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Data Point

New-Vehicle Affordability Worsens Again in November


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Following similar dynamics each month this fall including another new record on the average price paid and another low for incentives, new-vehicle affordability declined again in November. November’s affordability decline was caused by all vehicle market factors moving against affordability while median income again declined, albeit slightly. The number of median weeks of income needed to purchase the average new vehicle in November increased to 43.1 weeks from an upwardly revised 42.6 weeks in October.

Cox Automotive/Moody’s Analytics Vehicle Affordability Index

November 2021

Every factor moved against affordability in November. The price paid moved higher to a new record average price of $46,329. Incentives declined to at least a 20-year low. Average rates also moved higher to the highest level since June. Estimated median income in November declined 0.1%. With record-high prices, low incentives, and a higher interest rate, the estimated typical monthly payment increased to a new record high at $687, which was up 20.7% year over year.

With the decline in November, new-vehicle affordability was much worse than a year ago when prices were lower and incentives were much higher. Affordability in November was worse than at any month covered by the index data, which dates to January 2012.

Click here for the full methodology for the Cox Automotive/Moody’s Analytics Vehicle Affordability Index.

The next update of the Cox Automotive/Moody’s Analytics Vehicle Affordability Index will be published on Jan. 17, 2022.

The Cox Automotive/Moody’s Analytics Vehicle Affordability Index (VAI) is updated monthly using the latest data from government and industry sources, including key pricing data from Kelley Blue Book, a Cox Automotive company. This important industry measure will be released at mid-month to indicate if the prices paid for new vehicles are moving out of consumers’ financial reach or becoming more affordable over time.

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