Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The price is right, or wrong, or something

Webb’s latest publication continues with its argument that statistics are the way to the hearts of collectors. Again it's Bill Hammond who wears the stat hat with a timeline of his auction prices marching through the ages, well from 1996 to 2009 at least. In dollar terms we’re talking from $326,250.00 to $322,000.00 with a work that sold for $316,250.00 in the middle. But you know statistics. At a loose end? Try putting the numbers through an inflation calculator and a somewhat different story emerges. In today's dollars the 1996 painting is Fortified Gang Headquarters and adjusted would be worth $477,324 and the 2009 painting Farmer’s Market worth $355,957. So good news for Hammond buyers, though maybe for investors, not so much. In its next auction Webb’s have a classic 1996 painting Searching for Ashburton on the block with an estimate of $220,000 - $280,000. Sounds pretty impressive but go in reverse and put it into 1996 inflation adjusted figures (have these people nothing better to do with their time?) and you're looking at $150,000 to $190,000. You can play games with inflation here on the Reserve Bank site.