The price of affordable contemporary art rose at its fastest pace in three years during the second quarter of 2011, as many buyers purchased works for decorative rather than financial reasons, says the latest RICS Arts and Antiques Survey.
The price of contemporary art in the under-£1,000 bracket rose considerably in the second quarter of 2011. 22 per cent more chartered surveyors reported prices for these works rose rather than fell, the highest figure since mid-2008. It appears that buyers with an interest purely in the aesthetic value of contemporary pieces may be entering the market, which in recent times has been dominated by those acquiring works as a financial investment.
The UK art and antiques market experienced mixed fortunes in the three months to June. Despite a solid performance in the previous quarter, the all lot price net balance slipped to +13 (from +24 in Q1). While still in positive territory, this represents the lowest reading since the summer of 2009.
Looking ahead, surveyors expect demand for art and antiques to increase over the coming year, as buyers continue to look to the market. When asked as to their expectations for the coming twelve months, 17 per cent more respondents anticipated demand to rise rather than fall. While this represents a drop from last quarter, surveyors still maintain an optimistic view for the coming months.
The upturn seen at the lower end of the contemporary art market over the last three months suggests that more buyers may be purchasing works purely for their decorative appeal, rather than as a long-term investment. Contemporary art of all values has been performing well in recent months and this looks set to continue as we enter the second half of the year.Richard Roundell, RICS Arts and antiques global board Chairman
The arts and antiques market has remained in a strong position for some time, with all areas performing strongly in the salesrooms. However, while the traditional items, such as silver and jewellery, continue to perform strongly, the demand for the likes of furniture and paintings has fallen away as we enter the summer months.John Anderson, RICS Associate Director