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5 Things You Should Know About the Art Market in 2024

In honour of World Art Day, we wanted to offer you insight into the evolving dynamics of the art market in 2024. This is a year marked by significant shifts in investment strategies and collector behaviours. From the rising influence of economic considerations to the stabilisation of the auction market and the adoption of new investment models amid changing collector demographics, the landscape is rapidly transforming. Here are five things you need to know about the art market this year: 

Roy Lichtenstein – Crying Girl (1963)

  • Excellent market performance: In 2023, Lichtenstein’s sales of over €42M placed him 32nd among top 100 auction artists.
  • Strong growth: Lichtenstein’s 2023 print market performance surged, with sales up +22% and volume up +20% from 2022.

1.Why People Invest in Art in 2024

According to the Deloitte Art & Finance Report 2024, while the emotional appeal of art continues to be the primary reason for acquisitions (cited by 60% of collectors), there’s a notable shift in the motivation behind art purchases. Namely, for the first time in over a decade, 41% of collectors now cite financial value as their main incentive, surpassing social value (36%). This shift indicates a move towards more economically driven considerations. In short, collectors increasingly view art as a means of portfolio diversification, inflation protection, and lucrative returns.

This trend also extends beyond fine art to include luxury collectibles. Thus blurring the lines between different types of high-value assets. Consequently, the strategies that have traditionally been applied only to fine art are now expanding to encompass luxury items, reflecting a broader art and finance approach.

2. Auction MarketStabilisation

After enduring significant fluctuations during the early 2020s, the auction market is now in the process of stabilising. As reported by the Artnet Intelligence Report 2024, total fine art auction revenue decreased by 12.7% in 2023. This reflects a shift away from speculative buying towards a greater appreciation for quality and long-term value.

The Deloitte Art & Finance Report 2024 corroborates this trend, noting that works with recognised artistic and historical significance are achieving higher purchase rates. In other words, the growing selectiveness suggests a more mature market where collectors prioritise intrinsic and financial value. This is supported by a rise in private sales and sealed-bid auctions that cater to long-term investment approaches.

3. Rise of Online Sales

The integration of online sales platforms continues to transform the art market. According to the Artnet Intelligence Report 2024, online-only sales in 2023 reached $440.3 million. Which, in turn, reinforces digital platforms as a critical component of the art market. This shift not only enhances accessibility but also broadens the market’s reach beyond traditional geographic limits.

The report also highlights that online sales have now almost tripled from 2020. Additionally, more artwork sold online in 2023 than ever before. This growth is indicative of a lasting change in collector behaviour, with an increasing number of buyers and sellers relying on digital means to buy and sell art.

4. Shifts in Collector Demographics

The demographic landscape of the art market is experiencing notable changes, increasingly influenced by younger collectors. According to the Art Basel & UBS Report 2024, this trend is particularly prominent in China.

The young collectors there are diversifying their portfolio beyond modern contemporary art, and embracing historical artpieces across various categories. They are also actively supporting local artists and museums and contributing to comprehensive international collections.

The Deloitte Art & Finance Report 2024 notes that young collectors are also seeking artworks that address social and environmental issues. While showing an increased interest in the digitalisation of art. Ultimately, this emerging demographic not only values cultural and historical diversity but also prioritises financial returns in their collecting strategies.

Bridget Riley – ‘Dominance Triptych 1977’.

  • Strong market interest: In the last 4 years she has achieved 11 of the 15 highest auction successes – her market is now better than ever.
  • Most expensive print: In April 2023, an edition of the Dominance Triptych sold for €80,400 – Riley’s most expensive print to date.

5. Young Collectors Embrace Innovative Investment Models

According to the Deloitte Art & Finance Report 2024, younger collectors are increasingly open to new forms of art investment, notably fractional ownership and art investment funds. Interest in fractional ownership has risen significantly, with 50% of younger collectors showing enthusiasm. This is compared to only 14% of older generation collectors.

Additionally, the trend is supported by the emergence of more regulated fractional art ownership initiatives, which have seen their assets under management exceed US$1 billion in 2023. For the first time, these initiatives are being regulated by financial authorities, heralding a new era that could lead to a broader adoption of fractional ownership in art and collectibles.

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In 2024, the art market is undergoing significant changes, redefining traditional boundaries and investment approaches. Economic, digital, and demographic shifts are guiding collectors through a landscape where art’s value is increasingly seen as a long-term financial investment.

Reports from Deloitte Art & Finance, Artnet Intelligence and Art Basel spotlight these shifts, highlighting the rising importance of online platforms. These platforms now account for a large part of auction revenue. At the same time, younger collectors are transforming the market with their strong interest in innovative investment models like fractional ownership. These trends point to a more advanced, globally interconnected, and economically driven art market in the future.