Global art market declines to lowest point since financial crisis
Global art sales at lowest point since financial crisis: Sales of art and antiquities globally dropped 11% to USD 56.6 bn in 2016, according to a report by UBS Group AG and Art Basel carried by Bloomberg. The contraction was the second in as many years and brought the market down its lowest levels since the financial crisis “as economic and political volatility weighed on auction sales.” Art Economics founder Clare McAndrew is cautious about 2017, seeing “sellers holding back as economic and geopolitical uncertainty continues in many countries.” However, buyers “may view art and antiques as ‘a relative safe haven amidst volatility elsewhere,’ increasing prices for the works that appear on the market. The losers of 2016 included auction sales, which declined by 26% y-o-y to USD 22.1 bn, and the market share lost by industry leaders Sotheby’s and Christie’s, as well as the 18% decline in the sales of postwar and contemporary works. The US still leads the global market with 40% of all transactions, and sales by dealers and galleries and in art fairs outperformed in 2016.