Six months ago, aircraft values were on a solid trajectory for Jupiter. Yes, it’s a planet and it’s way out there. Surprisingly, some sellers and Platinum Card members of ‘Brokerville’ did make landings on this planet during this crazy sellers’ market. However, values are now tracking back down to Mars—just down the street from Mother Earth—hovering in what normal folks would term as a strong sellers’ market. If the actual transactional data remains consistent, we’re going to stay less astronomical with values and asking prices for the near future. In addition, it’s our belief here at JetSwiss that as long as the OEMs have a 2-to-3-year backlog for new aircraft, the preowned values are going to remain relatively firm. We may never see Jupiter again!
Ah yes, Jupiter. That magical planet where the values of used aircraft are 128% of their new retail sticker price. Where people are sitting around for six months (or longer) waiting to receive their asking price. Today on Jupiter people are standing around looking at each other (like deer in headlights) holding on to the greedy dream of a home-run sale.
To further our solar system analogies, we can probably equate the current market to Mars. Things are much different on this planet. We’ve seen a few airplanes come online that were priced correctly and they sold rather quickly (we would term this a normal market price/demand sale). This activity tells us that there are buyers out there for the right priced aircraft. In fact, we just brought a 2013 to the market and it sold almost immediately for approximately 108% of its new sticker price. So, still a very strong price, but certainly not Jupiter pricing! Caution: Do your homework Sellers, don’t get sucked into ‘what you want to hear’ by bad brokers.
Looking into 2023, we sense a lot of curiosity about what is going to transpire in the next quarter and the next year in general. Even with some new aircraft entering the market we’re still at sub 3% of the fleet for sale—which is still, by definition, a sellers’ market. We recently visited with an industry colleague and his perspective was that the vast majority of this year’s buyers already purchased their aircraft in the third quarter. Based on activity levels and the numbers, we agree. Somewhat to this point, we believe there’s a lot of people that are willing and able to buy that are sitting on the sidelines. They think that if they wait, they’re going to get a better deal. Unlike the real estate industry, which is no doubt being affected by interest rates and the economy, the companies and individuals who are doing well still have an appetite for private aviation and usually a business justification to do so. They simply seek a good aircraft at a market fair price, and they will purchase.
Lastly, OEM supply chain issues and factory new delays has placed an interesting dynamic to the end of this year: a new Pilatus that would have been delivered in November or December is now delivering in February or March. Existing owners are not sure they can sell their old aircraft in 2022, because they are replacing it with the new aircraft in 2023! From a tax standpoint this creates a challenge.