December provided one final swerve as new sales declined month-over-month since November, while new inventory levels increased. The CarGurus New Vehicle Availability Index increased 10% from November levels, providing a unique situation where new sales declined – however, it wasn’t exclusively tied to declining inventory levels. The used vehicle index also increased, though at a slower rate of 2.6%. While inventory levels improved in December, they remain far off on a year-over-year basis, with new down nearly 47% and used down 20%.
The improving inventory levels didn’t seem to impact prices as the averaging listing price for new increased 1.5% to Can$59.5k and is now up 28% year-over-year. Used prices also increased in December, with the average listing price rising 4.1% to Can$33.3k from November, and is now up 41.4% year-over-year.
The improved inventory levels did have an expected impact on days-on-market, with the new reading coming in at around 66 days, an increase of 2.2% from November, but down nearly 30% from last year. Used days-on-market similarly rose 5.4% to just under 75 days and is down 16.5% from the same time last year.
The outlook for 2022 remains dependent on vehicle production; a return to near-normal levels could see a rebalancing towards market equilibrium. However, as has been the constant since early 2020, we should expect the unexpected as the ongoing Omicron surge could potentially delay a full recovery even further.