The analysis of the Spring 2021 Hong Kong auctions at Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.)
Despite experiencing a dip of around 20 percent in annual sales in the last year due to the pandemic, the top auction houses—Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips—have now bounced back from the crisis to pre-pandemic levels. In the past several months, auction house executives have emphasized that a boost from clients based in Asia has fueled the market's return to strength. In December 2020, Hong Kong unexpectedly outpaced New York and London by a meaningful margin. The shift demonstrated an important change in the dynamic between global sale centers. Asian purchasing power has only continued to show strength into the most recent Spring and Summer auction season.
According to a recent report published by London art market data firm, Pi-eX, auction sales taking place in China increased to $1.2 billion this year in the second quarter, up 69% from the $734 million total generated before the pandemic during the same period in 2019. In terms of market share, Asia's growth also surpassed U.S. which has been the traditional leader. North American sales in 2021 failed to bounce back to 2019 levels. The U.S. instead saw a 16 percent drop in sales.
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