth examining the location of the yachts at their time of sale. As you can see, roughly half of worldwide yacht sales are sold in US waters on a monthly basis. The notable high was in March, when 68.4 per cent of worldwide sales were completed in US waters.
In May, the percentage of yachts sold while in US waters dropped to its lowest of the year, 44.8 per cent, as the French Riviera markets – Monaco and Antibes – picked up the pace and contributed several sales.
Hypothetically, one might expect the number of yachts sold while in US waters to continue its ascendency if the US is able to repeal the foreign-flagged yacht sale restriction, which has been recently resubmitted in Congress.
At the close of the month, The Superyacht Intelligence Agency had 101 recorded superyacht sales for the year, which is very much on a par with the 100 completed at this point last year.