Art Basel Report Finds Collectors Strangely Bullish on Art Market
More collectors are optimistic about the art market than a year ago, and they have greater confidence in it than the stock market.
Courtesy Paris+ par Art Basel.
Despite rising interest rates and fears of a global economic slump, high net worth collectors expect the art market to perform well according to a report by Art Basel and UBS released today.
The report, entitled A Survey of Global Collecting in 2022, revealed that 78% of survey respondents — all of whom have spent at least US $10,000 on art in previous years – were optimistic about the art market's performance over the next six months.
That number is up 4% from last year, when much of the world had already emerged from the most restrictive period of the pandemic. It's also 3% higher than the share of collectors optimistic about the performance of the stock market over the next six months.
Fifty-five percent of collectors surveyed said they planned to buy art in the next 12 months.
Respondents' median spend on art in the first half of 2022 reached US $180,000, higher than the $164,000 they spent in all of 2021 and well above the $100,000 they spent in 2019, before the pandemic.
'The unwavering engagement of HNW collectors in the art market has buoyed the recovery of imports, exports, and domestic sales in 2021 and 2022,' said Clare McAndrew, Founder of Arts Economics, and the lead author of the report.
Imports of art and antiques increased 41% from 2020 to 2021 and exports were up 38% as the art world rebounded from border closures and problems in the shipping industry. According to the report, if growth continues at the same pace in the second half of 2022, international trade of art and antiques could reach record levels.
In their comments on the economic outlook, UBS noted that war in Ukraine is 'stoking inflation and uncertainty, while the COVID-19 pandemic has also dramatically altered long-held patterns of human behaviour'.
They observed changed attitudes to employment and an eagerness to travel, despite higher costs, that suggest a desire to live in the now. They were, however, unsure whether these changes were a one-off reaction to the pandemic or a more fundamental reset of values.
'While the global art market is not immune to ongoing socio-political and economic uncertainties, Clare's survey demonstrates that collectors maintain a positive outlook on the market and intend to spend more on art,' said Marc Spiegler, Global Director, Art Basel. —[O]