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Understanding lending and buying trends is vital to catering your lending process to your customers. To provide you with market insights, we’ve aggregated essential data on the typical buyer from AppOne’s dealer clients in the new and used RV, marine, and motorcycle sectors. Examining a three-month period spanning January to March 2024, our findings reveal consistent stability across these recreational markets leading into peak season. This stability is characterized by financially robust buyers and minimal market fluctuations.

Let’s look at more detailed insights on each of these markets below.

RV Buyer Trends

Among new RV buyers, January and February shared similar averages in most categories, with slight increases in FICO score, monthly salary, and time spent on the job and in the home. Meanwhile, the amount financed and term length dropped slightly. However, March saw significant differences in key areas, with a “Very Good” FICO score range, higher monthly salary, and lower term and rate.

Similar to the new RV buyer trends, used RV buyer trends show a jump in average FICO score and monthly salary in March. However, used buyers in March financed more with a longer term than and a similar rate to buyers in January and February. Buyers in the earlier months are similar in almost every demographic, with slight differences in salary, amount financed, and rate.

Overall, both new and used RV buyers in March averaged higher salaries and FICO scores, which likely allowed new buyers to secure shorter loan terms and lower rates and used buyers to finance higher amounts.

In both datasets, March buyers are a slight outlier from January and February. This could be due to more new inventory arriving on dealership lots throughout Q1, aging used inventory being further discounted, or more consumers ready to buy ahead of peak season.

Marine Buyer Trends

In the marine industry, the average age of buyers remained within close range, as did the amount financed. Unlike what we saw in RV buyers, the average buyers in March showed lower FICO scores, higher rates, and longer terms than in January and February, without a dramatic salary or financing change.

A similar trend applies to used marine vehicle purchases in the three-month span. However, a noticeable difference in March is the amount financed – nearly $15,000 to $20,000 less than in January and February, with a consistent loan term but a higher rate than the previous months. This could be due to the lower average salary of buyers and lower FICO scores, resulting in lower loan offers.

In general, the average marine buyer’s age range remained consistent, and their FICO scores are consistently prime or super-prime. Many early 2024 sales numbers are showing lower sales than last year, but the industry is still optimistic with the rise in recreational boating.

Motorcycle Buyer Trends

Some aspects of the average new motorcycle buyer profile changed a lot month over month in the first quarter, with FICO scores ranging between 666 and 848, and salaries dropping by a few thousand dollars each month. However, age, months on job, months in home, and term were fairly similar across buyers. Rates rose slightly in February, then more significantly in March.

Used motorcycle buyers were consistent across age and salary. These buyers financed less overall for used motorcycles than new buyers, but experienced much higher rates. Term length also grew slightly for used buyers in January and March.

FICO scores between new and used buyers were fairly consistent, but lower salaries and higher rates likely contributed to lower financed amounts. After a slower year in 2023 for motorcycle sales, it appears a wide range of buyers are ready and willing to buy, even with higher rates. In fact, many prospective motorcycle buyers have said they anticipate buying this year regardless of financial strains in the market.

Though the beginning of the year can be a little slower for dealerships as they await new inventory, consumers reevaluate budgets, and winter months slow outdoor recreational activity, we still saw stable, confident buyers enter the market. Dealers can be optimistic heading into peak season this spring and summer as more enthusiasts enter the market.

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