Auction Review 2018

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New analysis and insights into the global auction market in 2018, show that global auction sales were up 8.9% from 2017. This was supported by growing sales in both the Post-War and Contemporary art sector as well as the Impressionist and Modern art market.

About this report:

This report presents an in-depth review and comparison of auction trends in 2018, based on global auction sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips. This Annual Auction Review is part of ArtTactic’s RawFacts research reports. RawFacts auction analysis is published twice a year with quarterly analysis and once a year with a full-year auction review.

Who is it for?

This report is popular among collectors, media, art advisors, auction houses and financial investors, who want to get an overall feel for the changing buying and collecting trends at auction and how the performance of the three main auction houses compare over the course of 2018.

Key Findings:

The year ends on a positive note, but global auction sales slow in second half of 2018: Global auction sales from Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips ended up at $12.21 billion in 2018, up 8.9% from 2017. After a strong first 6 months, the auction market slowed down in the second half of 2018.

New York strengthens its position in the global art market in 2018: New York sales for Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips accounted for 51% of total sales last year, up from 48.7% in 2017. UK’s share remained at 24.2% in 2018 (same as in 2017), whilst Hong Kong fell from 15.6% in 2017 to 15% in 2018. The political uncertainty facing UK and Europe in 2018, could strengthen New York’s position further in the coming 12 months.

Phillips and Sotheby’s gain market share from Christie’s in 2018: Christie’s share accounted for 50.9% of auction sales among the three houses, whilst Phillips have seen their share of sales grow to 6.5% in 2018. Sotheby’s also increased its share of the market, accounting for 42.6% of auction sales in 2018.

Analytical tools:
Auction House Comparison: Annual, Quarterly and Monthly sales and performance comparison between Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips.
Auction sales trends in 2018: Auction sales trends analysed by location, auction house and all major art market sectors.
Auction House Performance: Sell-through rate and auction performance vs. expectations.
Top Auctions: Highest global auction results in 2018.

The year ends on a positive note, but global auction sales slow in second half of 2018