Just nine of 275 models on the U.S. market had transaction prices under $25,000 in February, Cox said.  -  IMAGE: Pexels/Skylar Kang

Just nine of 275 models on the U.S. market had transaction prices under $25,000 in February, Cox said.

IMAGE: Pexels/Skylar Kang

U.S. new-vehicle transaction prices fell for the second month in a row in February as rebounding inventory and the return of incentives combined to lower pandemic-elevated stickers.

The average price was down 2% year-over-year to $47,244, Cox Automotive said. That’s down 5.4% from its December 2022 peak but still up from three years earlier by almost 14%, Cox said.

“Most shoppers have not seen their incomes increase as quickly as vehicle prices, so affording a new vehicle remains difficult,” said Executive Analyst Erin Keating.

Inventory started the month at about 2.6 million, up a dramatic 50% year-over-year. Sales consequently rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.8 million as the year shapes up so far as the best in sales since 2019, the year before the pandemic.

Incentives averaged 5.9% of the transaction price, up slightly from 5.7% month-over-month and from 3% year-over-year after bottoming out in September 2022 at 2%.

Affordability, though, remained largely elusive for many buyers as the market has shifted to the luxury end. Cox said just nine of the some 275 models on the U.S. market had transaction prices under $25,000 and that the two most affordable models are being pulled from the market.

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Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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