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2021: Yacht Market Review

21 Jan 2022

After overcoming the challenges presented by 2020, 2021 was an extraordinary year for Ocean Independence and the wider yachting industry. The popularity of luxury yachting grew exponentially as the opportunity to avoid crowds whilst enjoying time with family and friends in a safe environment became the primary goal. Market statistics from the past year reflect this notable upturn across the board.

An exceptional year for yacht sales, 2021 proved quite unique. With the combination of fewer new listings and an increased client demand, a buoyant market was created for owners offering well-presented, accurately priced yachts. Sale times decreased with negotiations minimised, as it became apparent that buyers had to make swift and pragmatic decisions to secure their chosen yacht in the face of fierce competition. Global brokerage yacht sales over 24m in length experienced an impressive 72% increase during 2021, while new listings only saw a 16% increase when compared to 2020 figures. Additionally, recorded sales prices grew much closer to the original asking price for yachts, with 33% fewer price reductions being announced during the year as a whole. While 2020 was a strong year for Ocean Independence yacht sales, 2021 saw a further 30% increase on these figures, resulting in a combined length of 1,222 metres and 11,267 GT being sold by the company during the course of 2021.

The demand for new build superyachts across all categories and sizes has proved to be incredibly strong, but yachts in the sub-45m range – the heart of the semi-custom market – have become particularly sought-after. Globally, the new yacht order book for 2022 currently shows that some 1,024 projects are either in build or on order, which is a substantial rise of 25% in this sector. With a shortage in good brokerage inventory and shipyard commitments full, a re-run of 2021 may not be possible – however, the year ahead still looks very positive as interest in yacht ownership remains at an all-time high. 

After travel restrictions and Covid-19 caution presented unprecedented challenges for the yacht charter market in 2020, the industry saw a great recovery in 2021. Ocean Independence noted an increase in charter income by an incredible 126% when compared to 2020, with the average charter transaction value increasing by an impressive 40%. This was reflected in the absence of quality yachts available for charter towards the end of the 2021 season, with full booking calendars leaving some clients disappointed. 

A further surge in yacht charter demand is predicted for summer 2022, with easing travel restrictions, increased vaccination capacity and dissipating concerns around travel spurring a rush on yacht charter bookings. This can be seen already, with an upturn in early reservation to ensure a yachting getaway is firmly in the calendar, and brokers advising clients to book early to secure their preferred yacht. 

As restrictions lift, getting out on the water has become a top priority, and the future of yachting remains positive. In line with the exceptional growth in the market, Ocean Independence are starting the year with a focus on growing our teams and services, including new office in Hamburg and new team members in Germany, Palma and Ft Lauderdale. 

For more information on selling, purchasing or chartering your next yacht, please contact us or speak to your Ocean Independence broker.


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