According to a recent analysis of available inventory data by vAuto conducted by Cox Automotive, the spring jump in sales, which came late and more widespread than expected, led to a steady supply of used cars in April. The average retail price, however, rose again, exceeding the $ 28,000 mark.
At the end of April, the total volume of unsold used cars in dealerships in the United States amounted to 2.52 million units. That’s compared to Cox Automotive’s revised figure of 2.53 million at the end of March. Stocks opened in May almost 12% higher than last year.
At the end of April, the number of days increased to 48 due to a decrease in retail sales compared to the revised number of 42 at the end of March. The supply of days in April was 38% higher than last year. The number of days Cox Automotive is based on daily sales for the last 30-day period, in this case, which ended May 2. Sales for this period decreased by 19% compared to the same period a year ago.
Traditionally, the supply of used cars increased at the beginning of the year until mid-February, the beginning of the tax return season, when consumers often use the inflow of money to buy used cars. Although the level of stocks remained higher than last year, supply began to decline with the approach of spring and sales growth.
But traditional spring sales did not lead to a noticeable increase in retail sales in April. In fact, Cox Automotive estimates that used retail sales fell 13% in April from March and 21% from a year ago.
The tax return season has started slowly this year. Critical mass was finally reached in April, and more money is coming in May. By April 29, 71% of the planned returns for the year had been made, while in 2019, 99% were in the same week. However, the average return increased by 11% compared to 2019 and 5% more than a year ago, to the highest return ever recorded at this stage of the tax return season.
Rising car prices may have scared off some consumers as the financial situation of many households has deteriorated due to inflation and high gas prices. The average category price at the end of April was $ 28,365, exceeding the $ 28,000 mark for the first time since December 2021. The average price on the list was $ 27,475 at the end of March.
“Prices remain high, but prices should begin to slow with the anniversary of the global computer shortage,” said Charlie Chesbra, a senior economist at Cox Automotive, in a press release.
Wholesale prices of used cars, according to the Manheim Index, fell 1% in April, adjusted for seasonality. The decline left the index at 221.2, up 14% from a year ago. The unadjusted price in April increased by 2.9% compared to March, as a result of which the average price without adjustment increased by 16.4% compared to the same period last year.
The bulk of the offer was priced from $ 15,000 to $ 30,000. More than a million of the 2.52 million available vehicles are in this range, according to an analysis of vAuto inventory data conducted by Cox Automotive. The number of days for these categories ranged from 43 to 51. The segments with the lowest cost – up to $ 15,000 – had the lowest number and the lowest – 30 to 36 days. Cars costing more than $ 30,000 had at least 60 days.
Originally posted on Car remarketing