Sunday, June 03, 2007

Mortgaging Fine Art

There was an interesting story on Marketwatch last week about financing of art purchases. Notably, Sotheby's and Citigroup offer art loans. That Sotheby's should do so is interesting, seems there's more money to be made on the loans than in selling the art (well, duh, just do the mortgage calculation one day crionna...ed.).

One thing not really mentioned in the article is how this could have an affect on the "value" of the art. If you're a good customer of Sotheby's or Citigroup (and what hedge fund manager wouldn't be?) and are guaranteed to get the piece you're bidding on regardless of price, is it really worth the price? Or, like homes, is there a bubble out there?

I'd guess that fine art, the kind that boasts are made of for owning is a lot like real estate in SF, or NYC; they're not making any more of it and it won't really be affected by any downturn that hits the burbs in the same way that a downturn might hit the sales of say, Thomas Kinkade...

PS. Here's an interesting site that talks about art as an investment vehicle.