Lane watch: Nearly new cars fetching higher prices

The appeal of nearly new models likely has been heightened since the average transaction price for a new vehicle in January came in at $49,388, which was $2,768 higher year-over-year according to data from Kelley Blue Book.

Well, Black Book noticed it’s also going to cost dealers more in the wholesale world to get 0-to-2-year-old cars since their values rose 0.41% last week. Analysts said that is the largest increase for this segment of vehicles since November 2021.

Overall, wholesale prices moved up by 0.14% during the span that closed on Saturday. That’s according to Black Book’s newest installment of Market Insights released on Tuesday.

On a volume-weighted basis, Black Book said overall car segment values increased 0.19%, with six of the nine car segments rising last week.

Analysts determined prices for sporty cars and full-size cars posted the largest increases last week, moving up by 0.57% and 0.52%, respectively. In fact, Black Book this was the fifth consecutive week of increases for the sporty car segment, as those summertime rides have had an average weekly increase of 0.31%.

Black Book added that values for prestige luxury cars sustained the largest decline, dropping by 0.41%. However, analysts pointed out this is the smallest decline for this segment since last July.

Turning over to trucks, Black Book’s volume-weighted data showed overall truck segment values increased 0.11% last week, with seven of the 13 truck segments moving higher.

Analysts noticed compact crossovers generated the largest value increase for a second consecutive week, rising by 0.42%. That’s coming off of the prior week’s increase of 0.34%.

Moving in the opposite value direction in Black Book truck charts were sub-compact luxury crossovers (down 0.37%) and compact vans (down 0.36%).

Black Book wrapped up its latest update by noting the estimated average weekly sales rate remained at 49% last week.

“Now in week three of February, we continue to see the wholesale market improving,” analysts said. “Prices on the 1500 series trucks are starting to increase, along with full-size SUVs. This week the 2022-2023 full-size SUVs were among some of the best-selling vehicles we saw crossing the auction block.

“Even with higher interest rates and fuel prices elevated, wholesale prices are on the rise. Additionally, auction inventory is showing some signs of improvement, having more vehicles available to purchase in the wholesale channel,” analysts went on to say.

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