RICS Art and Antiques Survey Q4 2010

14th February 2011

The art and antiques market remains buoyant, led by increased sales at the higher end of the market.

  • In the last three months of 2010, 42 per cent of chartered surveyors reported prices rose rather than fell in the £50,000 price bracket; up sharply from 20 per cent in the previous quarter. The figure, the highest since Q2 2008, highlights the number of wealthy buyers investing in art and antiques as a tangible asset. The All Lot price balance, which provides a snapshot of the overall arts and antiques market, has now grown consecutively for the past two years.
  • Silver and jewellery recorded series highs. These rises can be attributed to the 'safe haven' nature of investment in silver and jewellery, but also reflects the elevated prices that precious metals continue to command.
  • Looking ahead, surveyors expect to see a rise in both demand and availability over the next 12 months. With supply and demand set to be more closely aligned, the trend in prices may be a little flatter in 2011.

Commenting, Colin Young MRICS FNAVA, of Golding Young & Thos Mawer (Grantham & Lincoln) said of the survey:

"Sale attendances were up on this quarter with increased internet bidding levels. Prices continue

to polarise with a focus on the best items creating the most competitive bidding."

Commenting on recent local sales and experiences, Mr Young added:

"Our last sale in Lincoln reflected the national survey findings. It included a rare copy of the briefing book prepared for the Nazi invasion of the South Coast of England (Part of Operation Sealion). Pre-sale interest in Lot 312 via the internet was expected and delivered for a well researched and catalogued historic document. It sold for £1,500. An even more pleasing result for a vendor who acquired for considerably less at a general auction on New Years Day.

"Our Lincolnshire based auctions continue to exceed the national averages of buyers on the internet. An undoubted factor is that distance buyers trust auctioneers with 'Chartered' status. Unfortunately, anyone can put a sign over the door without professional regulation or client accounting and claim to be an auctioneer."

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