THE National Association of Motor Auctions has published their used car market commentary for March.
The price of all used cars sold at auction fell by two per cent from £6k to £5,875 between February and March this year. Month-on-month auction sales increased by more than 15 per cent to just under 94,000 units. Sales conversion rates rose from 76 per cent to 77 per cent, and the number of days on site prior to acheiving a sale reduced from 6.8 days to 6.5 days.
Meanwhile, in March 2011, the average price rose by just under one per cent to £5,875, compared to £5,825 in March 2010. In comparison to a year ago, year-on-year sales increased by just over 13 per cent, while sales conversion rates were three percentage points less strong in 2011.
The NAMA report says: ‘The slight reduction in overall prices between February and March was a little disappointing, because at this time of the year, it is more usual for prices to continue in the ascendancy.
‘However, the auctions achieved a higher lever of sales compared to the previous month and the previous year, against a backdrop of a challenging retail market. It is therefore, perhaps of no great surprise that this extra volume was at the cost of slightly lower prices and conversion rates.’
The report also shows that while the price of all used cars sold at auction from £5,700 to £5,950 in quarter one in 2011, conversion rates remained unchanged at 76 per cent. The report concluded: ‘The slight fall in prices this March is a sign that this level of annual improvement may not be sustainable in the coming months.’
The forecast issued from the NAMA was one of caution: ‘NAMA members have reported that trading conditions during the first half of April have become less favourable as used supply continues to increase, and dealers eagerness to buy, is likely to waver. Unless the retail market starts to deliver sales closer to the seasonal norm, there is every chance that prices could come under more pressure this month.’