CINCINNATI — Swapalease.com reported that lease credit approvals for April continued with volatility, hitting a rate of 78.6% during the month — up 31.0% from the approvals rate during March (60.0%). The majority of lease approvals during April came from foreign brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.
The 78.6% approvals mark is the highest monthly acceptance rate since last year, when 84.2% of lease transfer applicants were approved in November. The lease approvals volatility has continued into 2015, as January numbers were above the healthy mark at 75.0%, but February and March both saw low numbers. One reason for this volatility is the type of vehicle lease being transferred: During April, the vast majority of lease declines came from domestic brands.
Interestingly enough, the first four months of 2015 have displayed significantly more lease approval volatility compared with the first four months of 2014, which saw the approvals rate stay within the 67% to 70% range in each of the first four months. This year’s volatility comes amid continued growth in auto sales and the lease market, with end-of-month light vehicle sales showing year-over-year growth of 4.6%.
“We expect to see continued turbulence in lease approvals, especially as the volume for lease applicants grows to include sub-prime shoppers turned away at the dealership,” said Scot Hall, executive vice president of Swapalease.com. “We’re keeping a watchful eye on domestic versus foreign lease applicants, as this is a new trend emerging in our marketplace.”