Gains in wholesale used vehicle prices slow down

Increases in wholesale used vehicle prices slowed again in the past week, signaling a possible change in the market.

The overall market increased by 0.20 percent, according to BlackBook. That followed a gain of 0.27 percent the previous week. The month of April started with gains of 0.43 and 0.51 percent.

“The market continued to increase last week, but as has been the trend for the last few weeks, the rate of gains is slowing,” BlackBook stated in its weekly insight. “We are now seeing more signs of softening in the market with seven of the 22 segments we track reporting declines last week, the highest number of segments reporting declines since mid-February.”

Used car prices were up 0.27 percent or $49. Sports cars led the gains with an increase of 0.81 percent or $194. Full-size cars were up 0.67 percent or $138.

Near luxury cars, prestige luxury cars and premium sports cars all saw drops in prices.

Truck and SUV prices were up 0.17 percent or $41. Minivans were up 0.47 percent or $93. Small pickups and full-size pickups had increases of 0.43 percent ($108) and 0.39 percent ($118).

Sub-compact crossover SUVS, compact luxury crossover SUVs, compact vans and full-size vans had price drops.

The sales rate at auction remained at 50 percent for a second straight week.

“Auction conversion rates remained stable for the second week in a row, and with prices showing a few more negative movements, it is leaving us wondering if prices will continue in that direction,” BlackBook said. “The general mood from those we’ve talked to continues to be that we will have a few more months of strength, but what we have been observing in a variety of different auctions leads us to believe that this may not be the case. In addition to softening in some values at the auction, we are also seeing a drop in inventory at open and closed OEM sales.”

Retail prices for vehicles 2- to 6-years old stayed at 1.02 on the used retail price index, the high point for the year. The retail inventory increased slightly to 0.95 on the index. Vehicles are taking still taking 53 days to turn.

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