January’s data can be viewed as glass half full or glass half empty. On the glass half full side, used inventory levels are up 6% compared to last year. However, on the glass half empty side, our index decreased 3.8% from December. While the increase from last year is a positive, the drawdown in inventory from last month could be hinting at a further decrease in the coming months as sales seasonally increase.
One trend that continued in January was the sustained increase in average listing prices. Average prices are now approaching the £20k line with prices up 0.6% from December but are up almost 39% from this time last year. Another data point that continued increasing month-over-month was days-on-market, which rose 5.3% from December. However, this remains well below its year-over-year level, which is down 25.2%. This gap highlights that even with inventory levels improving at a topline level, vehicles are still moving at a much faster rate underneath the surface and at significantly higher prices.
Based on January data, the outlook for 2022 will depend on how the data is interpreted and if it trends as either positive or negative. Improving inventory levels and higher churn are great to see, while historically high prices could be viewed in a negative light. Either way, the year will likely be one of a journey to a ‘new normal’ that will remain anything but straight.
To learn more about the trends impacting vehicle inventory, download the January 2022 edition of the CarGurus UK Vehicle Availability Index & Insights.