In the latest edition of The Superyacht Group’s Digital Dialogues, William Mathieson speaks with Barin Cardenas, founder and CEO of Yacht Creators, about US buyer sentiment in light of the US election and global pandemic, as well as exploring a number of market trends.
Approaching his third decade in the industry, Cardenas has been at the coalface of new build and brokerage activity in the US having completed 50-plus new build projects and a number of second-hand transactions. As well as working closely with owners on a variety of projects, Cardenas is also a candid and respected market commentator.
“Our clients are very sophisticated people, they run businesses and have created wealth to the extent that they can afford superyachts,” starts Cardenas. “When considering the election, they are looking at the states on a global level. As well as looking at how a given candidate will affect taxes, job creation and growth; they are also thinking about how the government will handle the COVID-19 pandemic. Will there be lockdowns again? How will this affect business? The pandemic is a huge concern for our clients and the election is no longer just about the ideology of both political parties.
“The overall thinking from our clients right now is, ‘am I still going to have cash flow, am I still going to be able to do what I want to do and am I going to be able to grow?’ Sometimes when there is uncertainty and volatility in the market, clients don’t necessarily get nervous about it, they actually see an opportunity to grow either by acquisitions or investments.”
Cardenas’ assertion that the pandemic represents an opportunity for the UHNW contingent is supported by the wealth research published recently by a number of respected institutions. However, Cardenas also suggests that volatility, even when couched in terms of opportunity, is not necessarily positive for the new build market.
“When our clients' attention goes towards growing their net worth, as opposed to playing with it, it is not a good thing for us. People react well in this business when everything else is boring. If there isn’t a lot going on in terms of opportunities to gain or lose, then our clients will occupy themselves with new projects, such as building a superyacht or private jet,” continues Cardenas. “Right now, because of the election and the pandemic, there is a great deal of uncertainty, which is not good for new builds because they are time-consuming projects.”
Conversely, however, Cardenas outlines that the desire to engage with the superyacht market has not necessarily been diminished; rather potential new build activity has been transposed into the brokerage market, which, by many accounts, is going through somewhat of a purple patch.
“The brokerage market has been extremely hot in the US. I can’t speak for Europe, because for obvious reasons we haven’t been able to travel. But, we are seeing a number of boats being transported to the US from Europe for sales,” explains Cardenas. “In fact, the US market has been depleted of brokerage opportunities to some extent because the boats that people are looking to buy, the best boats, the best deals and the best-kept secrets, have been going like crazy. We’ve had one of the busiest years we have ever had.”
Elsewhere within the interview Cardenas and Mathieson discuss a variety of new build and buyer trends, the importance of market motion of job creation and retention, the COVID environment and more. To watch the full interview, click here.
Barin Cardenas, founder and CEO of Yacht Creators
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