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NICE, FRANCE, April 20, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In his review of 2012, Hein Velema, the CEO of Fraser Yachts remarked, "2012 showed strong sales figures overall". He also highlighted the fact that new construction projects for luxury yachts were still popular. On another positive note the winter charter market was stronger than in previous years, particularly from American clients opting to explore the Caribbean and Mediterranean summer charters beginning to be booked.
Yet despite higher overall sales, the total value of luxury yachts sold was 20% down on 2011 due to the fact that more sales were made for 24 to 30 meter yachts than for yachts over 60 meters. In addition, for the first time since 2009, the selling price had decreased, particularly for the larger super yachts for sale which were sold for 10% to 15% less than in 2010 and 2011.
2012 also featured a change in the yacht brokerage industry with the focus shifting to the American market. This looks set to continue in 2013, due to the current economic climate in the Eurozone and the lack of clarity about the potential impact of French VAT on charters. However, Velema predicts this shift to the American market will lead to larger yacht sales picking up again, once "the market has found a new price balance". He continues to say that the price difference between second hand and new builds does not seem to be deterring buyers from signing with major shipyards which are offering attractive prices to fill up their construction capacity.
Offsetting the decrease in the value of sales, Fraser Yachts experienced double digit growth in luxury yacht charters for the 2012/2013 winter season, the best seen since 2009. "Advanced charter bookings for the summer season are coming in, so the trend looks set to continue", pointed out Velema. This is in stark contrast from what was seen last season with many clients booking their charters last minute in order to secure the best deals.
This appears to be confirmed by figures telling us that luxury yacht owners are hiring crew earlier than usual, in order to ensure the best quality available. The increase in early crew recruitment activity may also be due to the introduction of new, more complex labour regulations in 2013, making luxury yacht owners opt for outsourcing rather than managing crew themselves. Velema concluded that crew recruitment looks to be becoming a much more global market as well, with American yachts recruiting in the Mediterranean and vice versa.
In 2011 new tax laws imposed on luxury yachts moored or cruising within 12 miles of Italy's coastline came into effect. This led to an increase in charters to the Adriatic and in France and fewer to Italy's ports. Now it is France being put under pressure by the EU to impose VAT on charters starting in French waters. Concerns are mounting that this too will negatively affect France's charter industry. However, the situation is far from clear at present with France unlikely to address the issue anytime soon.
What is clear says Velema, is that "the world of superyachts moves fast and you need to have your finger on the pulse in order to spot the opportunities before they pass you by".
Fraser Yachts is a full service yachting company offering superyacht charter and mega yacht charter, luxury yacht sales and construction, as well as yacht management and crew-placement services. For further information regarding any of their luxury yachts for sale or charter please visit the Fraser Yachts website at www.fraseryachts.com.
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