There have been very few industries that have benefited from the COVID 19 pandemic with the exception of real estate and marina development. Long-term, state-wide shutdowns and rising tax burdens have created new migration patterns and have impacted lifestyle trends in the leisure market. Both the vacation home sector and the boating industry are experiencing massive growth, and developers are taking notice of the opportunity incorporating marina development into their community plans.
After months of being isolated in their private residences, many retreated from densely populated urban environment to sanctuaries in the mountains, the beaches, and beyond. Boating has emerged as one of the most favorable forms of socially distanced outdoor recreation that individuals can experience with family and close friends. Experts suggest a focus on healthy living in the great outdoors, engaging in activities such as boating are scientifically linked to mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
With fuel pricing at record lows and the lowest interest rates we’ve seen in decades, personal water crafts are seen as an investment in personal wellness. The younger audiences can now justify the expense of a boat or yacht because they have a premium of family time on their hands. It used to be that the children had very active schedules between school and sports while the parents spent most of their time at the office. But the pandemic and quarantines changed all that. With the possibilities of remote work and virtual schools, individuals have made their waterfront vacation homes their primary residences and can enjoy time on the water daily.
Erik Sanderson, Chairman & CEO of Technomarine, a Palm Beach based marina development and construction firm says “Boats are getting bigger and bigger and demanding more and more space. There is a huge shortage of marina slips both wet and dry throughout the Bahamas, Caribbean, and both regions source market, being South Florida. This is making finding space more and more difficult.”
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association “more than 310,000 new powerboats were sold in 2020, levels the industry has not seen since before the Great Recession in 2008.” As social distancing shifts in lifestyle sweep across the country, social distancing measures are assumed to continue well into 2021. As manufacturers look to catch up on backlogged inventory levels from 2020 in addition to keeping up with the continued new buyer interest the Cotton team forecasts this trend will remain at these historic levels through 2021.
During this post Covid world, many vacation homebuyers seek a waterfront destination where real estate and marina opportunities are available. The surge in popularity is causing even more demand for marinas around the globe. Due to supply and demand, and the scarcity of marina slips, the prices of a boat/ yacht slip has exploded over the past decade. With marinas slow to develop and the lack of inventory, marina residences in prime locations may garner three to four times the average price for new construction.
After years of rising yacht and powerboat sales Cotton & Company has recently seen an uptick in marina development focused real estate community clients in the planning stages. Cotton & Company uses its real estate expertise to develop strategic marketing and advertising plans for marine contractors, real estate developers and resorts. For details on how Cotton & Company can provide a cost effective marketing strategy for marina, resort or residential developments visit www.cottonco.com.