The Hagerty Market Rating is a monthly assessment of the collector car market’s activity and strength. For a detailed explanation of what goes into this rating, please click here.
The Hagerty Market Rating (HMR) dropped 1.2 points this month to 68.33—its lowest value in two years. Although this is not the first time that the Market Rating has decreased for 13 months out of a 15 month timeframe, the current downturn includes the steepest decline in Market Rating history. In the past year, the Market Rating has dropped 9.6 points. Before 2023, the largest single-year drop was only 6.9 points.
While still in the “expanding market” range of the spectrum, it’s very likely that the Market Rating will continue to decline as prices soften across the market. The pandemic boom has clearly come to an end.
This month was the first time since August 2017 where every single metric used in calculating the Hagerty Market Rating dropped.
Despite more than $403 million in sales at the Monterey auctions this month, the Median Sale Price metric decreased two points to its lowest score in over a decade. This is due to last year's record-breaking Monterey numbers moving out of the 12-month HMR calculation window, and being replaced by this year's slightly weaker Monterey numbers. The median sale price at Monterey this year was 13 percent lower than a year ago.
Optimism among our industry experts is at its lowest point since the start of the pandemic, when all live auctions were canceled. After watching the Monterey auctions in person, they cited soft prices in the lower end of the market (read cars below $500,000 - it is Monterey, after all) as the main cause.
Any increase in raw numbers this month was not able to outrun inflation, which just reached its highest point in over a year. One example of this is the Average Sale Price in private transactions: despite increasing for the first time since spring, it showed as a loss in our final Market Rating numbers once inflation was accounted for. In contrast, the private market seems to be fairing well, with more than 45 percent of cars selling above insured value—this would have been a record less than two years ago.
Owners who held on to their cars through the market frenzy are also increasing insured values at a much slower rate. Currently, the ratio of increases to decreases of insured values is 3.6-to-1 and 8.9-to-1 for "high-end" vehicles and those valued under $250,000, respectively. While these ratios are still very much in the black, they are nearly half of what they were at their peak last year.
Next month, the Hagerty Market rating will gain the influence of a new Hagerty Price Guide release. While it's doubtful that this will cause the rating to reverse course, we'll be watching closely to see how much the softening of the market has infiltrated the real values of cars in our Price Guide.