Used Vehicle Value Index
By applying statistical analysis to its database of more than 5 million used vehicle transactions annually, Manheim has developed a measurement of used vehicle prices that is independent of underlying shifts in the characteristics of vehicles being sold. View the index methodology.
The Manheim Index is increasingly recognized by both financial and economic analysts as the premier indicator of pricing trends in the used vehicle market, but should not be considered indicative or predictive of any individual remarketer's results.
Wholesale Prices Show Continued Seasonal Strength
Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 0.3% in the first 15 days of November compared to the month of October. This brought the mid-month Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 162.5, a 16.9% increase from November 2019. It should be noted that the non-seasonally adjusted monthly change was -0.9%, which was closer to what we have been seeing in weekly price trends. The difference between the two metrics is largely a result of the seasonal adjustment, which expects a decline in November. For example, across the full history of the Manheim Index, November has averaged a 0.6% monthly decline in the NSA price. But over the last five years, that decline has been 1.0%.
Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices declined on vehicles over the last two weeks. The Three-Year-Old MMR Index, which represents the largest model year cohort at auction, experienced a 1.2% cumulative decline over the last two weeks. Over the first 15 days of November, MMR Retention, which is the average difference in price relative to current MMR, averaged 99.6%, but four days saw MMR Retention above 100%. The sales conversion rate also appeared to bottom out the first week of November as it increased last week. The key indicators suggest non-adjusted used vehicle values will see below average declines in the days ahead.
On a year-over-year basis, all major market segments saw seasonally adjusted price increases in the first 15 days of November. Luxury cars and pickup trucks outperformed the overall market, while most other major segments underperformed the overall market.
Used supply increasing but stable. Both retail and wholesale supply have increased modestly in recent weeks. Using a rolling seven-day estimate of used retail days’ supply based on vAuto data, we see that used retail supply is slightly above normal levels, at 47 days. Wholesale supply has increased to 25 days for the most recent seven-day period, when normal supply is 23.
Rental risk pricing decreases. The average price for rental risk units sold at auction in the first 15 days of November was up 2.5% year-over-year. Rental risk prices were down 3% compared to October. Average mileage for rental risk units in the first half of November (at 53,600 miles) was up 10% compared to a year ago and down 2% month-over-month.
Coronavirus uncertainty amid mixed conditions. Auto loan performance deteriorated again modestly in October, but performance remains better than last year or a typical year and much better than a typical recession. Loan delinquencies and defaults have been low because of stimulus support and loan accommodations. Equifax estimates that 3.3% of auto loans were under an accommodation as of Nov. 3, which is down from 3.6% on Sept. 29 but is 2.6 percentage points higher than February. That 2.6% represents more than 1.9 million auto loans that likely would have fallen into delinquency and possibly complete default by now. For the full year, an estimated 2.1 million auto loans defaulted in 2019. Through October this year, an estimated 1.35 million loans have defaulted. In October, 1.28% of auto loans were severely delinquent, which was an increase from 1.26%. In September, 4.64% of subprime loans were severely delinquent, which was an increase from 4.54%. Sixty-day delinquencies have increased in each of the last three months. The initial November reading on Consumer Sentiment from the University of Michigan declined 5.9% to 77.0 from 81.8 in October. The Michigan Sentiment Index is down 23.8% from February. Consumers who identified as Republicans had a decline in sentiment of 10.9%, but even Democrat sentiment fell 2.3%. Both the election and rising COVID cases are factors. The underlying gauge of future expectations was the primary source of decline as the view of current economic conditions barely changed. Consumers saw buying conditions for vehicles improve, but the vehicle buying conditions index remains well off its high for the year recorded in June. By contrast, the buying conditions for houses improved but remains higher than it was in the spring and summer.