The Hagerty Market Rating gains slightly from the previous month, where the collector car index registered it’s the lowest reading since May of 2012. That’s a nearly seven-year low for the index, which tracks the current status of the collector car market.
Hagerty says even though the index is positive for the month, most of the components that make up the index are down. The collector car valuation website shows median sale prices at auctions is now at it’s lowest since May of 2016. Activity in the private market is also at it’s lowest level in more than five years.
Another indicator that hit it’s the lowest level since they were first included in the market rating over a decade ago is the number of mainstream and high-end car owners who think values are growing.
A recent report by Bloomberg titled, “The Classic-Car Frenzy Is Over for Skittish Collectors” recently highlighted a few of the concerns in the market. Bloomberg argued that many years of strong performance has over-saturated the market and has made it over-priced. They report that buyers are beginning to become more discriminating with prices and high-end models. Bloomberg cites demand for cars over $1 million have collapsed at the 2019 Monterey Car Week in California recently. The sell-through ratio, which tracks the success of auctions, fell from 67% to 48% for the highest-end cars.
Automotive journalist John Mayhead from Hagerty was quoted in the article saying prices are “settling back to what is a sensible value.” He went on to add, “it isn’t down to the make and model anymore. It’s down to the quality of the car.” Although the Hagerty Market Rating gains slightly this month, there’s plenty of evidence the overall market is slowing throughout this year.
On the bright side, Bloomberg reports the lower end of the market is still doing relatively well. Demand for cars below $100,000 continues to boom. This segment saw the smallest drop in the sell-through rate and was representing the most significant share of lots sold at the Monterey auction.
HAGI Index falls
Another index reporting similar results for the overall market is the HAGI Index. The Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI) is another respected classic car research company with various price indexes tracking the market. They report similar findings where prices fell over 2% in their recent October report. The HAGI Top Index, which tracks the overall demand for historical vehicles, is down 3.2% year to date.
HAGI creates indexes that track the classic car market, where they say they use “rigorous financial methodology usually associated with more traditional investments.” The indexes are published monthly in Octane magazine. Their goal is to create transparency in the collector car sector by keeping buyers and sellers informed using ‘data-driven fundamentals.’
HAGI uses a proprietary database, including over 100,000 transactions. They collect data from four primary sources, private contacts, marque specialists, dealers, and auction results.