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After increasing by 0.8% on a prior month basis in February, wholesale prices for used vehicles up to eight years in age grew by 1.9% through the first half of March. This month’s preliminary results are right in line directionally with NADA’s forecast, although slightly higher than originally anticipated. The month’s sharp increase can be attributed toward pent-up demand stemming from February’s tepid weather-afflicted performance.

At the segment level, the biggest March price increases have been recorded in the compact and mid-size utility segments which have outperformed the market average by 0.6% and 1.1%, respectively. Another segment showing strength was mid-size cars, whose prices have grown by 2.4%, or 0.5% higher than the market average. As far as other mainstream segments are concerned, March’s preliminary results were also positive with price growth falling within a range of 1.1% to 1.9%.

On the luxury side of the market, things weren’t quite as good. While things were still predominantly positive across the luxury board, luxury mid-size car prices fell by 1.9%. However, luxury large car and luxury mid-size utility prices increased by around 1%, followed by the luxury compact car and luxury compact utility segment’s smaller gains of 0.5%, apiece.

Improving weather this March has brought with it a concentrated burst of pent-up demand, which should continue through the final weeks of the month. Through the end of the month NADA expects prices to remain strong before beginning their 0.5% to 1% decline in April.