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Trends from Artsper 2023/2024

Artsper gives us an overview of the 2023 Art Market report on global collecting by Art Basel & UBS. The report is based on surveyed High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs), described as “those with disposable household financial assets of over $1 million in 2023. The collector survey was distributed in 11 regions over a 3-month period. To ensure their active participation in the art market, the selected respondents needed to have bought art worth more than $10,000 between 2021-2023 with 2,282 qualified respondents, with an average age of 41 years from the UK, Hongkong, Japan, Mainland China, Singapore, Italy, Germany, Taiwan, Brazil, US, and France.

  • Paintings were the largest area of collecting overall (36%) including across all generations, wealth levels, and length of experience collecting.
  • Emerging artists purchases down slightly from 2022 from 8% to 6% a shift to less risky works.
  • Boomers had the highest average values in both 2022 and the first half of 2023.
  • Gen X collectors (born between 1965 and 1980) were the second-highest spenders, and have seen the most consistent growth. As expected, Boomers and Gen X and had the highest spending growth in early 2023.
  • Gen Y i.e. younger millennials (born between roughly 1981 and 1994) and Gen Z collectors (born between 1995 and 2009) showed the largest spending improvements on average from 2021 to 2022, implying that as they mature, this group spends more on art and antiquities over time
  • Women spent an average of $72,500 in the first half of 2023, even though men reported higher average spending.
  • There were strong online sales and a return to in person sales at fairs and exhibitions.
  • The biggest reduction in purchases was on NFT platforms (from 8% to 5%).
  • Self-identity, personal pleasure or the desire to improve one’s image (37%) was a major motivation followed by the expectation of gaining a financial return on investment (28%).

Regardless of the turmoil in the financial sector, high inflation, the post COVID-19 impact, and the ongoing effects of the war in Ukraine, looking ahead to 2024…

  • 92% of collectors were planning to continue attending art-related exhibitions and events, either the same or more than they did in 2023.
  • Only 4% thought they may reduce attendance. 66% said they intended to travel more to events next year. Those expected to travel less was because of the rising costs of overseas travel, and wanting to reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Some uncertainty exists as 26% of collectors planned on selling works, but the majority reported that they would hold off on selling, because they believed the prices would improve in future.
  • 77% of HNW collectors remained optimistic about the art market’s performance over the next six months. Paintings remained the most popular choice for planned purchases, followed by sculptures and works on paper.