“Buyers are becoming more accustomed to thinking in higher values,” [Vivian Ebersman] said in an e-mail. “Works over $10 million are becoming more normal.” […]
“Postwar and contemporary art has been on fire,” said Suzanne Gyorgy, global head of art advisory and finance at New York-based Citigroup Inc.’s Citi Private Bank. “There are so many more collectors globally now than even five years ago. Top tier, iconic art shows status and success. For new wealth, the fact that it’s recognizable is very important.”
Art prices have surged since the start of 2008, outperforming the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) of big U.S. stocks, according to Artnet Worldwide Corp. Global art sales, which peaked at 48 billion euros ($65 billion) in 2007 and fell to 28 billion euros in 2009, reached 43 billion euros in 2012, according to the latest annual Art Market Report from the European Fine Art Foundation.
Art is “now definitely considered a valid alternative investment,” said Clare McAndrew, author of the report, in an e-mail. “Therefore if financial assets become less attractive in terms of yields and prices, there are some people who would expand their allocations to alternatives, including art.”