Across the trade, the private transactions of dealers and auctioneers accounted for almost two-thirds of the worldwide market last year, the report released today revealed.
Total sales in 2016 were $45bn, up 1.7% on 2015, and dealer sales now make up 62.5% compared with 37.5% sold at auction. The shift was put down to a greater desire for “privacy and anonymity… in times of austerity and political tensions”.
"Transparency On Prices"
The report also said the dealer market is “benefiting from buyer confidence stemming from greater access to information and transparency on prices”.
The 2017 report is the first managed by Professor Rachel Pownall, following previous author Clare McAndrew’s departure for Art Basel in 2016.
It brings a new methodology designed to focus more on the trade. “I wanted to start from scratch with this report and not just follow what Clare had done,” Pownall told ATG.
The report found that in 2016, global auction sales totalled $16.9bn, down 18.8% from $20.8bn the previous year. In contrast, dealer revenues in the same period increased by 20-25%. A major reason for the decline in auction sales in 2016 was the drop in the number of lots consigned as potential sellers held back amid uncertainty.
For more on the report see this week's print edition of ATG.