I’m taking a break from regularly-scheduled programming on this website to ask a question of our valued readers – that question is whether or not you are seeing signs of weakness/softening in your local classic car market (particularly with respect to the kinds of ‘modern classics’ that we feature on this website in our buyer’s guides etc).
I don’t have any hard data – although one project we are working on is a more data-driven way of tracking classic car values – but certainly from an anecdotal perspective we are seeing a number of better deals appearing in our local market, New Zealand.
Cars that were “flying off the shelves” only a few months ago are now sitting around for longer, and there are actual price cuts and vendors indicating need for quick sales or room for negotiation.
This seems to be happening across normal cars (i.e. the sort of thing you might buy as a daily driver) but also classics, particularly the kind of modern classics that are the focus of this website. For example, cars like WRX STIs, Mitsubishi GTOs/3000GTs and Toyota Celica GT-Fours are all sitting around for much longer, having more realistic asking prices, and even having listed price cuts.
In a recent article I discussed whether or not classic car prices will ever come down (click that link to read the article). In that article I mention that tightening monetary conditions – particularly rising interest rates – could result in a weakening of the classic car market.
Certainly that appears to be the case here in New Zealand. Interest rates have risen rapidly over the past year, as the central bank here attempts to battle soaring inflation. Rising interest rates have made it more challenging/expensive for people to do things like buy classic cars by effectively putting them on the mortgage (or even getting regular dealer or bank finance for cars is becoming more challenging).
As budgets are squeezed by rising mortgage costs – and then soaring costs for food, insurance and other necessities – we are also starting to see more “circumstances dictate a sale” listings. If you’ve got to pick between keeping your classic, or paying the mortgage/bills, then you’ll probably be putting the car up for sale.
Therefore, as mentioned in the intro, it would be great to hear what is happening in your neck of the woods. Are you seeing any signs that sellers are having to reduce prices to sell their cars? It would be great to hear from you – just leave a comment below.