Classic cars and works of fine art tumbled in value in 2016, while photography and rare musical instruments emerged as the hottest collectors’ items, according to a leading private bank.
The fall in the value of classic cars – down in price by 10.4% last year – comes after years of booming demand that has made them one of the best investments over the past decade, said Coutts.
Fine art has fallen out of favour among the world’s billionaires, with prices down 6.2% last year. Modern and impressionist art is selling for 12% below 2007 peak, while old masters and 19th-century art are fetching 40% less at auctions than before the financial crisis. Collectors have also lost interest in rugs and carpets with 2016 prices at an 11-year low.
Photography was probably the hottest new investment area among collectables, said Coutts. A photograph of visitors to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1990 by Thomas Struth sold for $777,080 (£600,890), with pictures by Gilbert & George, Robert Mapplethorpe and Andreas Gurksy all making more than $400,000.
“It is definitely one of our fastest growing categories,” said Brandei Estes, head of photographs at auctioneer Sotheby’s in London. “It’s the nature of the work; it is the most democratic of art forms and because of the relatively accessible price points, it’s an attractive category for the growing middle market.” Read more