Used business aircraft market values have soared above pre-Covid levels. That’s according to the latest resale market update from business aircraft market research firm Amstat (Booth 1845). For the first eight months of 2021, resale retail transactions are up 57 percent over the same period in 2020 and up 47 percent versus the same period in 2019. Concurrently, the inventory of available preowned jets and turboprops has shrunk by 42 percent, and strong demand and shrinking supply are propelling values back to, and in some cases above, their pre-Covid levels.
Heavy business jet short-term median value is up 19 percent in the last 12 months and fully 8 percent above pre-covid levels, with transaction activity increasing by 49 percent in the first eight months of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020 and up 31 percent over the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, heavy jet inventory is down 41 percent year-over-year. Short-term median values of super-midsize jets rose by 25 percent in the last 12 months and are 6 percent higher than in January 2020.
Medium jets are the hottest market, with short-term median values jumping 26 percent in the last 12 months and 5 percent ahead of early 2020 levels. Resale activity in the segment in the first eight months of 2021 exceeded the year-ago period by 71 percent and by 68 percent for the same period in 2019, while supply is down 49 percent for the period year-over-year.
Light jets lag, but are also strong, with short-term median value increasing by 20 percent over the last 12 months but are still 5 percent below their January 2020 mark. Resale activity in the segment escalated by 67 percent during the first eight months of 2021 versus the same period in 2020, and are up 64 percent versus the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, inventory in this segment has fallen 46 percent year-over-year.
Amstat advised, “We believe that values in this segment have not recovered to early 2020 levels because it simply takes more to move the needle for light jets than larger jets. There are more of these aircraft and greater diversity. We will need to continue to see robust transaction activity to drive values higher.”
Finally, turboprops are also making gains, albeit less dramatic ones. The short-term median value of turboprops has risen 12 percent over the last 12 months and is currently 1 percent above the start of their 2020 level. Resale transactions are up 50 percent for the first eight months of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020 and up 31 percent for the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, turboprop inventory has contracted by 36 percent year-over-year.