A new tribe of art collectors is emerging across the globe as younger high-net-worth individuals loosen their purse strings to buy more readily than the old guard, says a new UBS report.
Millennials accounted for almost half of the total high end spending on art in 2017, according to the 2018 Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report.
The trend was particularly prominent in Asian markets.
While the average respondent to UBS and Art Economics' survey was 50 years or older in the US, in Asian countries they were much younger.
In Singapore, 46% of the respondents were millennial collectors. When combined with Gen X and Gen Z accounted for 91% of collectors. In Hong Kong, millennials were 39% of the respondents.
Overall, global art sales climbed 6% to hit USD $67.4 billion.
Millennials emerged as active buyers, preferring design objects followed by fine art and antiques. Of all groups, millennials were most likely (69%) to buy fine art.
They also showed different motivations for their purchases than the average buyer.
"Social reasons for collecting, including talking about art, spending leisure time, and making friendships via the artworld, were important for 72% of the aggregate collector sample, but their importance tended to decline with age: 62% of millennial collectors felt these reasons were extremely or very important versus 47% of Gen X collectors, 18% boomers and 11% silent generation," the report said.
"A similar trend held for status, cultural credibility, and collecting art as a sign of personal wealth and success, which was rated one of the least important overall but ranked more highly by millennial collectors than any other age groups."