Sandy disrupts seasonal shifts in used-vehicle prices
Used-vehicle prices ended 2012 on a high note, buoyed by the impact of Hurricane Sandy last fall, analysts say.
Jonathan Banks, an analyst with NADA Used Car Guide, says used-vehicle prices typically decline about 2.5 percent in December from November, then rebound in January. But the December dip did not happen, because of strong demand post-Sandy.
"Prices in January are supposed to reflect an uptick from December, so what you're probably going to see is a flattening out because that uptick already occurred in December," he says.
Ricky Beggs, managing editor of Black Book, notes that December was a strong month for new-vehicle sales, which generated more trade-ins for dealers and reduced their need to buy used-vehicle inventory in January. He is also hearing from franchised dealers anecdotally that used-vehicle sales have not yet rebounded from the typical lull that follows special year-end programs and incentives.
Still, Beggs is optimistic for 2013.
Average used-vehicle prices in December totaled $9,849, up 3 percent from prices in November but 0.2 percent below December 2011, ADESA data show.
Manheim's Used Vehicle Value Index stood at 124.1 in December, up from 122.6 in November but down from 125.1 in December 2011. The index is adjusted for vehicle mileage, model mix and time of year.
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