How to Approach Today’s Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales Market

With the ongoing stabilizing in the pre-owned aircraft sales marketplace, what can buyers and sellers of business jets do to adjust their approach and capitalize? Matt Harris caught up with Steven Bloom to learn his perspectives...

Matt Harris  |  04th July 2024
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    Matt Harris
    Matt Harris

    Matt Harris is Commissioning Editor for AvBuyer. He is an experienced General and Business Aviation...

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    How to read todays pre-owned jet market

    The assessment from just about any source you turn to about today’s pre-owned aircraft sales market is one of better balance and solidity. The International Aircraft Dealers Association spoke of ‘stability’ at the recent EBACE convention held in Geneva, while JETNET iQ coined this moment in time as a ‘rebalancing’ of the market.

    And as the market finds a more sustainable balance for buyers and sellers, both sides of the transaction table can find favorable conditions to achieving their goals, providing they are moving with the market...

    Specializing in Dassault Falcon jets, Bombardier business jets and Gulfstream models, Bloom Business Jets has been in the aircraft sales trade for more than 30 years. According to Steven Bloom (left), the company’s President and CEO, a successful year for his brokerage firm would be 24-plus transactions.

    “We’re on track to surpass the 2023 sales year,” he says, adding that the resiliency of the market is surprising him at this time. “The offers that are being made by aircraft buyers are lower than before, but we continue to see steady activity.”

    Making Your Jet Stand-Out in Today’s Market

    Speaking on the markets his company specializes in, it should come as little surprise when Bloom highlights that the sales pace has slowed among some of the aircraft models, “particularly those with higher times, or those that are not as well equipped as others,” he elaborates.

    Nevertheless, sales are still hot for lower time pre-owned planes that come equipped with all the latest technologies.

    “In today’s market, we’re seeing that new paint and interior are a big plus – especially when we see inventory levels building like they gradually have been. It can really make a plane stand out from the crowd.

    “Buyers are more discerning than they were a couple of years back when inventory was scarce,” he adds. “They bring higher expectations to the table, and jets that have been well equipped and cared for are obviously going to catch their eye.”

    He offers the example that an eight-seat Falcon 2000EX EASy requiring interior and paint refreshes will take much longer to sell than one equipped with 10 seats offering refurbished interior and paint.

    “This is not necessary unusual in the market,” he notes, “but it’s just a reflection that growing inventory levels are inevitably meaning better planes are coming available than a couple of years back when inventory was scarce.

    “In those times the nicer, better-equipped planes never made it to market, selling off-market instead. So, there’s a call to action for any would-be sellers today: to invest the time and resources to make your jet competitive when you put it up for sale.”

    Yet, more inventory tends to drive offer prices a little lower, too. Therefore, sellers are well advised not to expect a direct monetary return on their investment when sprucing their jets up to sell. According to Bloom, the return will come in the form of a quicker sale, since days on the market are also creeping up for the average pre-owned business jet today.

    “Buyers seem to be slower to pull the trigger,” he notes. “More selection gives the buyer better choices, but also slows down the decision time to make the transaction,” which Bloom admits can be frustrating after experiencing the quick-fire pace of the market in 2021/22.

    Who Does Today’s Pre-Owned Market Favor the Most?

    Of all the buyers entering today’s pre-owned marketplace, Bloom reckons the market conditions favor those shopping for Large Cabin Jets. “These buyers are going to find better deals these days, but larger discounts to attract buyers to the market,” he shares.

    For sellers looking to maximize the attractiveness of their jet, in addition to refurbishing the bright work inside and out, as he previously highlighted, Bloom advises that all logbooks are audited in advance.

    “Sellers cannot afford to come to market unprepared. Gone are the days buyers skipped due diligence in their clamour to bag an aircraft – any aircraft – at the height of the seller’s market,” he says.

    “That means sellers should make sure the logbooks and all the aircraft’s records are well organized. The records should be in marked bins with a complete inventory that’s easily reviewed, stretching right back to the aircraft’s manufacture.

    “Logbooks tell the story of the aircraft’s past care and custody – from the day it came out of the factory brand-new, right into the present day. An aircraft’s logs can make or break a sale,” he cautions. “They need to be extremely well organized.”

    Where is the Used Aircraft Sales Market Heading?

    Though the US faces a Presidential election later this year, and the world generally faces economic and political challenges, Bloom is expecting the market to remain buoyant over the next twelve months.

    “The market will be much stronger as we exit the election year, in my opinion,” he predicts. “I see the pre-owned market following the economic condition of the country. So, if the US economy is on a new growth trajectory, I would forecast strong sales of both new and pre-owned planes for some time ahead.”

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