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Some Prospects for the Art Market in 2021

This year, with the emergence of a Covid-19 vaccine, coupled with the government’s fiscal bailout, and the adoption of easing policies and gradually increasing efforts to control the epidemic, the art market situation has recovered and its popularity has gradually improved. It is now April, and one third of 2021 has passed. The following I will take Melbourne, the city where I live, as an example, to summarize the art market in the past four months from low, medium, and high-end three aspects, and then look forward to the remaining market in 2021.

As we all know, due to its unique geographical advantage, Australia has outperformed some other western developed countries in this new coronavirus prevention and control campaign. People returned to normal life early. Nevertheless, due to the impact of globalization, Australia's economy still has been hit a bit. This can be clearly felt from the performance of the low-end market. One of the most obvious is that more and more lots are appearing in low-end auctions, and more and more people wish that they could quickly realise their collections by selling their own collections, thereby alleviating their pressure in life. Unfortunately, due to the inherent defects in the quality of the collections, it is often difficult to achieve ideal auction results from such auctions. Similarly, many antique art dealers are unwilling to purchase such low-end collections, so as not to hold down the goods for too long and cause cash flow problems.

From the mid-market perspective, this situation is much better than the above. Due to the Australian government's continuous interest rate cuts, the Australian real estate market has become extremely hot, which has also ignited downstream companies in the real estate market such as furniture manufacturers, including some antique furniture dealers. Since the participants in this market are relatively in better conditions, they are also more able to afford some good antique furniture and even some antique works of art. In the same way, more collectors are willing to take over the collections flowing out of their hands, which also prospered the mid-range market.

From the perspective of the high-end market, I feel that there is no change at all, but there is a certain degree of improvement. It is obvious that every financial crisis is an opportunity for the rich to sublimate their wealth again. More currency circulation, low interest rates, people's anxiety, eagerness to sell fine collections and other opportunities, they will definitely not let it go. All of this can be felt from the recent strong transaction records of Sotheby's and Christie's.

In summary, I think that the art market in 2021 is worthy of expectations. Art collections in the mid-to-high-end market will remain strong, while there will be a wave of adjustments in the low-end market. To sum up, it means that good collections will never lack a market and are a powerful weapon against inflation. Instead of spending a few dollars or dozens of dollars on each different collection, it is better to spend a big amount to collect the fine pieces. By doing that, people’s wealth will rise geometrically over the time.

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