Following another buoyant month of trading both in the auction halls and online, buyer demand during May remained strong for the best stock across all sectors.

Volumes sold at auction increased by over 1,500 units during the month – the first increase in four months – while the volumes sold are 12.7% higher than at the same point 12 months ago.

As a result, the average price of stock sold at auction during May increased by 1.4% over April – the fifth consecutive monthly increase. Prices now sit an incredible £1,000 higher than at the end of May 2017.

First-time conversion rates fell by 2.7% to 83.3% (71.3% in May 2017) while their average age fell by a month to 62 months.

A lack of quality stock remains an issue, with many buyers looking for vehicles that can be placed straight on their forecourt with a minimum of preparation. Nevertheless, both professional buyers and end users continue to bid confidently across all sectors and ages with the best stock exchanging hands for premium prices.

The Vauxhall Combo, VW Caddy, Citroen Berlingo and Ford Transit Connect have been regulars at auction over the past month, with most examples selling without difficulty. Those offered in a metallic colour or with extras such as aircon also sold without issue.

Plenty of ex-rental stock is available at auction with 14- and 15-plate Vauxhall Vivaro and Renault Trafic models commonplace. The Ford Transit Custom is a regular sight too, with five-year-old high-mileage examples still attracting plenty of attention. The in-demand Transit Custom Limited, which has been a must-have van since launch, is showing signs that its previously super-strong values are now coming under a little downward pressure.

A lack of quality in the large van sector continues to be an issue, and as a result has seen demand soar for the nicest 3.5t stock. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit – both current and previous generation examples – and PSA Group models have sold strongly over the month, with rare examples of the FWD Transit 290 and nice-condition L1H1 Citroen Relay/Peugeot Boxer commanding a lot of attention. Harder-worked and higher-mileage stock continues to underperform with values regularly below expectations.

Sales of 4×4 pick-ups increased slightly during May, with average sales prices down versus April. However, when priced sensibly, those in good condition continue to sell without too many issues. Ford Rangers are finding life hard currently, with all but the Wildtrak automatics struggling to gain market acceptance. The previous-generation Nissan Navara Tekna continues to gain plenty of attention, but is starting to look its age, while the iconic Land Rover Defender 90 continues to amaze, with recent examples in XS specification performing strongly.

Andy Picton is chief commercial vehicle editor of Glass’s, the used vehicle valuation experts.