Young savers invest in "affordable art"

almost a third of people aged 18-34 have bought paintings, sculptures or photographs worth under £4,000 each in the last year according to a survey by direct line.

It appears that more and more young people are investing in artwork as an alternative to putting there money into traditional savings accounts, which can sometimes offer low returns. The survey found that young people spent an estimated £1.9 billion on affordable artwork in the last 12 months, with 1 in 7 saying they believe it is an asset that will appreciate in value.

Stephanie Norton-Henson, insurance appraiser at Direct Line, said:

“Young people are transforming their homes into miniature versions of White Cube or the Saatchi Gallery, with works from up-and-coming artists adorning their walls.”

These investment pieces can be picked up at an Affordable Art Fair. These events run in Bristol, Battersea and Hampstead, with a ticket price of £10 and a limit of £4,000 on the value of each work of art. Romy Westwood, director of the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead, said:

“It has never been easier for first time buyers to discover art they can hang on their walls and cherish for years to come.”

Graduate art shows may be another good place to pick up a bargain; when the artist Daisy Clarke graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2008, one of the pieces on sale at her graduate show was valued at £350. The same piece sold just two years later for £900. Nevertheless there are significant risk involved that should be considered carefully. Westwood went on to say:

“While the survey suggests that 12 per cent of people buy art as an investment, an increase in value is never guaranteed. However, limited edition prints, pieces by recent graduates and up-and-coming artists which are often priced at under £500, are a great place to start.”

Norton-Henson urged art lovers to ensure that their insurance cover is up to date with their collections: “It is important works are regularly appraised so people can ensure they have sufficient insurance cover to protect the works in their home galleries.”