rticle From：SGB Media
The boating market began to normalize in 2022 as buyer interest shifted and the number of boats sold globally decreased for the first time since the pandemic-driven boom.
Boats Group, an online boating marketplace, reported the findings from its annual market report, analyzing 2022 while comparing the pandemic-induced surge and trends in consumer interest.
The change towards more typical market conditions emerged in 2022 as the total number of boats sold dipped by just 4.3 percent compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, according to the report. By comparison, Boats Group said that boats sold in 2020 and 2021 were down 15.9 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively, compared to 2019.
Additional factors of increased boat value, lack of inventory and softening consumer demand also impacted market fluctuation.
In December, a shift in the total volume of U.S.-based Google searches by online boat shoppers reportedly fell from the comparable period in 2019, illustrating the cooling of buyer demand.
“For the first time in three years, consumer demand has softened; however, our marketplaces’ share of voice is the highest it’s ever been, which is a very positive sign for the health of the industry,” said Courtney Chalmers, vice president of marketing at Boats Group. “The effects of the demand and supply chain disruption during the pandemic are also very apparent. Boats continue to move off the market faster, and sales remain higher than before the surge.”
Boats Group said the overall value of boats dropped below 2021 by roughly 16 percent, inching closer to values seen in 2020; however, 2022 total values remained higher than before the pandemic boating boom, totaling more than $11 billion in sales. The global average boat price was 29.5 percent higher than in 2019 and was comparable to 2021, accordign to the report.
According to Trident Funding, a marine lending company, boat loan applications were up by 80 percent in 2022 compared to 2021. Trident reported loan amounts were smaller than in 2021, primarily driven by rising interest rates.
“Borrowers are feeling the elevated boat prices and rate increases, yet are looking to continue their adventures on the water, just in a more affordable way,” said Mark Breeden, president of Trident Funding. “The substantial rise of applicants last year shows boaters’ dedication to their lifestyle and is encouraging for the industry as we transition from the boating boom during the pandemic. As the supply chain and inventory levels normalize, we look for the market to provide increased ways for consumers to enjoy their time on the water.”
Inventory levels also made a significant comeback in 2022, as listings were just 4.5 percent below 2019, driven by new boats coming on the market. The growth is another signal that the boating industry is nearing more balanced supply and demand conditions.
To read the full report, go here.