Home Magazine The Art Market Report 2020

As every year economist Clare McAndrew published the annual Art Market Report commissioned by Art Basel and the UBS bank. The report seems to confirm what many had already speculated, namely, that this series of geopolitical conflicts, commercial disputes and upheavals, led the market to be more cautious with a shortage of great masterpieces sales. According to the report, global sales of fine arts and antiques totalled to $ 64.1 billion in 2019, slightly down from 67.4 billion in 2018. 

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General Market

The international market has seen a return to its 2017 indicator, down 5 % of total sales year on year. We must It remembered that The United States, the United Kingdom and China, and so the three main participating markets in the sector, together accounted the 82% of total auction sales.



1. The United States was the largest market in the world with 44% of the global sales in value. But sales fell 5% year-on-year to $ 28.3 billion;

2. After two years of resilient growth due to the country's turmoil with Brexit, the UK market declined 9% in 2019 to a total of $ 12.7 billion, by representing 20% of the global market in value.

3. Sales in China fell 10% in 2019 to a total of $ 11.7 billion

4. In this context, Italy represents a small pawn: its market share in Europe is equal to 2% of the total sales of 20.4 billion dollars (-4% compared to 2018).

5. France has grown with a + 7% to 4.2 billion dollars and a market share that has gone from 6 to 7%, but it is hard that it will C London.



Auction sales of art, antiques and decorative items (excluding private auction house sales) reached $ 24.2 billion in 2019, down 17% year-on-year. This drop-in worldwide auctions sale is mainly attributable to the lower availability of ultra-high value lots.




On the other hand, the fairs trade sector grew, with movements totalling about 16 billion dollars, 45% of the total. The gallery owners reported that they made 15 %  of their sales (for transactions of 2.5 billion) before the opening of the fairs and another 21 % (3.5 billion) after the closing of the fairs. However, most of the fair sales - 64 %, or $ 10.6 billion - actually occurred at trade shows. Visitor numbers at a selection of the major art fairs reached 1.2 million, increasing 4% year-on-year and by 13% since 2013.



Online Sales

Online sales of art and antiques were estimated at $ 5.9 billion in 2019, down 2% year-on-year and represent 9% of sales in the art market in value. they made online sales in 2019, 57% were destined for new buyers and for second-tier auction houses new buyers accounted for 34% of their online sales. But even if online sales seemed to bring new collectors, their overall numbers slightly decreased in 2019 - down 2 per cent to 5.9 billion, or 9 per cent of the total art market.



Buyers and Dealers

McAndrew traced also the behaviour of 1,300 HNW individuals in seven markets: France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The survey showed the dynamism of the Millennial HNW and, in particular, of women: 34% of collectors in the last two years have spent over 1 million on average more than men (25%) and 16% over 10 million. 

Millennial collectors were the users who mostly used the online channel. Indeed, 36% of millennial HNW collectors who bought online paid over $ 50,000 for a work of art or object online, 9% spent more than $ 1 million. Millennials are also the most active group of collectors, with an average total spend of $ 3 million over a two-year period. Millennials now account for almost half (49% ) of all collectors globally, according to the report. Not only, but millennials are also the most active sellers: 71% of them said they had resold the works from their collections compared to only a third of older collectors.



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