13 February 2015

February Market Rating Update: Scottsdale data moves the meter

The Scottsdale and Kissimmee auctions were among the biggest contributors to data for this month’s update of the Hagerty Market Rating, which moved from 70.38 in January to 70.61 in February.

January is the biggest month of the year in terms of number of cars sold at auction and is second in dollar volume to August, when the Pebble Beach sales take place.

Combined dollar volume for the six Scottsdale auctions was up almost 20% ($295 million in 2015 vs. $248 million in 2014). Mecum in Kissimmee was up about $6 million with a total of $66 million.  A deeper dive into the results, however, shows the market’s trajectory to be flattening at a rate greater than the numbers suggest.

Barrett-Jackson’s one-time Ron Pratte Collection sale accounted for $35 million of the Scottsdale total. Factor that out and Barrett’s total would have been down slightly, and the overall dollar growth would have been about 9%. The other sales — Russo and Steele, Silver Auctions, Gooding and Bonhams — were also virtually flat year-over-year. Only RM posted a significant gain in dollar volume.

Results against pre-sale estimates at the catalog sales was also a mixed bag owing mainly to pre-sale estimates that our experts observed were among the most ambitious that they had ever seen. The top of the market was clearly not in the mood to over-spend by a dime and the results at the top reflected this. There were no eight-figure cars sold, in spite of the fact that Bonhams, Gooding and RM each had at least one Ferrari with estimates in excess of $10 million. This pushback correlates with our insured data at the top of the market, where the ratio of value increases to decreases has slipped measurably.

The top of the market, which conventional wisdom holds to be the smartest of the smart money, is a prime leading indicator. It is logical that a cooling trend will be led by this segment, just as the market’s return to health starting in 2011 was led by this sector. Thus we expect that over the next 12-24 months the middle of the market and the entry-level will see growth level off as well. Expert sentiment seems to reflect this overall view.

(Check out more about the Hagerty Market Rating from Bloomberg Business, Autoblog, MSN and ClassicCars.com.)

8 Reader Comments

  • 1
    B usa February 15, 2015 at 13:35
    I am younger quardrant of the collector car segment. I do not know anyone my age that owns a classic like me. Everyone nowadays lives well beyond what they should and has a house that Is about 2 pay levels above what they make. They do not have money to buy a extra car because they are housebroke.
  • 2
    stuart wilson United States February 17, 2015 at 05:28
    Ford bronco
  • 3
    be usa February 18, 2015 at 14:09
    I am younger than the normal collector. I have a '60s muscle car. My dad has two. I do not know anyone my age that owns one. The people my age have the new american dream a huge house and payments that go along side. It is the new look at me I call it a muscle house. They could in no way afford to eat out let alone get a car. This is scary fir the hobby. The kids younger than me don't even get licenses or anything to do with cars. My kids from the youngest age now save change. You ask for what it? Hemi cuda will be told to you by a child.
  • 4
    Steve Parmerlee United States February 18, 2015 at 16:01
    How can the Scottsdale auctions (where there's more money than common sense) NOT move the meter? With all due respect, this isn't much of a news bulletin.
  • 5
    Lawrence Schwartz New York February 18, 2015 at 16:40
    Like any other commodity, what goes up will always fall. Argos is reflected by the generation gap and their present mood for supply and demand
  • 6
    Chuck Sharpe Michigan February 18, 2015 at 20:20
    I would like to see this service expanded to the early cars, namely the brass era types 1900-1915/6. I am certain Hagerty has a large volume of these insured.
  • 7
    be usa February 19, 2015 at 03:13
    I have a collector car and am on the younger side of people with such cars. I have had a second sports type vehicle since I could afford two cars. A troubling trend I see is young kids having no interest in getting a car let alone even a license. I also do not know a single person with a muscle car my age. They all have what I would call muscle houses which is a huge house that they can barely afford. This is a huge trend that comes with I can afford that payment now. My little one is saving change now so hopefully someday when the market gets into reality a car can be bought to enjoy. You ask the small child what kind of car they want and you will be surprised when the answer is Hemi Cuda.
  • 8
    Jim M. Napa, CA February 20, 2015 at 22:16
    Maybe you should all move here to Napa. This place is classic car heaven. High school girls driving in 60s and 70s pickup trucks. Biggest in vogue challenge is to learn to drive stick. Another hint: The local Chevy dealer is Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet. All this in a town of 73,000 people.

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