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What Are The Current Market Trends on Selling A Vehicle?

What Are The Current Market Trends on Selling A Vehicle?

Monday, July 08, 2024

Car Buyer USA - Pre-Owned Vehicles

As we enter the second half of 2024, the used vehicle market presents a landscape shaped by a unique blend of supply dynamics, economic factors, and consumer sentiment. The latest trends indicate a rebound in retail sales, but this positive momentum is tempered by several challenges that both buyers and sellers must navigate.

In early July 2024, the used vehicle market saw a surprising uptick in retail sales, surpassing figures from the same period last year for the first time since January. This boost is largely attributed to steadier prices and an improvement in consumer sentiment. According to Cox Automotive, early July retail used vehicle sales were 1 percent ahead of July 2022, totaling more than 1.4 million units. This surge follows a relatively lackluster spring season, indicating a short-term resurgence in consumer demand. One of the most significant factors influencing the market is the dynamics between new and used vehicle inventories. The drop in leasing activity back in 2021 has resulted in fewer late-model used cars entering the market. This scarcity is expected to drive up prices for these desirable models. On the flip side, an increase in new vehicle inventories is leading to more attractive rebates and financing deals. These incentives might draw consumers away from the used market, potentially applying downward pressure on used vehicle prices.

Wholesale prices for used vehicles have been on a downward trend, decreasing by 11.1% from July 2022. This decline suggests that retail prices may also decrease in the coming months as the effects of lower wholesale prices filter through to the retail market. As of now, retail prices have remained relatively stable, averaging around $27,000 since May, but are expected to soften slightly in the second half of the year. Interest rates continue to play a crucial role in shaping the used vehicle market. The Federal Reserve’s stance on interest rates, influenced by ongoing inflation concerns, means that loan rates for new and used vehicles will remain higher than in previous years. Higher interest rates can dampen consumer interest in purchasing vehicles, although for many, acquiring a vehicle remains a necessity rather than a discretionary purchase. For those considering purchasing a used vehicle, the current market conditions offer a mix of opportunities and challenges. Potential buyers should conduct thorough research to find the best deals and remain flexible regarding models and manufacturers. Despite fluctuating prices, there is still potential for good trade-in values, especially for popular SUVs and pickup trucks.

The used vehicle market in July 2024 is characterized by a complex interplay of inventory dynamics, wholesale price trends, and economic conditions. While recent sales have shown a positive trend, the market's future will be influenced by the balance between new and used vehicle inventories and broader economic factors, particularly interest rates. Consumers and dealers alike must stay informed and adaptable to navigate this evolving market effectively. As we move forward, the ability to respond to these fluctuating conditions will be key to making the most of the opportunities that arise in the used vehicle market.

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