Selling antiques could help Scots pay for Christmas

Scots struggling to pay for Christmas could consider selling artwork and antiques at auction to raise extra cash, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Scotland (RICS Scotland).

Over the past 12 months only 3% of people in Scotland have sold arts and antiques to raise extra money, says a YouGov survey out today. The survey was commissioned by RICS Scotland, whose members include arts and antiques valuers and auctioneers.

RICS Scotland arts and antiques expert Angus Milner-Brown believes the Scottish public should be tapping in to this market.

“While many people won’t have arts and antiques to sell or may want to keep them for sentimental reasons, I believe it’s not occurred to many that this is a great way to make extra cash to help pay for Christmas or just to cover rising household bills.”

Angus Milner-Brown, RICS Scotland arts and antiques expert

Of the 1 001 survey respondents in Scotland,  just 2% of men and 4% of women had sold their treasures to pay for something else. Those most likely to have sold something were aged 55 or over, with 5% of respondents in this age group saying they had done so.

Other age groups were all equally likely to have sold arts or antiques (2%).

Regionally, people living in south Scotland sold the most at 7%. Those in central Scotland, north-east Scotland and mid Scotland and Fife sold the least, with just 1% of respondents in these areas saying they had made a sale.

The survey results suggest that employment status had little bearing on whether people sold arts and antiques to raise extra money. Five per cent of Scots who are retired and 4% of students admitted to selling arts or antiques to make some extra cash while the figure for workers was 2%.

Experts report the jewellery, silver and coin markets are all showing significant gains in value. This reflects the record high prices in the gold bullion market, which could well rise further. Now might be a good time for people to consider selling any sovereigns and other gold.

The Chinese market remains fantastically strong. They have massive buying power and regard the UK as a safe place to buy Chinese porcelain, jade and art. Many copies of artifacts are being sold in China, so buyers are looking to markets where items are likely to be genuine, such as the UK.

“Auction houses are full of people buying and selling as a hobby or business. I would urge people to clear out their cupboards of unwanted pieces of art and antiques and get them valued by a valuer registered with an organisation such as RICS.

There are auctions taking place across Scotland throughout December and January. You never know, your unwanted antiques could help pay for Christmas.”

Angus Milner-Brown, RICS Scotland arts and antiques expert

Angus is an RICS member and managing director of Covington Fine Art Limited in Biggar.

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