Boat sales cut in half

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It’s high season for boating in Norway, but vendors report that boat sales have declined by 50 percent since 2007, just before the global finance crisis hit. One dealer said that the market for both new and used boats in Norway has ground to a halt.

“We expect to sell around 7,000 to 8,000 boats of all types this year,” Erik Brauner of Norboat, a trade association for companies dealing with the sale and maintenance of pleasure craft, told newspaepr Aftenposten. “In the top year of 2007, we sold nearly 15,000 boats.”

New boat sales are slow, he said, because boat owners can’t find buyers for their old boats. There currently are more than 18,000 boats listed for sale on the multiple listings website finn.no. Only 220 prospective buyers reported their interest in buying a boat.

Brauner said he and his colleagues aren’t sure what’s cut demand in a country with an otherwise robust economy. “Is it the tax levels, the high fuel prices or something else that’s gone too high?” he wondered. “We don’t know what’s happened, and think it’s difficult to say how the market will develop.

Views and News staff