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2013 used-car prices peaked in March?

April 26, 2013
Wholesale prices for used cars and light trucks reached their annual peak in March, the NADA Used Guide reports in its April edition of Guidelines.
Prices for used vehicles up to 8 years old increased by 1.2 percent in March, substantially less than the 3 percent increase recorded for March 2012.
“Wholesale prices for used vehicles increased in February and March, but the price growth has been mild compared to what is typically seen for the period,” said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst at the National Automobile Dealers Association.
The first quarter’s slower rate of growth was caused by a combination of factors, which included higher payroll taxes, delayed tax refunds and the spike in demand from Hurricane Sandy at the end of 2012.
Despite March’s weaker than normal performance, the first quarter 2013 ended with used-vehicle prices 0.9 percent higher compared to the same three months a year ago.
Compact car prices increased 2.2 percent in March, which was the highest of any segment for the month. Prices for mid-size cars and vans increased by 1.3 percent.
“Gasoline prices, which increased nearly 50 cents from December to late February, likely led to increased used-vehicle prices in the compact car segment compared to other segments,” Banks said.
“For large pickup trucks, the improved housing market has resulted in used prices growing by 1 percent despite the increasing supply of late-model used pickups,” he said.
For April, the NADA predicts used-vehicle prices will fall by 2 percent to 2.5 percent, with depreciation accelerating towards the end of the month and continuing through May.