The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Report Released
Both the Guardian and Bloomberg carry snippets of the Surveyors survey. On one hand they see prices going down for low-end antiques because the housing market in the UK is at a standstill (as it is everywhere else.) Here’s Bloomberg:
Twenty-two percent more of those surveyed by RICS said prices were dropping for items valued up to 5,000 pounds. Prices fell most sharply for antique furniture and traditional paintings, said RICS. “It seems average buyers are reassessing their spending in the current financial crisis,” said the survey, based on responses from 63 RICS members. “With less people moving home, there is a diminished supply and demand for art and antiques.” (Much more after the jump.) In August, the RICS’s U.K. housing survey reported that the average number of transactions for each surveyor in the previous three months had dropped to 12.7, the lowest figure since the survey began. During that period, some estate agents in a number of regions reported making less than one sale per week, said RICS.
And the Guardian chimes in: “The report confirmed a polarising trend in auction houses, with lower-end prices declining in value while the market for £50,000-plus lots climbed.”
Which Bloomberg confirms: “A net balance of 34 percent more auctioneers and valuers reported prices falling for items estimated at 1,000 pounds and below in the quarterly survey completed last month. By contrast, a balance of 39 percent reported that prices rose for more expensive works of 50,000 pounds and higher as wealthy people snapped up trophy art. Contemporary art registered the strongest growth, with 41 percent more surveyors reporting increased prices.”
There is a bright side: “Silver and jewelry also continued to increase in price at auction, helped by strong commodities and precious metal markets, according to RICS members.”
Even with all that, the sudden onset of the credit crisis has the Guardian predicting the Hirst sale as the market peak:
“The contemporary art sector has rocketed over the past few years, with a sudden correction now a strong possibility,” said Andrew Davies of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He noted that many buyers at the recent record-breaking auction of works by Damien Hirst were first-timers. Much of the £112m paid for 218 Hirst works had flooded in from Russia, Kazakhstan, the Middle East and China.
Auction Bubble About to Burst (Guardian)