TEFAF 2014 Art Market Report

Over the past week or so I have posted on TEFAF and the annual Art Market Report which is published at the same time of the fair (click HERE for earlier post on the report).
we reported on the 8% overall gain in the art market and the US having 38% of the total market with $25 billion in sales. The 2014 report focuses on the US and China, and Forbes has some has some additional details and highlights from the report.

To purchase the full report click HERE. I would post the report, but TEFAF is charging and I dont wish to stray into any copyright questions.

Forbes reports
Wealthy art collectors paying high amounts for a relatively small number of art works accounted for most of the $63 billion of global art sold in 2013. That’s a central focus of TEFAF’s 2014 Art Market report, which has also been highlighted in much of the media coverage since it was published last week.

The report finds that less than 0.5% of lots sold at auction in 2013 fetched more than €1 million ($1.4 million), but those works accounted for 44% of total auction sales of €22.5 billion ($31.3 billion) in 2013. Meanwhile, those buyers who paid more than €10 million ($13.9 million) for works at auction last year –which was just 0.5% of  lots, but 16% of the total sales value– were only interested in the work of less than 50 artists.

The fact that the art market is disproportionately influenced by those with €10 million or more to burn that are buying from a limited pool of brand name artists is not certainly not new, but depressing reading nonetheless. In his LA Times article Super-rich, favoring just a few artists, drive art market, Mike Boehm writes that “When we’re talking about the people who really, really matter in the art market, the report informs us, we’re talking not about those 600,000 mere millionaires and their tastes, but about just under 200,000 “ultra-high net worth individuals” who sit atop piles of $30 million or more.”

But are these the people who really, really matter in the art market? After all, the TEFAF report also finds that 92.5% of lots sold globally at auction last year sold for less than €50,000, while 50% of lots sold for under €3,000 ($4,173) and 22.5% sold for less than €1,000 ($1,391). And according to Artprice’s 2013 market report, issued at the beginning of March, 38% of fine art lots sold at auction in 2013 sold for under $1000.

This should be encouraging news. After all, the art works that appear at auction are the select few that are deemed valuable enough to be resold. I suspect that if we had better data about primary market sales than the TEFAF report supplies (it only surveyed 5,500 dealers globally, even though it suggests that dealer sales account for 53% of the €47.4 billion in global art sales in 2013), we’d find a much higher proportion of art works being sold at lower prices than the auction data suggests.

If there are 200,000 people with $30 million or more who are happy to spend €10 million and up on the works of less than 50 artists, that’s their issue. Back in the real world, the vast majority of collectors are enjoying art and sustaining a wide range of artists and art businesses globally for far more modest sums. These are the people that really, really matter in the art market.
Source: Forbes

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