This month, SuperYacht Times is interviewing a range of industry leaders in the brokerage sector to find out their views on the 2018 superyacht market. Today we hear from Juan Andrade, who is a sales and charter broker at SuperYachtsMonaco. SuperYachtsMonaco had a positive 2018, including the sales of the 31.5-metre Negara at the close of 2018, the 28.1-metre Heesen motor yacht Heartbeat of Life in May and the 28.5-metre Papillon in October.
Photo: SuperYachts Monaco
In 2017, 284 30+ metre used yachts were sold. Similarly, in 2018, around 280 (to be confirmed) used yachts were sold. How does your sentiment of the market compare? Do you see that the market is stable or growing?
Generally speaking, the markets for both second hand and new yachts have been growing steadily. The well-established shipyards have full order books and the leading shipyards are constantly coming up with new concepts. My feeling is that in 2017 we saw more activity in the 30 to 50-metre segment whilst in 2018 there was certainly more activity with very large yachts.
Having said all of that, we remain cautious at SuperYachtsMonaco due to the fact that most economic indicators appear to point towards a significant correction in global financial markets. Our company is structured to capitalise on the opportunities which will present themselves when this happens whilst our less agile larger competitors could face serious challenges in coping with it as we saw in 2008. Regardless of climatic changes to come we remain positive because in every crisis there is a new opportunity!
I have noted the changing demographics in terms of the age of buyers. We are seeing increasing numbers of younger people buying yachts. I believe there is a new generation of buyers coming to the market and we will see more yachts sold to these new customers. In regard to nationality, of course, the US market has been very strong and continues to be so. We have also handled increasing activity in the German market. What is your view on the pricing of yachts? Are there fewer reductions in price or are yachts sold closer to their asking prices?
I believe that owners are more realistic and they would rather set a realistic asking price at the outset to achieve the sale of their yachts within a reasonable time frame. If the initial asking price is the correct, the price reduction strategy becomes better controlled and more logical with the expectation that the final selling price will actually be closest to that initial asking price. We always counsel our clients to adopt this approach and we are frustrated by other players in the market who advise very high asking prices as a way to secure central agency business.
The main trend for some time now has been towards the explorer yacht. We are seeing shipyards that have not traditionally been associated with explorer yachts, launching this type of vessel with the most obvious example being Sherpa from Feadship. We also see a trend for shipyards that are not primarily yacht builders to sign contracts for new explorer type yachts. We see the emergence of a new class of yacht which is somewhere between the highest quality of yacht and cruise ships in terms of finish. Some clients reject the idea of paying “northern European superyacht prices” and so seek this more cost-effective alternative in which cruise ship construction techniques are employed and hulls not fared and finished to normal superyacht standard. Photo: Julien Hubert / SuperYacht TimesWhat are your expectations and predictions for the superyacht market in 2019? What are you looking forward to?
I believe the market will show the same growth trend but will be relatively unstable owing to the global economic factors I mentioned previously. Our year has started strongly and there seems to be plenty of optimism currently. It would seem that the season has started early this year and we are all quite busy already so, without a doubt, I think 2019 is going to be an interesting year!
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