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Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index at lowest reading since July

Slow Start, but 2018 Bodes Well for Used-Car Prices & Sales

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Article Highlights

  1. January was the third straight month that wholesale prices declined sequentially, putting the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index at its lowest reading since July.
  2. What’s more, the Cox Automotive report accompanying that index said retail used-car sales were off 2 percent from January 2017.
  3. “Depreciation accelerated for most vehicles to catch up with the abnormal pricing performance in September; but now that prices are more in line with the general trend prior to the hurricanes, expect the rate to slow down to normal,” Cox Automotive analysts wrote in the report.

On paper, it might not seem like the most auspicious of starts to 2018 for the used-car market.

January was the third straight month that wholesale prices declined sequentially, putting the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index at its lowest reading since July.

What’s more, the Cox Automotive report accompanying that index said retail used-car sales were off 2 percent from January 2017.

But there’s more than meets the eye.

Wholesale prices were actually up from a year ago, and values are transforming to the more normalized level that existed before the hurricanes in September. And retail sales should increase yet again.

“Depreciation accelerated for most vehicles to catch up with the abnormal pricing performance in September; but now that prices are more in line with the general trend prior to the hurricanes, expect the rate to slow down to normal,” Cox Automotive analysts wrote in the report.

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