Porsche Market Trends: September 2017

UK weather through summer 2017 was slightly disappointing, which has left dealers holding a few more soft-tops than they would probably prefer as we head into winter. Some of these will be cars on consignment (offered to the Porsche market by owners through dealers on a commission sale basis) but some will be owned by the dealers themselves. Dealers being dealers, they want these convertibles gone, to put money back into the bank for buying new stock.

Once summer has drawn to a close, many owners decide to sell as they have ticked all of their road-trip boxes, or they fancy something new or they are getting out of Porsche. Dealers love buying and selling, so cashflow is king: when cars stick around in the showroom, there is always pressure to get rid of them and try something else.

Porsche cabriolets are all-season vehicles, but, as autumn continues to creep over the UK and the central heating goes on for the winter, soft tops seem less relevant and dealers will begin to cut prices on the cars they own, which will also put pressure on commission sales and private sale prices. Cabriolet buyers should pick their moment carefully – no point jumping too soon on a car that is often avaiable. Rarer models are a slightly different story.

Porsche Cayman GT4 prices

There is still a healthy supply of Cayman GT4 on offer – some might even call the market slightly constipated for the time of year. My view is that the oversupply from earlier in 2017 has been addressed, with independent dealers sending overpriced consignment cars home and Official Porsche Centres leading the charge to get prices down to a sensible level in order to shift some metal.

Making GT4 prices more attractive is not a charitable move on behalf of the network. Almost half of the UK Cayman GT4 stock right now is held by the official dealer network, which definitely wants to keep cars moving. The only way to shift cars quickly is to undercut independent prices, so it is that we find the seven cheapest Cayman GT4s currently on sale in the UK are all at OPCs.

Some have issues, of course – wrong colour, wrong spec, too many miles or owners – but competition in GT4 pricing is certainly hotting up and all sellers need to get their elbows out. Private sellers with a GT4 to shift should be well below OPC prices for a similar car. Currently, private sellers are some of the dearest out there, so their sales stand no chance at all.

Modern vs Classic 911 Carrera

Dealers report good interest in “standard” 911s – Carrera and Carrera S models – with good spec and sensible mileage when offered at reasonable prices. The 911 has a reputation for being evergreen (i.e. a good seller whatever the weather), and the modern 991 Carrera is a fine platform for those who want to drive a 911 rather than stick it away in a dehumidified garage, so well specced 991s are steady sellers.

A nice 991 Carrera S with decent warranty is now under £60k from a good independent, which creates problems for air-cooled cars around the same price point. Yes, that 964 C2 for £55k may be a very nice car in good condition, but stick a significant other in the passenger seat of an average mileage 964 vs much lower mileage 991 and the decision will often swing to the modern equivalent if the car will be used regularly.

Air-cooled 911 Carrera sales at 991 price levels have been slightly under pressure all year. Good cars with average mileage and solid history are simply not drawing the attention they were twelve months ago when advertised with optimistic asking prices – nicely restored low mileage examples and one-owner cars not included – so sellers should take care with their asking price to avoid months of advertising with no bites whatsoever.

Porsche 991.2 GT3 used market premiums

As regards the latest 911 Gen II GT3, independent dealers have already passed a number of Gen 2 991 GT3s through their invoice systems and premiums are apparently much more sensible than the PDK-only Gen 1 cars were when first released. I’m pleasantly surprised by the sensible numbers I’m hearing, but of course there will also be more than a few new owners out there asking way too much money. The effect on 911R is still to be felt in its entirety, but that is not a car I would be buying right now.

The recent announcement of the Touring package for Gen 2 991 GT3s created quite a buzz in certain circles. I thought it was a bit of a faux pas not to shoot the car with a ducktail, but no doubt that large numbers of GT3 customers have no interest in classics: they want the cutting edge and not some pastiche. As with 911R, time will tell what the market thinks of it and which side of the classic line values sit down on.