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Arts and antiques market prices shrug off recession

The latest responses demonstrate that prices are rising in 70% of the market, and that it is the top end of the market which has the strongest readings.

However, the contemporary art market is starting to look like the lame duck of the arts and antiques sector as more surveyors report that prices are falling.

The number of chartered surveyors reporting that prices are falling rather than rising in the contemporary arts market increased in the third quarter of this year to 34%, from 24% in Q2. As in previous quarters, prices fell across the board and show a marked contrast to the rises seen at the start of last year.

In contrast, the traditional "safe havens" of jewellery and silverware had strong readings, with positive results in all price brands. Some 44% more surveyors felt that jewellery prices were still rising, and 37% more felt that silverware prices were on the up as well.

The oil and watercolour sector is still strong at the top end of the market, despite recording an overall net balance of -3%.

The arts and antiques market has held up well under the duress of the recession with many investors looking for a safety net for their savings.

RICS spokesperson Chris Ewbank said: "Cheap money, and downwards price adjustments in the last five years or so, is helping to drive up prices in nearly every part of the market."

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