Confidence in art market dives
January 24, 2009
CONFIDENCE levels in the contemporary art market have fallen 81 per cent since last May and may take between three and five years to recover, according to a survey by the research company ArtTactic.
ArtTactic’s Western Art Market Confidence Indicator dropped to 10.5 from 56, the lowest level reached since the survey was first conducted in May 2005, the London-based company said.
“Confidence has hit rock-bottom, but prices will fall further,” said Anders Petterson, the founder of ArtTactic.
“There’s negativity in the market that’s saying we need to get to the bottom and start again from scratch.”
The latest biennial survey of 145 US and European collectors, auction-house specialists, dealers and art advisers was taken from November 20 to December 10. It followed contemporary-art auctions in New York by Sotheby’s and Christie’s International, which raised $US125.1 million ($192.1 million) and $US113.6 million respectively with fees, below their presale lower estimates.
Almost a third of lots failed to sell at both houses. The equivalent sales in 2007 made $US315.9 million and $US325 million.
When asked how far auction prices would fall from their highs of last May, 47 per cent of respondents said they expected a drop of 30 to 50 per cent. More than half thought it would take more than three years for the market to recover. Of those, more than 50 per cent said the market may take more than five years to pick up.
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