At the end of 2022, looking forward to 2023, 45% of dealers expected an improvement in sales, including 10% predicting a significant improvement; 39% thought sales would be stable; and 16% anticipated a decline (against only 11% in 2021). The smallest dealers with turnover of less than $250,000 were the most optimistic about sales heading into 2023, with just over half (52%) expecting an increase.
In the auction sector, surveys of the mid-tier businesses revealed that just under half of respondents were optimistic for an improvement in sales in 2023, although 24% predicted a downturn. Confirming the ongoing importance of digital sales in this sector, 60% expected their online sales to increase and only 4% predicted a decline.
Surveys of HNW collectors by Arts Economics conducted in collaboration with UBS, showed that collectors were spending more in 2022 than they had prior to the pandemic, including a greater share at the high end of the art market. The surveys revealed that while their share of spending at prices under $50,000 had more than halved between 2019 and 2022, the proportion in the $1 million-plus range increased from 18% to 31%, and at the $10 million-plus level had doubled (to 12%). HNW collectors remained optimistic about the global art market in 2023, with a majority of 77% positive about its outlook, and only 6% pessimistic. The surveys also indicated strong spending plans for this year, with a majority (55%) planning to buy art in 2023, including 65% in the US.