Rare Musical Instruments Hit High Note With Collectors

The value of rare musical instruments hit a high note last year – but only after recovering from a big loss the year before.

Prices were up 16% in 2016, after suffering a 11% loss in 2015.

Although alternative investments monitored by top people’s London bank Coutts have shown a steady return that outperforms the London Stock Market, trends in what’s hot to collect are changing.

Classic cars are still the best performing investment on the bank’s Objects of Desire Index, showing growth of 330% since the tracker started in 2005.

But values sunk by 10.4% last year as wealthy investors seem to have set their sights on other collectibles.

Musical instruments showed the biggest increase, followed by photography.

Cameras, images and other photographic memorabilia are more modestly priced than cars and fine art allowing collectors to build a large portfolio relatively cheaply.

A classic car record was set in August when a 1950s Aston Martin DBR1 sold for $22.6 million.

Coutts also revealed billionaire properties – homes valued at more than $10 million – also dropped out of favour with a price drop of 7.5% in London. The market was more robust in other cities with New York posting a 20% increase.

Other alternative investments, including fine art, rugs, coins and carpets all showed well with a 1.2% increase across the category and a 77% return since the monitor started 12 years ago.

Coins show best return

However, the price of old masters declined 40% and impressionist art was down 8%. Old masters were the worst performing collectible.

Fine art values have dropped considerably since they peaked around the time of the global financial crisis.

Although prices only rose 5.3% last year, coins have the highest average annual return of 11.3%.

In the same period, the FTSE100 recorded a 52% rise.

“Provenance and rarity continue to be the two factors that are pushing prices higher. Classic cars have provided the healthiest returns since 2005, with average prices rising more than fourfold. However, after increasing rapidly in 2013 and 2014, price returns for classic cars fell in both 2015 and 2016,” said Coutts managing director Mohammad Kamal Syed.

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