Citation State of the Market Report January 2024

As we start 2024, there are a lot of questions from both buyers and sellers of business jets about where values are headed.  Buyers tend to point to turmoil such as the economy or an election year as reason to expect to find a deal, and sellers tend to look at prices of aircraft sold 6-12 months prior as reason to set a new sales price high. 

For the first time in several years, the preowned business jet markets came closer to being balanced between buyer and seller.  Inventory of preowned aircraft for sale rose steadily over the last two years with several aircraft markets reaching inventory levels of 6-8%.

All Business Jets For Sale by Month

 

For Citation aircraft specifically, asking prices continued to rise during the same two-year period (January 2022-January 2024). 

 

This disparity between buyer and seller expectations contributed to the lowest number of end-of-year/December business jet transactions to occur in at least a decade.  The stepdown in bonus depreciation may have also played a part.  Year over year, transactions completed in 2023 (2877) dropped sharply from 2023 numbers (3600). 

Lastly, the percentage of new versus preowned jet purchases was strong, with approximately 15% of all purchases being new aircraft.

What assumptions can we draw from this data? 

  • New delivery backlogs are strong which helps keep preowned values up. 
  • The possible return of 100% bonus depreciation may trigger additional buyers to come into the market in Q4 2024. 
  • Preowned inventory will need to increase, as will days-on-market figures, for prices to come down. 
  • Buyers will need to recognize that the opportunity for a “steal” is more likely with older, less desirable airframes or those newer aircraft that have a “story”. 
  • Sellers will be able to move to their replacement aircraft more quickly if they set a realistic sales price based on recent comparable sales data.
  • Business aviation is strong and, barring any unforeseen disaster, will continue to provide exceptional value for years to come.

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