2017 Art Market Outlook

Despite an ongoing state of uncertainty in the stock market caused by the US election, Chinese economy and Brexit, according to the Christie’s former president of the Americas, Doug Woodham, the, “2017 [art market] may actually be a very stable, nice year.”

According to ArtTactic’s Forecaster Survey 2017, most of the surveyed art world participants were “cautiously optimistic” about the 2017 art market. Countries with the most optimistic outlook include the US and emerging art markets such as Latin America, South Asia, and Africa. The US, boosted by rising equity markets, low unemployment rates and increasing housing prices indicate growing buying sentiment. This comes as no surprise as art is a luxury good and people are only willing to place additional cash when they are comfortable with their state of wealth.

In the high end of the art market, there is neutral sentiment of growth, where over half of the surveyed noted the flattening of the market. On the other hand, 37% of the participants still see a potential for this market sector to grow.

Traditionally more volatile, the lower end of the market is showing signs of stabilization. Works of art under $10k rose 12%, from 44% (2016) to 56% (2017). Analysts hypothesize that collectors are becoming increasingly comfortable in the market and are now transitioning from the lower tier of the art market to the middle tier.

With the positive sentiment in mind, art businesses are grabbing at the opportunity to expand. Auction houses and galleries are now aiming to target clientele in new and emerging regions. However, the expansion of the big names of the art world poses a risk for small and middle tier businesses amidst the highly competitive environment.

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