Confidence returns to antique investments

Thursday, 09 July 2009 07:44

Antiques and arts are proving a sound investment during the economic downturn, it is claimed, with the industry seeing the market strengthen over the past few months.

Prices have risen in almost all segments with silverware at the helm followed by militaria and jewellery, according to a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) study.

In times of economic uncertainty, these items are perceived to be a ‘safe-haven’.

The only segments that haven’t fared well are ceramics and contemporary arts, which are both recording price drops this quarter.

“The outlook for arts and antiques remains positive in the near-term as demand is strong and looks set to stay so,” said Rics spokesperson Andrew Davies.

Though there has been an increase overall, price increases have dropped to seven per cent, down from 19 per cent in quarter one.

Mr Davies believes the recent string of positive news regarding the housing and stock markets caused the move away from top-end investments. Increasing confidence tends to shift consumers back to traditional investments forms.

The decrease could also be attributed to a cyclical market.

“A drop in business is expected as we move into the summer months, happens every year, although I believe summer started a month early this year. We are looking for an upturn in September,” said Richard Harrison of GE Sworder & Sons, a fine arts auctioneers.

Rics reports demand is expected to rise from 39 per cent over the next three months. Supply will likely remain positive although surveyors foresee a drop.

The discrepancy could lead prices to increase even more as demand outweighs items available for purchase.

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