Sotheby’s reported their first half sales this morning with a 22% increase to $3.5bn in the first half of 2018 and an 80% sell-through on all lots. The company continues to be a private sales powerhouse with those transactions rising at a much greater rate, 63%, than auctions. Private sales were $543m for the first half of 2018.
Sotheby’s offered some highlights from those numbers:
- Approximately 80% of the more than 23,000 lots offered in the first half of 2018 sold,
continuing our strong performance on behalf of our consignors.
- We continue to grow the number of new buyers at Sotheby’s:
- In the first half of 2018, approximately one third of total buyers were new to the
- 19% of our total hammer in that same period came from new buyers, which is up five points from the prior three years.
- Asia also continues to be a success story– our Aggregate Auction Sales in Asia for the first half of 2018 totaled $488 million, up 15%, and with a strong sell-through rate of 90% and 21 world auction records set.
- In the first half of 2018, Asian clients accounted for 28% of our Aggregate Auction Sales and purchased eight of the top 20 lots sold at Sotheby’s year-to-date.
- We are also encouraged by the growth of new clients – in the first half of 2018, 28% of buyers were new to Sotheby’s Asia and, coincidentally, 28% was also the growth rate of Asian clients buying Western art.