Sorry to start the new year as harbinger of doom, but my new year prediction is the collapse in supercar prices that I reckon we'll be getting sometime before the end of December.

Predicting what's going to happen at the top of the motor trade has always been an imprecise science. It plays by a different set of rules when compared to the business of slinging Mondeos or vending Vectras, and the correlation between the health of the wider economy and the mega-car market is never completely precise. The early '90s collapse in supercar values happened some time after the rest of the economy had started its inexorable slide downwards.

The luxury manufacturers still have nice long waiting lists - but these aren't growing. Indeed, a recent conversation with a salesman for one of the most exotic brands revealed that he'd been sharing the showroom with little more than tumbleweed for the last two months. City boys are seeing their bonuses wither - and many of them are also starting to wonder whether £150,000 of toy is really the best place to plough their soft-earned.

Granted, we've not had the speculative rise in values of the early 1990s boom, where the prices of some very ordinary cars got very silly indeed. Now we've got something that's arguably far worse - chronic over-supply of nearly-new metal.

The very success of companies like Aston and Bentley means that there are large numbers of clean, tidy and recent models around. Prices have held up commendably well - people wanting to skip the long wait have been prepared to pay for the privilege of doing so. Remove the wait and the first reason for high prices disappears. Chuck in the economic downturn that most analysts reckon is going to bite in the next year and the avalanche could really gain momentum.

Modern supercars have become so ownable entirely because they hold onto their values so well, allowing a whole new class of buyer to own them. These guys are certainly rich, but not rich enough to stand around whistling while a disposable asset sheds a large percentage of its value. Hence it only takes a few people to cash up and start prices sliding to get everyone else considering their position. And the very strong prospect of a steepening decline as more owners decide to bail.

Bad news if you've got one of the cars in question - or you've paid a deposit on one. But a potential goldmine for anyone looking to bag themselves a bargain exotic. Watch this space.

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