Who topped 2016’s charts?
Although several models established new auction records in 2016, the average price paid for classics fell dramatically. There may have been buyers for 7537 of the record 11,375 collector vehicles auctioned in Europe as a whole, but the average paid per EEC auctioned car fell by £4727 per car, a fall of nine per cent in one year. Of the 5885 cars from the 8929 offered that I personally saw change hands for £166.5m at UK auctions last year, the average sum paid was £28,292 with premium, nearly 15 per cent less than in the previous year.
Even more surprising is that the average price of the 1652 classics that I reported on being sold for £189.31m in mainland European auctions also fell by the equivalent of £48,286 per car last year compared to the previous year. And lest we forget, average prices paid in 2015 were £27,130 lower than those seen in 2014. Statistically, the prices of most, though not all mainstream classics have softened dramatically in the past two years.
Real world sale rates achieved by the 107 classic auctions I attended at home and abroad varied from a 17 per cent low at Newmarket in July to 100 per cent at New Bond Street in September. The £40m total sell-out of 423 no reserve cars at Milan in November meanwhile was easily the year’s highest grossing sale.
RM Sotheby’s topped the European auctions chart by selling 546 of the 589 cars consigned for their Paris, Monaco and Milan sales, 33 per cent of the cars offered in the UK, achieving a 93 per cent sale rate and grossing £76.22m by the year’s end.
In second place was Artcurial, which shifted 366 of 464 cars for £57.85m and took a 31 per cent share of the European market.
Bonhams Europe was third, securing 20 per cent of the market by selling 173 of 286 cars auctioned for £38.01m and achieving an average of £219,711 per car sold, the highest in Europe. These figures were doubtless helped by the 1953 Le Mans-raced Jaguar XKC it sold for €7.25m (£5.72m with premium) in May – by far the highest-priced Brit auctioned in Europe last year.
‘Sale rates in 2016 varied from a 17 per cent low to a 100 per cent high’