A report from the auto industry analysis firm Edmunds show sales of new vehicles in Houston doubled after Hurricane Harvey.
The report found new car sales increased by 109 percent in the three weeks after the storm in comparison to the three weeks prior to the storm, and also showed buyers were making higher down payments and decreasing their monthly payments for their new car purchases.
Industry analysts predict the sales increase from Harvey will also boost September revenues for most major automakers. An executive with Ford Motor Company told Fox Business its dealers saw an increase in sales of up to 6,000 new vehicles.
The Edmunds report showed Houstonians who were looking to replace their flood-damaged vehicles laid out substantially higher down payments than normal. The average down payment was $4,432 in September, an increase of 18 percent from the previous month, and a boost of 24 percent from a year earlier.
The higher down payments contributed to lower monthly payments. The average amount Houston buyers financed was $34,012, a decrease of $827 from a month earlier and a drop of more than $1,800 from a year earlier.
The increase in new car purchases may be a continuing trend for the foreseeable future. Reports show Houstonians lost up to one million vehicles due to flood damage from Harvey.
The need for more replacement vehicles, combined with low interest rates and excess inventory on dealer lots, could lead to a continuation of the new car buying surge.