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Average used values carry on climbing

The magnitude of the 2009 upturn is becoming clear.

Looking at all 83 manufacturers for which values are listed in Black Book, 81 have an average model value that is higher than at the start of the year.

That this should still hold true during a period which nearly always sees a seasonal fall-off in values is testament to the ongoing oddness of the market.

Up to July, average values in Black Book have increased since the start of the year by 14.9%.

Compare this with last year’s reduction over the year of 21.8% and it is clear that there was some significant ground to make up.

Nonetheless, this year’s performance is remarkable and within the headline figure there are more remarkable figures for individual manufacturers.

Take Ford and Vauxhall; Ford saw depreciation last year in line with the market at 21.2%. This year the average values increased by 14.8%.

Vauxhall lost 21.6% last year and has risen in 2009 by 12.5%.

The ever-remarkable performance of Mini is exemplified by the fact that it has actually increased in value by more than the value lost in 2008.

This year’s market is now being described by some as ‘over-heating’ but as long as the balance of supply and demand remains as it is, there are currently no signs of any significant changes.

The most frequent complaint has been the shortage of used car stock.

However, the reality is that there have been more cars in the open market over the last few months than during the same period last year.

What has changed is that buyers are switching from new cars to used and demand has consistently outstripped supply. This has led to stock becoming increasingly expensive.

Despite the clamour for used stock, figures from the SMMT have shown a reduction of more than 4% in retail used vehicle sales.

Therefore what appears on the surface to be a very strong market is in truth being governed by a redistribution of focus between sectors.

The only sector seeing an overall drop in average values in Black Book is the supermini sector.

But superminis are not in the doldrums, they are actually the only sector following a normal seasonal pattern.

There are no signs that the current balance will alter fundamentally.

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