Analysis: London Contemporary Evening Sale – July 2014

No. Pages6
ResearchersAnders Petterson, Laura-Jade Holloway
Report TypeAuction Analysis

Sotheby’s regains market share in London sales.

Last week’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening sales raised a total of £170,710,000 (excluding buyer’s premium) against a pre-sale estimate of £154,990,000 to £216,250,000. The result constitutes a 25% increase from June 2013 sales, but is 12% below the evening sales results from February 2014.

With more lots on offer this season (140 vs. 112 in February 2014), the average auction price decreased by 30% from £1,731,000 in February of this year to £1,219,357. This could signal that the auction houses are finding it increasingly difficult to source top quality material, and are compensating for the short-fall in value by increasing the number of lots.

The Auction Indicator (comparing the hammer prices to pre-sale estimates) came in at 45 (the average for all three auction houses), this is 4% lower than February 2014.

Christie’s achieved a 50% market share in terms of the evening sales, against Sotheby’s 45%, and with Phillips’ accounting for the remaining 5%. However, Christie’s is down from a market share of 56% in February 2014. The results indicate that Sotheby’s have managed to address (at least temporarily) the imbalance that has emerged between Christie’s and Sotheby’s contemporary evening sales results in the last 12 months.