After five consecutive quarters of contraction, the art market is at last producing some positive signals. Artprice’s index (the Art Price Global Index) progressed 4.97% in the second quarter of 2009 after a fall of more than 30% since the beginning of 2008. Gradual economic recovery during 2009 (very modest economic growth in Germany and France for example) has boosted the morale of art market players and has added 20 points to our AMCI since the end of the first quarter.
After the effects of the financial crisis pushed up auction bought-in rates to 45% during the autumn of 2008, the auctioneers adjusted their offer by proposing fewer lots, lower price estimates and no guarantees (except in the case of truly exceptional works). This strategy appears to have worked during the first half of 2009, as the bought-in rate has fallen to 40%. During the autumn of 2008 only 44% of the sold auction lots got past their low estimates; but the revision of price estimates has improved this ratio to 49% on art sales recorded since the beginning of 2009.
Additional link: Art market barometer
Most recent version: 2016