Auction market values are up and 'buyers want tangible assets' says RICS

More collectibles are selling for above their pre-sale estimates at auction, according to a new survey by the UK's Royal Instituted of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

It's good news for both entry-level and mid-market investors, according to the newly-published findings, with the most price increases recorded in collectibles valued at £1,000-5,000 or £5,000-£50,000 in 2010's third quarter.

Prices at the higher end of the spectrum (£50,000 or above) are also showing increases, albeit at a steadier pace.

'Silver and Jewellery' was the best performing 'sub-category' examined by the RICS. Although growth has slightly slowed in the markets, prices of silver and jewellery collectibles have risen on average by over 40% to nearly 60%.

Just behind this subcategory is Militaria, with prices up at around 35%, and Toys, up at nearly 25%.

Collectible jewellery assets are continuing to rise in value, says the RICS

Andrew Acquier BA FRICS, a Chartered Arts Surveyor, was among those asked to contribute his opinions to the survey.

"There certainly appears to be a great deal more confidence in the auction market as indicated by the increase in sale results as against market pre-sale assessments," he commented.

Reasonable pricing has been strengthening the auction market, according to Angus Milner-Brown, MRICS, from Covington Fine Art Limited in Lanarkshire, UK: "Where lot estimates are more reasonably quoted, we are seeing good results."

C G Ames of Ames Auctioneers in London was also optimistic on the topic of entry-level investments. "There has been an increase in demand in items under £5,000 where people would rather have a tangible asset which will hopefully increase in value rather than leaving cash in the bank," they said.

Meanwhile, gold and Oriental items are also strong performers, according to Toby Pinn MRICS from North Somerset's Clevedon Salerooms - partly thanks to the flexibility of online bidding.

Medals and militaria are also among the markets'
best performers

"Gold remains very strong. The demand for Oriental items continues and has lately included furniture lots being purchased on-line by China based buyers."

In the next 12 months, respondents interviewed by the RICS said they 'expect to see a rise in demand and availability.' This predicted demand is expected to outstrip supply, although 'the gap between the two is narrowing.'

Overall, the RICS survey is great news for collectors, with particular strength in Silver and Jewellery collectibles and rises in the £50,000-plus item bracket similar to its findings from the first half of 2010.


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