The Swiss credit giant UBS, together with Art Basel, has just published the new edition of the Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report. The research highlighted a return to growth for the global art market, with China surpassing the United Kingdom. After two years of decline, in 2017 the world art market grew by 12%, reaching an estimated value of 63.7 billion dollars.
UK replaced by China in top 3
The US remains the largest art market in the world and represents 42% of the value of sales, reversing the trend of recent years and returning to growth of 16% compared to 2016. Moreover, 72% of sales through intermediaries registered in the United States were allocated to local buyers.On the other hand, China rose to second place with 21%, exceeding the United Kingdom which arrived third at 20%. Accounting for 83% of all total sales of art objects, these three countries only leave crumbs to the rest of the world.
Asia, a growing market
Important signals came from Asia, which overall accounted for 23% of global sales in 2017, while Asian buyers made 15% of global transactions through intermediaries. Chinese buyers alone have taken the lion’s share with 10%, a significant increase compared to the much thinner 4% of 2016 which again shows the continued growth of purchasing power in Asia.
Online sales rising sharply
As for sales channels, purchases through intermediaries grew by 4% compared to 2016 reaching an estimated value of 33.7 billion dollars (53% of the market). Art fairs represented 46% of sales through intermediaries in 2017 and aggregate sales were estimated at 15.5 billion dollars. Finally, the online art market recorded significant growth over the last five years, equal to 72%, reaching an estimated value of 5.4 billion in 2017.