ArtPrice has weighed in on the art flipping debate with this chart of works that were sold at auction within 5 years of their creation. The bars are the total value of those lots, the line is the total number of lots. You’ll see that the overall value of flipped works was much greater in 2007 than in the year ending in July of 2014.
You’ll notice that the volume of lots never drops during the financial crisis. The value does but the volume only comes down slightly. Then, as the market recovered in 2010, there’s a categorical change to the upside. After that, the numbers start to climb through the art market’s take off.
We culminate at the same overall dollar volume as 2008 but at a lower average price for flipped lots. Think about that. Substantially more recent works are being sold at auction now than during the art market peak of 2007 but at a lower average price.
This suggests a bigger and broader Contemporary art market than existed even at that peak moment.