Topic: vehicle availability
In November, new inventory levels continued to improve, increasing 1.5% from October and now up nearly 37% compared to last year. Interestingly, used inventory saw a decline of nearly 4% from October, but remains up over 21% compared to last year. Prices declined (slightly) across the board. Average new vehicle listing prices declined 0.1% compared to October, while used vehicles saw a slightly larger decline of nearly 1%. Both new and used prices remain well above their 2021 levels. Rising new inventory levels helped increase days-on-market by 5.5% compared to October. Used inventory increased by 2.5%, due to higher priced vehicles sitting on market for longer and pulling up the overall average.
In October, new inventory continued its path to recovery with levels rising over 3% compared to last month; now up 34% year-over-year. Used inventory also saw an increase of nearly 1% and is now up nearly 24% year-over-year. These trends signal that both new and used consumers are finally seeing more vehicles available to them. Pricing trends continued to diverge further with used prices declining 1% month-over-month while new prices saw a further increase of over 2% month-over-month; both new and used are still seeing significant spreads year-over-year. Days-on-market increased in line with rising inventory levels; the days-on-market for new and used now stand squarely between 2020 and 2021 levels.
In a positive shift, September saw new inventory levels rise with index readings increasing 18.7% compared to last year. Used inventory was effectively flat month-over-month, but is similarly up 21.1% year-over-year. Unfortunately, the improving inventory levels didn’t help bring down prices significantly. New vehicle prices increased 1% and used vehicle prices declined just 0.6% compared to last month while they remain up 27.8% and 29.9% year-over-year, respectively. Interestingly, days-on-market is effectively flat year-over-year with new levels up 3.9% and used up 1.2%.
In a potential green shoot, August saw new vehicle inventory levels increase by 8.3%–a welcome shift after years of depressed inventory. However, used inventory levels declined by 2.5%. The average used listing price for both new and used were effectively flat in August, with new prices declining 0.1% and used prices increasing 0.2%. Days-on-market continued to increase, with new average days-on-market increasing by 0.5% while used vehicle days-on-market increased by 6.6% to nearly 80 days.
July’s data showed a month of subtle surprises. Inventory levels across the board declined in July, though only slightly. New inventory decreased 0.4% from June and remained down 23.1% year-over-year, while used inventory declined just 0.1% and is now up 14.2% year-over-year.
We continued to see mixed signals in May, with ongoing supply chain issues clouding production outlook and demand for vehicles remaining strong – however, not at any price.
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.
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.
February, in some ways, unfolded as anticipated, with improvements in both new and used inventory. However, those gains in inventory didn’t transfer over to other key metrics, highlighting that the road to a new normal will remain a winding one.
The CarGurus New Vehicle Availability Index for Canada increased 2.9% compared to January – even with those gains, though, it remained down 47.4% compared to last year. Used inventory had an even larger month-over-month increase, rising 5%, while the year-over-year figure was still down 12%. And though monthly gains in inventory are a welcome shift in trends, we didn’t see any relief in vehicle pricing in February.
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%.