April continued the trend of moving towards a ‘new normal’ – however, the path remains fragmented, and potential disruptions linger. Inventory levels improved for both new and used vehicles in April – but new figures remain down over 37% compared to last year, while used levels have rebounded substantially over the past several months and are now effectively flat with last year. One potential reason for the used turnaround is anecdotal commentary around fewer Canadian vehicles heading across the US border as wholesale prices have started to decline in the states.
Improving inventory levels didn’t directly translate to better prices for consumers, as both new and used vehicles saw an increase in average listing prices month-over-month. With prices continuing to rise, consumers are looking for more cost-effective vehicles which can lead to higher average listing price figures as those vehicles sit for longer. Year-over-year figures remain elevated with new levels up over 38% and used numbers up nearly 52%.
Highlighting this shift between lower- and higher-priced vehicles is days-on-market readings. Both levels are down substantially compared to last year, but new days-on-market rose 3.6% in March, and used levels were down just 1%. Vehicles priced at or above average listing price are likely to sit for longer, while vehicles priced below average listing price are more likely to move quickly.
For more insights, download the April edition of the Vehicle Availability Index & Insights Report.