In the Canadian auto market, there’s a clear bifurcation in the market where topline inventory and listing price continue to grow while days-on-market shrink. While consumers still want private mobility, they’ve become much more selective on what they’re willing to pay.
The CarGurus Canadian New Vehicle Availability Index grew 3.3% in March – however, it remains down 43.1% compared to last year and down 64.7% compared to March 2020. Similarly, the CarGurus Canadian Used Vehicle Availability Index increased 5.3% in March and is down 5.7% from last year and down 16% from March 2020. While topline inventory gains are welcome after seeing levels depressed for so long, the bifurcation becomes clear when looking at listing prices.
The average new listing price grew to over Can$62k, which is up 1.8% from February and up 36.9% YoY. Likewise, the average used listing price increased to over Can$37k, which is up 3.8% from February and up 52.6% compared to last year. The topline numbers are growing as the amount of inventory priced at or above the average listing price continues to grow, while inventory below the average listing price is seeing declines or flat levels. This split in demand has led to overall growing supply levels which are pushing average prices higher – however, demand remains high as highlighted by days-on-market.
Even with inventory above the average listing price increasing, the average days-on-market for both new and used saw declines in March. Days-on-market for new dropped 0.9% from February and is down 23.4% from last year, and days-on-market for used decreased 4.9% in March and is down 24.8% year-over-year. These declines in days-on-market highlight that while inventory levels are increasing, there is still high demand in the market for vehicles at the right price.
For more insights, download the March edition of the Vehicle Availability Index & Insights report.