Light Twin Airplanes
See Market Picking Up, Prices Still Flat
By Barron Thomas
June 28, 2011 - Barron Thomas of Barron Thomas
Scottsdale, sees a small but steady uptick in Light Twin
Engine Airplanes and how it is affecting both Buyers and
Sellers. “The light twin engine market seems to have a
glimmer of life, but prices are still flat,” says Barron
"In recent weeks, we've sold a 601P Pressurized Aerostar,
a Pressurized 58P Baron, a Cessna 414, and a B-55 Baron,
and we've got activity on our Cessna 320F, but there is
no uptick in prices yet. Actually, the low prices are
driving this market.”
Buyers that actually need a twin vs. "want" a twin, are
seeing that opportunities exist, and they are acting
upon the good airplanes at attractive prices.
There are some missions where a twin is essential,
people needing full 6 seats plus luggage, and the usual
"night/IFR" flight regimes. These buyers are doing the
math: They can offset higher fuel costs by lower
acquisition costs, and they buy.
enthusiast" buyer is almost non-existent right now. There's no
extra layer of this category of buyers to start raising prices.
In today's circumstances, a rule of thumb is that an older twin
is worth about the value of its engines and avionics.
isn't enough demand, and there are more owners that can downsize
into a high-performance single and still accomplish their
mission, so more twins are entering the market, but they do
indeed find buyers if priced right. Fuel prices are really the
culprit, along with higher maintenance costs of feeding and
maintaining a more complex airplane, especially an older twin.
classic vintage twins, that have been lovingly restored, will
probably hold their value the best, next to the latest versions
of each model. At today's prices, you can buy an older Aero
Commander or Sky King vintage Cessna 310 for about the cost of
its major renovation, and there will always be a market for the
classic twins of the 1950's.
That's hard to
predict, but probably yes, but in time. The economy will have to
stabilize, lending start reasonably flowing again, and the price of gas
will have to subside to a tolerable level, but yes, prices will likely
recover on the good airplanes, but nobody knows when. What should a
A seller should act on what makes the most sense now, given the facts of today. Tomorrow is strictly a prediction. Holding costs for a twin, while the owner waits for the market to "recover" are generally eaten up in the costs of annuals, A.D. notes, taxes, hangar, and just the miscellaneous costs of ownership, so there's rarely a "real" gain by waiting several years because you just spend the gain in price by the ownership overhead during your "waiting period".
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