Hurricane impact on wholesale prices dissipates in December

CARMEL, Ind. - 

While there likely are households and businesses still trying to recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, KAR Auction Services chief economist Tom Kontos thinks the impact from those storms is no longer strongly influencing wholesale vehicle prices.

According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of wholesale used-vehicle prices by vehicle model class, wholesale used-vehicle prices in December averaged $10,804, which represented a 0.1 percent uptick compared to November and a 1.5-percent rise relative to December 2016.

However, Kontos pointed out that car prices were down both month-over-month and year-over-year, while the opposite was true for truck prices.

“With the impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma having lasted primarily from late-August through mid-November, wholesale prices in December returned to patterns seen prior to those events,” Kontos said in his latest edition of the Kontos Kommentary.

“Namely, prices for cars continue to soften while prices for trucks were up,” he continued.

As he does now on a regular basis, Kontos took a closer look at 3-year old vehicles with 36,000 to 45,000 miles. For midsize cars, prices averaged $10,438 in December, marking a $299 softening year-over-year. For midsize SUV/CUVs, prices averaged $17,512 in December, edging $51 above the year-ago reading.

“Although midsize SUV/CUV prices were up in December in this analysis, the increase was modest compared to September through November,” Kontos said about those figures that came when holding constant for sale type, model-year age, mileage and model class segment.

“This may be indicative of a cessation in truck demand growth in Texas after Hurricane Harvey,” he added.

Looking back at the overall December data, Kontos mentioned average wholesale prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers dropped 3.3 percent month-over-month but climbed 8.3 percent year-over-year. 

He indicated prices for fleet/lease consignors were down 1.9 percent sequentially but up 0.4 percent annually. 

Finally, Kontos said average prices for dealer consignors were down 0.1 percent versus November and up 3.6 percent relative to December 2016.

Kontos closed his regular update by mentioning some data from the National Automobile Dealers Association that indicated December retail used-vehicle sales by franchised and independent dealers were down a combined 3.4 percent year-over-year, after being down in October and November, as well.  

ADESA Wholesale Used-Vehicle Price Trends

   Average  Price  ($/Unit)  Latest  Month Versus
   December 2017  November 2017  December 2016  Prior Month  Prior Year
 Total All Vehicles  $10,804  $10,797  $10,642  0.1%  1.5%
 Total Cars  $8,502  $8,546  $8,576  -0.5%  -0.9%
 Compact Car  $6,452  $6,565  $6,413  -1.7%  0.6%
 Midsize Car  $7,651  $7,794  $7,773  -1.8%  -1.6%
 Full-size Car  $7,551  $7,190  $7,971  5.0%  -5.3%
 Luxury Car  $12,959  $13,223  $13,049  -2.0%  -0.7%
 Sporty Car  $13,846  $13,739  $12,748  0.8%  8.6%
 Total Trucks  $12,966  $12,950  $12,645  0.1%  2.5%
 Minivan  $8,891  $8,554  $8,897  3.9%  -0.1%
 Full-size Van  $12,619  $12,940  $11,317  -2.5%  11.5%
 Compact SUV/CUV  $10,508  $10,599  $10,481  -0.9%  0.3%
 Midsize SUV/CUV  $11,148  $11,133  $11,336  0.1%  -1.7%
 Full-size SUV/CUV  $14,856  $14,208  $14,379  4.6%  3.3%
 Luxury SUV/CUV  $18,711  $18,844  $18,141  -0.7%  3.1%
 Compact Pickup  $9,209  $9,102  $8,757  1.2%  5.2%
 Full-size Pickup  $16,189  $16,419  $15,624  -1.4%  3.6%

Source: ADESA Analytical Services.

Today's top headlines