Hagerty tool says whether classic car market is overheated or undervalued

In just the past month we've had three injections of eye-popping auction news: the $1.3 billion value of the collector car auction market in the US last year, the fact that nine out of ten of the top getters were Ferraris - including a $38-million 250 GTO – and the $292-million flood at this month's Scottsdale auctions. That can make it sound like things are well over the top at the very top, but classic-car valuation company Hagerty has created a tool to measure the overall strength of the classic car market beyond the auctioneer.

Called the Hagerty Market Rating, an algorithm processes 15 readings taken from eight categories to generate a numerical state of the market. Auction sales are one of those measures, but Hagerty says auctions only account for three percent of transactions. More important are sales between private owners, which are weighted more heavily. The final number additionally includes data points like price guide and insured values, and expert sentiment.

Plotted on a bell curve from 0 to 100, the numerical assessment is meant to offer an at-a-glance indication of where values are going, updated every month. Right now, the pointer shows we're plum in the middle of an expanding market, yet safely distant from a superheated one (in spite of the intergalactic values of a few Ferraris), which CEO McKeel Hagerty says is "a very healthy place." You'll find a few more details on the tool in the press release below.
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Hagerty Introduces New Market Rating To Measure Strength Of The Classic Car Market

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Hagerty has announced the creation of the Hagerty Market Rating, a new tool to gauge the status of the classic car market. Hagerty publishes The Hagerty Price Guide and also developed and maintains Hagerty Valuation Tools, the country's leading online classic car valuation tool.

The Hagerty Market Rating is a numerical rating that reports the status of the collector car market by applying a weighted algorithm to fifteen data points in eight categories. This results in a proprietary data set that includes the volume and directional momentum of public auction and private sale activity, insured values, price guide values, the Hagerty Indexes and expert sentiment. The January 2015 rating is 70.22, which indicates an overall expanding and healthy market. The rating will be updated on a monthly basis.

"The key differentiator is that the Hagerty Market Rating isn't based simply on public data like auction sales, which only make up three percent of the annual transactions in the classic car world," said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. "A large component of this rating is based on private-owner-to-private-owner sales, which is the most elusive and difficult data to obtain. We developed this as a tool to allow anyone who is serious about treating collector cars as investments to immediately take the temperature of the classic car market and truly understand the factors that cause the classic car market to move up or down."

The Hagerty Market Rating uses a 0-100 scale based on a classic bell curve. Ratings at or near zero or 100, while theoretically possible, are not likely. Ratings in the 40-50 range indicate a flat or relatively inactive market, while below 35 is a deflationary market, becoming more strongly deflationary the closer it is to zero. Ratings in the 60-75 range indicate a peak performing market, and above 80 indicates a market that is approaching a state of hyper-demand, marked by rapidly increasing prices and volume that could indicate of a bubble market in the making.

"Despite a Scottsdale auction season that saw sales increase 18% over 2014, the overall market is actually in a very healthy place right now," McKeel Hagerty said. "Yes, some segments are overheated and some have recently cooled. However, on the whole, the current market rating is a healthy, expanding market through January."

The Hagerty Market Rating and associated unique content and expert commentary tools are available at Hagerty also supplies the Market Rating and underlying data to the financial services industry, including Bloomberg. This number will be updated monthly with detailed commentary that demonstrates any market movement.

Based in Traverse City, Michigan, Hagerty is the world's leading insurance provider for classic vehicles and host to the largest network of classic car owners. Hagerty offers insurance for classic cars, trucks, motorcycles and motorcycle safety equipment, tractors, automotive tools and spare parts, and even "automobilia" (any historic or collectible item linked with motor vehicles). Hagerty also offers overseas shipping/touring insurance coverage, business coverage and club liability coverage. For more information, call (800) 922-4050 or visit Hagerty also provides online Valuation Tools and publishes Hagerty Price Guide, which are the premier guides for post-war collectible automobiles. For more information please visit

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