2 straight sequential declines for used-car prices, which still remain high

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After going six months without a sequential decline, Black Book’s Used Vehicle Retention Index has now fallen two months in a row.

The company said Wednesday that the index, which is based on Black Book’s published wholesale average value of 2- to 6-year-old vehicles, came in at 187.7 for March, which was down 2.8% from February.

This decline follows a 2% sequential decline the prior month.

That said, the index was up 33% year-over-year and was 64% from March 2020 at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diving deeper into the data, Black Book chief data science officer Alex Yurchenko said in the analysis that full-size vans and compact vans were the only two segments of 2- to 8-year-old vehicles did not decrease in value.

“In pre-COVID years, we would have expected the market to gain strength across many segments by the end of March as dealers were accelerating their tax-season buying,” Yurchenko said. “So far, only a few segments showed increases (e.g. compact car and compact crossover) due to tax season and elevated gas prices.

“The spring tax season is usually strongest for cheaper vehicles, but with wholesale values reporting a record 28.7% increase in 2021, dealers are having to look at even older model years to purchase in the ‘sweet spot’ for their tax season shoppers — we observed overall market price increases for 8-16-year-old vehicles,” he said.

Oddly enough, demand is where the uncertainty is, Yurchenko said, given the plethora of global socio-economic issues at play. Those include interest rate increases, decreases in consumer confidence, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, high gas prices and inflation, he said.

“Even with supply chain issues still putting the brakes on new vehicle sales and with record low incentives, we are expecting a moderate decline in prices during the next several months,” Yurchenko said.

Going back to his point on older vehicles, that phenomena was evident in Black Book’s weekly Market Insights report released Tuesday.

Black Book said the “real headline” of last week was the value increase for vehicles 8 to 16 years old, as analysts determined prices for these units rose 0.19% during the stretch that closed on the day after April Fool’s Day.

 

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Source : AutoFinanceNews