Getting a yacht sold quickly and at a good price is challenging for any seller – and sales achieving both are few and far between. While there is a reverberating sense of uplift for the brokerage market’s prospects, the cynics would claim there are still too many overpriced yachts for sale.
For that reason, many current sales listings have been on the market for several years. And for desperate sellers looking to put their US dollar-listed (USD) yacht at a competitive pricing level, the past three years have not been kind to them.
The strength of the USD, up to the presidential election at least, has sky-rocketed the price of these yachts for non-USD buyers, making it tough for sellers to gauge what constitutes an acceptable market value.
“The dollar has strengthened against the euro by around 27 per cent since January 2014, making USD-listed yachts less attractive to European alternatives,” says Bob Atkinson of B Capital Partners LLP. “Conversely, USD buyers of European yachts have 27 per cent more spending power than three years ago and are able to get some really great deals across Europe and are visible buyers of new vessels.”
Atkinson, however, adds a caveat: “Some non-US clients will have USDs because of their business interests. If they are Middle Eastern, or involved in the business of oil or minerals, much of their trade will be dollar-based, in which case they have some protection.
“Also, many billionaires will hedge their positions with the use of multiple currencies, but their buying position would also depend on the sum of dollars held or generated and whether buying a yacht is their best or preferred use of these dollars.”
It is unlikely that the less wealthy superyacht buyer – ironic though that sounds – will have large disposable quantities in USDs for a yacht. So one would theoretically expect there to be less global demand for the smaller superyachts on the market being sold in USD.
It would seem therefore, that for the smaller, USD-listed vessels, which have sat on the market for some time, an intensive marketing strategy to US citizens is the strategic direction that offers the most potential.
The table in the gallery shows the extent of the pricing increases at three asking prices and against three different, established buying currencies – Euro, Pound Sterling and Rubel (Data source: XE Converter)