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Marina investment sector enjoying wave of popularity.

Americans' renewed love affair with recreational boating is another positive sign for the US economy, and good news for marina owners and investors, according to a new report from CBRE Marina Services experts.

According to the latest statistics from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Statistical Abstract and the Recreational Boating Economic Study, recreational boating continues to be an important factor to the U.S. economy.

The popularity of and demand for boating has increased significantly over the past several years, with current participation in recreational boating at 35.7 percent nationally, well above the 2006 percentage of just 26 percent.

According to Marina Expert Jeff Carson, MAI, MRICS, vice president of CBRE Marina Services, boating participation by region is led by the North Atlantic Region.

"Occupancies and rental rates in the North Atlantic region are among the strongest in United States as evidenced by pre-paid annual contracts, waiting lists and relatively high transient rental rates," Carson said.

"Fishing remains the most popular boating related activity. Therefore, in most regions, those marinas that are located proximate to fishing and the other top five activities enjoy a natural competitive advantage over other area marinas without such proximity."


Swimming, entertaining, cruising and sightseeing round out the top five boating activities, according to Foresight Research/RMRC

From 2005 to 2012, the average number of boating days declined from a national average of 33 days per year down to 20 days per year, according to NMMA data, with this steady decline attributed predominantly to the recession.

However, the most recent data shows that in 2013, the average number of boating days took an upturn for the first time in eight years, and has increased steadily since.

Key economic indicators provide a snapshot of the direction and velocity of American disposable income.

"With the national GDP trending positive since Q2 of 2011, this is a very positive indication of potentially increasing disposable income, and the NMMA data reflects the growing popularity of boating in the United States," Carson said.

"While the popularity of boating is increasing, the average hourly earnings data supports the ability of the average hourly wage earner to afford a boating lifestyle."

The CBRE analysis of national marine market supply and demand shows the effects of the 2007 recession can clearly be seen as the percentage of new boat sales, which went negative from 2005 to 2010.

Demand for boats in the United States returned to positive and growing levels immediately after 2010, with the latest NMMA data showing sales increased by nearly 10% over the previous year.

The total number of boating registrations by state shows that Florida remains at the top of the chart, followed by California, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

"The marine industry has a profound effect on the US economy with over $35 billion in total boating related sales," said Carson.

"All of the data sets indicate that the American family is recovering from the recession of 2007 and that many have re-entered boating after a three to five year hiatus.

"Based on the data and our analysis, it is our opinion that nationally the boating industry will strengthen steadily throughout the foreseeable future."
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Title Annotation:RETAIL
Comment:Marina investment sector enjoying wave of popularity.(RETAIL)
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 18, 2016
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