Chapter 6
Global Wealth and the Art Buyers

Chapter 6 provides a brief overview of world wealth, showing how changes in the size and distribution of wealth within and between regions are shaping trends in the art market. This chapter presents the results of a comprehensive survey of more than 1,300 HNW collectors in the US, UK, France, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong carried out in 2019 in conjunction with UBS Investor Watch.

Key Findings

Surveys of more than 1,300 HNW collectors conducted by Arts Economics and UBS Investor Watch in seven markets indicated that millennial collectors purchased the most and also spent the most on art and collectibles, averaging total expenditure of $3 million over two years.

Total Value and Volume of Purchases 2017–2019

Although they were smaller in number, the impact of female collectors on spending in the market was significant: 34% of women had spent over $1 million in the last two years (versus 25% of men), with 16% having spent over $10 million.

HNW Collector Expenditure on Art and Antiques 2017-2019

HNW collectors had an average of 76 works in their collections (with a median of 27). More than 30% of the works in their collections were held in storage that was essentially out of view (in general storage, bank vaults, or in a Freeport).

Average and Median Collection Size by Market

The majority of HNW collectors in all countries had sold a work from their collection, with the highest frequency of resales among millennial collectors. For those reselling works, the average period between original purchase and subsequent resale was just under four years.

Share of Collectors Having Resold Works from Their Collections

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