Some berth prices double in a year

Auckland, the centre of New Zealand’s sizeable yacht and boating industry, is facing a serious shortage of marina berths. According to The New Zealand Herald, local boat owners are struggling to find berths with the next America’s Cup scheduled to be held in the city in 2021.

There is a general scarcity of marina berths across the city’s dozen or so marinas. Long-term leases for berths are particularly in short supply and cost in excess of NZ$400,000 per annum. Monthly short-term leases are little easier in supply terms, and are equally very expensive.

With the America’s Cup lined up for 2021 in Auckland, the situation is only seen as deteriorating further. The Herald quotes Auckland marina broker, Ken Davern, as saying: “The cost of many berths had doubled in the last year, and there is a waiting list of three years to get a vessel into many berths for in-demand city central marinas. The demand is outweighing the supply. Some of the prices in Bayswater have doubled in the last year.”

Davern, who works for MarinaBerths.com, added: “I know there’s quite a few people who have been chucked out of the Viaduct, or Hobson West who have had to find new homes for their boats. Rents have gone up so high they can’t stay there. Because there aren’t any marinas around the only choice for those guys who were renting is to buy. If they get chucked out of the viaduct, there’s basically nowhere to go.”

The news report indicates that Westhaven Marina, Auckland’s largest marina, has a long waiting list and even if they could install 150 extra berths, they would be taken up straight away. Westhaven, with over 1,000 berths, accounts for some 30% of all the berths in Auckland. A recent analysis shows there is a waiting list at the marina of more than 200 for boats over 12m (39ft).

There was recent controversy over the possible sale of marina land in Auckland by Panuku Development, the Auckland City Council’s land management company. This gave rise to the idea of undertaking a review of the whole Auckland marina market. Panuku owns many of the berths in the city’s Viaduct Harbour, where the America’s Cup fleet will be based, as well as a number of other marinas.

Chris Galbraith, chairperson of the New Zealand Marina Operators Association, was quoted by the Herald saying: “The America’s Cup is going to increase the number of visiting yachts to New Zealand by a significant amount. Without doubt there’s going to be an impact on the value of the berths. It’s simply a matter of scarcity of supply and the excess of demand, and the demand driven by the America’s Cup and those that the event attracts.”

With the America’s Cup, it is anticipated that the number of superyachts visiting Auckland will rise from the usual 35 plus to well over 100. It is planned to build several new superyacht berths but there is likely to be a shortage even after that.

The Herald report lists the following as prices for marina berths in the city:

  • Lease until 2026 in Westhaven Marina for 16m boat = $150,000
  • Lease in Viaduct Marina for 35 years - $420,000
  • Lease in Viaduct Marina for 1 year for 30m yacht = $65,520
  • Lease until 2031 in Bayswater Marina for 18m boat = $85,000
  • Lease in Bay of Islands Marina to 2049, for 18m boat = $220,000

Monthly leases:

  • Westhaven Marina: 18m boat = $1534.50
  • Viaduct Marina 30m boat: $6,045 + GST
  • Orakei Marina 18m boat = $1,883.25