Bullish Art Market

Forbes has just posted on the last weeks art market with outside commentary that the election results are increasing market enthusiasm. In general, and from my posts last week the sales started slowly and with much concerned but then had a run of three productive sales.

Forbes reports on the art market.
The Impressionist and modern and post-war and contemporary art auctions held in New York this week were seen as a crucial first test of whether the US presidential election results will impact the art market.

The verdict has been pretty bullish. Sotheby’s CEO Tad Smith appeared on CNBC saying that Donald Trump’s election had helped to boost optimism in the art market. The theory goes that affluent collectors can expect a tax cut under a Trump presidency, giving them more cash to spend, which consequently has boosted confidence in the art market that has remained sluggish for the last two years.

But the final sales tallies for the evening sales held this week do not suggest that buyers had been given a jolt of confidence. On the whole, they weren’t prepared to overpay for their art trophies, because sales as a whole did not exceed what were already pretty conservative pre-sale estimates set by the auction houses.

The three post-war and contemporary evening sales held at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips in New York this week raised a total of $574 million against a total pre-sale estimate of $523.9 million to $743.1 million, according to research company ArtTactic.

The Impressionist and modern evening sales tally of $351.6 million from Christie’s and Sotheby’s just topped the combined low estimate for those sales of $344.8 million. The sales totals exclude the premium that buyers pay the auction houses, because estimates do not include the buyer’s premium, while the final sales prices published by the auction houses do.

Sales dropped slightly even though more works offered at auction this week were guaranteed to sell. During the last round of post-war and contemporary sales in New York in May, 38 percent of lots were guaranteed to sell for a minimum price, either because the auction house had promised the seller a minimum price, whatever happened in the sales room, or a third party guarantor had. This week, 55 percent of lots carried a guarantee.

However, the fact that post-war and contemporary sales were only slightly down from May to November, when sales are 30.7 percent down compared to this time last year is a sign that “the market could be reaching the bottom,” according to ArtTactic.

That may be so, but it’s premature to suggest the presidential election results have anything to do with it.
Source: Forbes 

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