Broker Opinion: Richard Lambert

This year has seen a strong resurgence for the Brokerage sales market, as accurately, if not modestly, predicted by Jonathan Beckett in Burgess 360 at the end of 2013. The first half of 2014 saw Burgess complete sales on 23 significant superyachts, including one particularly strong week with a sale every day.

The increased market activity has led to a reduced number of quality brokerage yachts for sale on a global scale, both in the top end of the market as well as the 30-45m range. A key aspect shared by those that have sold is a correctly pitched asking price in conjunction with a bespoke marketing campaign.

That being said, although the global brokerage fleet has had an overall depletion, Burgess has continued to sign a number of interesting new central agency listings for brokerage yachts, ranging between 35m and 77m. We will be displaying a record-breaking $1 billion-worth of superyachts at the upcoming autumn boat shows, representing the largest number of vessels for a brokerage company at next week’s Monaco Yacht Show.

Going hand in hand with the uplift in brokerage sales is an increased appetite for new construction, and our Burgess Technical Services team has been appointed for a record number of new build projects in recent months. Deliveries for 45m-plus fully-custom projects are extending to 2019 and semi-custom projects looking to deliver into 2016. For clients looking to take ownership of a brand new superyacht without the waiting time involved in starting from scratch, however, there is good news. There are still some exciting opportunities to take on new build projects involving shorter lead times and with plenty of scope for owner input, but these are becoming scarcer. And be sure not to forget to plan where you will be berthing your yacht on delivery; with many convenient and plush destination marinas popping up across Italy and Spain, Burgess represents a range of attractive berthing opportunities that you’ll be happy to visit for trips as well as to rent out when the yacht is cruising.

The semi-custom new build market has seen some important changes in recent years, with some key new shipyards entering into this arena. Coupled with the focus on shorter delivery times, there has also been a key development in build techniques such as resin infusion for hulls of increasingly large sizes. These deliver a lighter-weight and stronger construction which, in turn, drives increased volume and fuel efficiency. With a greater number of shipyards now building composite semi-custom yachts, the market dynamics have altered, leading to innovative advances in design and construction techniques.

If you are looking to charter until the right superyacht comes along, the integration of the OceanStyle brand into our core business means that our Burgess charter fleet is now as strong as ever. Whether you are looking to take a trip with the independence and space of a 70m-plus yacht or the variety of island hopping on a super-fast vessel, Burgess has a selection of attractive charter options for your needs.

Regarding our pricing predictions for the upcoming months, despite some strong recent sales figures, it would be dangerous to make any gung-ho forecasts for upswings in yacht sales and pricing. There remain a number of uncertainties and geopolitical instabilities that could threaten to destabilise the road to recovery. The key for any owner looking to put their superyacht on the brokerage market is to price it sensibly, rather than having to make reductions at a later stage.

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