Events

Our forecast for the 2022 Arizona Auctions

by John Wiley
20 January 2022 2 min read
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Photo by Barrett-Jackson

The block of January auctions used to be all about Arizona, but Mecum’s seismic 2022 Kissimmee sale has us looking at both ends of the country this month.

Let’s start with Florida, where Mecum’s spreadsheets are as green as the palm trees. This year’s Kissimmee auction featured more vehicles (+47%), a higher sell-through rate (+7%), and a higher average sale price (+19%) compared to their 2021 event. Total sales for vehicles exceeded $213 million, a whopping 90% increase over last year. The story from Scottsdale won’t be exactly the same, though. Also, it’s not apples-to-apples here; while there were some auctions in Scottsdale in 2021, some were held later in the year or held online, so we’re comparing the upcoming 2022 sales to the 2020 season.

  • One-third fewer lots: Barrett-Jackson will likely auction the same number of vehicles as in 2020, but catalog auctions like Bonhams, Gooding & Company, and RM Sotheby’s have almost half as many vehicles (217 vs. 388).
  • Fewer auctions: In addition to the fewer lots, there are also fewer auctions. Worldwide and MAG are back, but Russo and Steele is taking a break, and Leake has exited the scene.
  • Fewer million-dollar cars: 20 cars had seven figure estimates in 2020, but only 11 have estimates at that level this year. The market for these will continue to migrate online if the live auctions don’t have enough of a draw in this segment.
  • Ever newer, maybe: While the average model year of vehicles consigned continues to creep forward–up from 1971 to 1973–two years have passed since the last big auction event, so perhaps this is insignificant.
  • Appreciation: Mecum did have a 15% higher average sale price at Kissimmee this year compared to last, but the mix of vehicles changed from one year to the next, which can make comparisons misleading. Instead, we know that 56% of the vehicles in the Hagerty Price Guide appreciated year-over-year for January 2022 and the median increase was 13%.

With fewer vehicles and fewer big-money cars, we expect total sales to drop 14% to $211 million compared to 2020's $244 million. With relatively few vehicles offered by the auction companies that use reserves, we expect the sell-through rate to approach 98% compared to 81% from 2020. The average sale price will creep up 7%, though, from $91,703 to $97,928 as the mix of auction companies shifts. Will the recent price appreciation overcome fewer vehicles, and will total sales be up compared to 2020? Stay tuned.

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