New car inventories are rising and prices are falling, but not by much yet
Relief could be on the way for new car buyers.
Two new reports indicate that recently high prices may soon begin to deflate.
Supplies appear to be catching up with demand, according to data from Cox Automotive, which shows inventories of new cars and trucks hit their highest levels since June 2021, around the start of the current shortage of semiconductor chips.
There were 1.32 million vehicles in inventory in September, representing a 42-day supply, according to Automotive News.
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This figure was approximately 500,000 vehicles more than the September 2021 supply and 90,000 more than August.
However, it was still two million vehicles lower than it was in September 2019, when the auto industry was operating normally.
Pre-pandemic supplies usually ran for 65-75 days.
Kelly Blue Book, owned by Cox Automotive, also found that the average transaction price for a new vehicle fell in September.
The average of $48,240 represented a small drop of 0.3% from a value of $146, but it was the first in five months.
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However, incentives remain low and buyers are still paying above list price, with non-luxury vehicles costing $44,215 or $829 above MSRP.
“Interest rates and average monthly payments rose in September, which means affordability has deteriorated,” said Rebecca Rydzewski, head of economic and industry news research for Cox Automotive.
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“With prices still well above MSRP and automaker incentives still weak, sales in September continued to struggle as consumers weighed their vehicle purchasing options.”