New industry figures have revealed that the international art market has grown by 17% to $7 billion in the first six months of 2014. The French company Artprice stated that art sold at the major auction houses have totalled $7.15 billion ($5.22 billion euros). This has increased from the $6.11 billion figures crunched in the first half of 2013.
Thierry Ehrmann, from Artprice stated, “We have gone from 500,000 collectors in the post-war period to nearly 70 million ‘art consumers’ art lovers and collectors — worldwide,” he added; 2013 was a record year for art with sales worth $12.17 billion following a drop in 2012 linked to a contraction in the Chinese market. Ehrmann said museums and art centres, both public and private, were springing up all over the world, in particular in the Asia Pacific region and to a lesser extent in South America and the Middle East. The market was in “very good health,” with growth being fuelled by this “museum industry” and also by investors, he said. Against a background of financial volatility, works of art were proving particularly attractive not just to individuals but also to institutional investors and fund managers. “The market is increasingly mature and liquid, offering yields of between 10 and 15 percent per year for works over 100,000 euros,”
Ehrmann added. “In the first half of 2014, the US topped the figures with $2.38 billion of art sold, a jump of 28 percent on a year ago and giving it a third share of the world art market. China slipped to number two after four years on top, with sales of $1.97 billion, an increase of 6.9 percent and giving it a market share of 27.7 percent. Britain, meanwhile, had a quarter of the market with sales of $1.8 billion, a rise of over 25 percent. France was at fourth place with sales of $284 million and a market share of 3.9 percent. The international art market was increasingly focused on the US, China and Britain, with the three countries alone accounting for 86 percent of all global sales”.
Sotheby’s said; “The art market – like most major business sectors in the 21st century – operates in a global environment and is complex, dynamic and often seemingly irrational. To gain insight into the current state of both the primary and secondary markets look no further than auction houses, galleries, museums, dealers, art advisors and curators. Newer, emerging markets and innovations driven by technology are clearly contributing to a realignment of the playing field”.