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Heat, Thunder and Politics: State of the Pre-owned Aircraft Market

Contributed by Carl Janssens, Editor and Chief Appraiser for Aircraft Bluebook-Price Digest

From a weather perspective, the first quarter of 2012 in Kansas City wasn’t so bad. What should have been snow and ice turned out to be an early spring. Second quarter April showers brought some May flowers, but after that it got hot, really hot – Arizona hot. With the heat came … nothing. A severe drought not only ensued, but is still in progress.

The pre-owned aircraft market has been a dustbowl since 2008. Even in a drought, an occasional clap of thunder happens. Not frequently, just here and there. Like thunder, there are similar pockets of activity that continue to bring relief, and more importantly, movement to the pre-owned market. New sales by aircraft manufacturers bring a compounded chain reaction. Market perceptions are related to the amount of activity being experienced in the pre-owned market. Moving the pre-owned inventory entails incredible knowledge and insight on the part of the aircraft dealer/broker. Bluebook help sheets collected from various dealers and brokers, report positive sales activity to others hoping activity will pick up. Just like a summer thunderstorm, it’s a hit and miss scenario.

The presidential and national elections are dragging the economy, including the pre-owned aircraft market. It seems like Wall Street is slumbering in an attempt to wait and see what kind of day will arise on November 6, 2012. At least this election is anticipated to be decisive, and not a repeat of the November 2000 election. What’s good or bad will be decided by the people.

Values have been predictable. A majority of aircraft in the jet category trended downward when compared to summer 2012 Bluebook values. Reasons include better than average inventories, a buyer’s market, and finance. Turboprops were mostly stable with little trending when compared to the previous reporting quarter. Likewise, Aircraft Bluebook – Price Digest is reporting a stable market for the multi, single and helicopter categories with minimal trending.

To learn more about specific markets and to view various charts showing trends in different market segments, visit Aircraft Bluebook’s Fall 2012 Newsletter at marketline.squarespace.com.

Aircraft Bluebook provides an aircraft valuation guide and aircraft appraisal services for the general and business aircraft marketplace. Aircraft Bluebook-Price Digest includes more than 3,000 specific-year models of general aviation aircraft that are thoroughly researched each quarter. For more information, visit the Aircraft Bluebook website at www.aircraftbluebook.com

Carl Janssens joined the Aircraft Bluebook staff in 1999 as Associate Editor and is currently the Editor. He is an accredited Senior Appraiser under the ASA MTS / Aircraft Specialty discipline. Carl holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri, and is an FAA-licensed, instrument-rated pilot.

Posted on: September 20, 2012