Who topped 2016’s charts?

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - BUYING & SELLING -

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’

RICHARD HUD­SON-EVANS Mar­ket com­men­tary from our man in the thick of the sales

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