Up until Thanksgiving, it looked like we’d be talking about another month of inventory growth in November. However, it appears that sales demand was high over the extended holiday weekend – before Thanksgiving, the new availability index went from up 4.6% compared to October, and after the holiday, it went down 4.9% to close out the month. Used saw a similar, but smaller, late-month shift, with inventory going from up 2.2% to down 1.4% over the holiday weekend.
Prices continued to accelerate in November, however, the rate of growth slowed for new, increasing only 0.6% to $46,806, but is still up over 25% from the same time last year. In a somewhat surprising turn, used vehicle prices continued to gain against an expected seasonal decline in demand. The average used listing price increased 2.2% from October to $30,733, up 34.3% compared to last year.
With more new vehicles coming to market and being snapped up quickly, we’ve seen some significant declines in days-on-market, which dropped 13.5% to just over 45 days in November and is now down 41.8% year-over-year. Used days-on-market rose 0.9% from October, which is to be expected with normal seasonal trends – however, year-over-year days-on-market is down 4.4%, showing that demand may be higher than seasonal trends would predict.
The expectation had been that inventory would continue to improve through November before seeing a contraction due to stronger sales demand in December. However, that narrative looks to have been pulled ahead a week, highlighting that while new vehicle production has been picking up pace, we’re likely to see a recovery in sales volume before we see a significant increase in inventory. We’ll also continue to see this type of inventory turbulence through early- to mid-2022 until sales demand can move from 12-13m SAAR to a level of 16-18m.
To learn more about vehicle inventory trends, download the CarGurus Vehicle Availability Index & Insights November 2021.