Heritage Auctions announced sales of more than $850 million USD for 2016, the firm’s third-best year ever, and nearly equal to its 2015 sales of $860 million. The results are a signal of the company’s continuing dominance in the collectibles realm while other major auction houses recorded significantly lower sales volume for the same period.
Heritage’s fine art category recorded a 28-percent leap in 2016 — in stark contrast to sales at its two largest competitors, both of which saw sales decline by approximately 30 percent.
“Through diversity, transparency and ardent attention to our clients, Heritage solidified and increased its commanding lead as the largest auction house founded in America,” said Heritage Co-Chairman James Halperin. “And we’re anticipating an even better 2017.”
U.S. Coins remains Heritage’s largest category, with 2016 auction totals exceeding $192 million, outselling all other numismatic auction houses combined by a wide margin, according to the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) annual survey, which shows Heritage maintaining its 56-percent market share.
World & Ancient Coins at Heritage realized about $47 million, while Currency posted over $29 million auction sales. Both categories also showed early signs of increased market strength at major Heritage auctions in Florida and New York that realized almost $70 million during the first 10 days of January 2017.
“Based on late 2016 and early 2017 auction results, the U.S. Coin Market remains upbeat, with prices now already 10 to 12 percent above the previous years’ prices, on average,” Halperin said. “We are already seeing extremely positive results from the first coin auctions of the year. Meanwhile, our plans to expand into other markets and geographic regions are on track.”
Several of Heritage’s other categories set records:
- Heritage’s Sports auctions grew from $42 million in 2015 — already more than double any other auction firm’s Sports Collectibles sales — to an incredible $57.4 million in 2016.
- Heritage’s already-dominant Comics and Comic & Animation Art auction category was another juggernaut, with total realized auction prices realized jumping from $34 million to a record $43 million, again outselling all other auction competitors combined.
- Fine Jewelry, Timepieces and Luxury Accessories at Heritage combined for a solid year as well, with more than $41.7 million in auction totals (more than $30 million in Jewelry and Watches and more than $10.7 million in Luxury Accessories), versus more than $26 million ($15 million in Jewelry and Watches & $11 million in Luxury Accessories) in 2015.
- Movie Posters posted sales of $7.95+ million vs. $7.4+ million in 2015.
- Luxury Real Estate saw sales increase to $19 million vs. $11.2 million for 2014 and 2015 combined.
- Wine recorded auction totals of $10.8 million in 2016 vs. $7.55 million in 2015.
Strategic growth continued as:
- The company expanded its national footprint, opening an office in Palm Beach, Florida, and a full-service showroom in Chicago, Illinois.
- For the first time, Heritage’s clientele now includes more than one million online registered bidder-members, with nearly 90,000 new members added in 2016.
- The firm also maintained its online lead, with the total number of unique visitors to HA.com holding steady at nearly twice the combined total number of unique visits the websites of Heritage Auctions’ five closest competing web sites.
- Online sales (reported in early 2016 for 2015) were $344 million – surpassing all other auction houses; 2016 online sales figures are now being compiled and will be released soon.