Jeff Bezos, who has a net worth of $174.7 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is awaiting delivery of a 417-foot sailing yacht. It is currently in the final stages of construction at a shipyard in the Netherlands. Steven Spielberg has also ordered one after listing his old yacht for $158 million. It went on sale in November for an undisclosed price.
According to the Bloomberg Index, low interest rates and record markets gave the world’s 500 richest people $1 trillion in profits last year. This wealth accumulation and increased demand for recovery alone due to Covid-19 were among the key drivers of the sales increase, according to VesselsValue.
Cheap credit helped, too — making it easier to “buy social distancing,” as one wealth manager put it.
Rising interest rates and turbulent stock markets are unlikely to depress prices, at least in the coming months, due to a lack of inventories. Superyachts take years to build and buyers looking for vessels immediately have exhausted the used market.
“There just aren’t enough yachts to buy,” said Sam Tucker, Head of Superyachts at VesselsValue.
Supply chain disruptions and labor shortages have exacerbated the situation. Shipyards have reached their limits and new ships are taking longer to build. The downside, at least for existing owners, is higher values.
Superyachts are not typically considered investments. Depreciation is high and annual running costs are high, around 10 percent of the boat’s value. But the tight market caused values to rise between 5 and 8 percent in 2021 alone.
“It’s a great time to be a yacht owner,” said Tucker. “Those who bought a year ago could now potentially sell at a profit after enjoying a full season of free superyachting.”