There have traditionally been three “d” words that have impacted the antiques industry (not to mention lawyers). They are death, debt and divorce. Now there’s another: downsizing.
One thing that, as can be expected, has a significant impact on the antiques market in particular is real estate. The reality there is, not only is the housing market in the tank, but we’re looking to live in less space, which naturally means with less stuff.
In October, 2010, economists at the National Association of Home Builders took a new look at census data and found that single-family homes in the U.S. continued to get smaller in 2009. From a peak of 2,268 square feet in 2006, the group says the median size of new single-family homes dropped consistently through last year, when the size was down to an even 2,100.
Moreover, the builders estimate the downsizing trend is likely to last longer. The current decline in home size can be attributed to factors like the desire to keep energy costs down, the amount of equity in existing homes available to be rolled over into new ones, tighter credit standards, less interest in buying a home as an investment and a growing presence of first-time buyers.
When asked about the trend toward smaller houses, one builder on an affordable housing feed replied that smaller is definitely how it’s going with average sizes in the 400 square foot range for studios and 500 sf for one bedrooms. That’s small!
In the longer-term, it’s not the current state of the housing market that’s of primary interest, rather the demographic trends that will impact the housing market, the size of homes and the larger need to furnish homes, or the need to dispose of existing furnishings.
One place to look is a 2010 publication by the Urban Land Institute, Housing America by John McIlwain.
At times it may not seem like it, but McIlwain says in the report that after the recession ends demand for housing will increase. Four demographic groups will drive housing markets for the next decade, each of which is large and facing a unique set of challenges.
First, older baby boomers will constitute a senior population unprecedented in size. Younger baby boomers will be unable to sell their current suburban homes to move to new jobs. Generation Y will be renting housing far longer than did past generations; and immigrants and their children will want to move to the suburbs but may find housing there too expensive even after the current drop in prices.
The population of the United States is projected to grow rapidly during the coming decade, still McIlwain says the homeownership rate, currently 67 percent, will fall to levels not seen in two decades. This will produce a strong market for rental housing in the years ahead.
It’s not clear how more rentals and less homeowners will impact the industry, but I’d guess it could benefit the lower end of the antiques market. It will also depend on how high the rents are. That assumes generation Y develops an interest in antiques. If you take a look at this recent graph on CNN, you can develop a picture of just who may be in the market for furniture and when.
Antiques move into the spotlight for greener living.
Commissioned by members of the antiques trade, extensive independent research
finally puts a figure on just how eco-friendly buying antiques can be.
The analysis compared the greenhouse gas emissions produced during the lifespan of
two chest of drawers; one constructed in 1830 with an assumed lifespan of 195 years
during which time it has been restored and sold twice and, the other, a new piece ofsimilar value available from a reputable high street retailer with an assumed lifespan of
15 years. The detailed report focuses on all stages of each product’s lifecycle: from the
sourcing of materials to the manufacturing processes, the transportation to the storage
and finally to the disposal.
Antiques not only provide unique style and value for money but, as this report confirms
with the pieces used for the research, the annual emissions of an antique piece can be
as little as one sixteenth of those of its new equivalent.
Nigel Worboys, founder of Antiques are Green Campaign and who spearheaded theresearch says “We launched the website www.antiquesaregreen.org last year to help
communicate what ‘the trade’, had been thinking for quite a while. We’re delighted tohave our thoughts confirmed - 16 times over! Buying antiques reduces landfill, reduces
carbon emissions, reduces consumption of new goods from abroad and, preserves our
heritage for future generations.”
Mark Hill, co-presenter of the BBC’s Cracking Antiques and an expert on the Antiques
Roadshow comments “There has never been a better time to buy antiques – not only
do they provide us with excellent value for money and the opportunity to create our
own individual style but they also enable us to help the environment through ‘glamorous
recycling’ as confirmed by the facts in this insightful report.”
The study was conducted by Carbon Clear, an independent consultancy specialising in
carbon management and carbon accounting. For a full copy of the report visit:
www.antiquestradegazette.com or www.antiquesaregreen.org
In order to compare the footprint of the
products based on their lifespan, the carbon
footprint per year of use was calculated. This
showed that the antique product has an annual
carbon footprint of 0.72kg CO2e, whereas the
new product has a footprint per year of use of11.36kg CO2e. Therefore, a new chest of
drawers will have a carbon impact sixteen times
higher than an antique chest of drawers.
Notes to editors:
The report was commissioned by members of
the antiques trade which includes:
For further press information, please contact:
Lucinda George |07774 885582
Hugo Rawlins |07974 260693
Rare and incredible objects, furniture, books, toys, artworks… all those antiques and collectibles you dream of can be found in Buenos Aires.
Once upon a time Buenos Aires was a very small port city with very little population surrounded by one of the world’s most fertile lands. Not too far away there were several other populations with very different traditions to the Spaniards who had populated this portside area. As the city grew and the Porteñan society evolved many Europeans chose Argentina to be their home. They immigrated with all their possessions from every corner of the old continent. This flow from Europe to Argentina first began in mid 19th century, and has never stopped till now. At the same time, as the world evolved –wars, economical possibilities, inspiration, were many of the causes that help other people chose our country as their own.
All of these new immigrants that were coming from Europe (Western and Eastern), Middle East, Asia and Africa, as well as many other Latin American countries, brought with them all kinds of objects, from paintings to mirrors and combs, from decorative items to all kinds of furniture, and so on.
This brief history of immigration in Argentina might help those that don’t know our country to understand a bit about the eclectic variety of items that can be found in this beautiful city that is Buenos Aires (specially Buenos Aires because it has always been the main gate to our great and beautiful country). Many of them were brought in immigration ships, many others were sent to these families from their homelands, some others were imported, and some other ones were the result of business among relatives who lived in their homelands and these new immigrants that were building a life in our Pampas. Those valuable family objects some times due to hard economic situations, or may be because there was no one to inherit them, have taken a path towards flea markets, auctions or antiques shops.
During the last few years there has been a huge turn in our economy, the peso (local currency) has lost much of its value in relation to the dollar and the Euro, this situation has impacted in many areas of our everyday life. On the dark side one of the biggest consequences of this economic shift has been an intense flow of goods towards all kinds of markets, in order to keep on with a certain lifestyle. Therefore many families have found themselves in a situation were they had to sell many of their family’s goods. On the bright side this new valuation of the peso has made of Argentina a more appealing place to visit for foreigners, since its much cheaper than many other big international metropolis though still shows all its splendor in its culture, art, fashion and good sense of living.
Our local flea markets, open fairs and antiques shops are open history books that show this turns in our lives.
Plus, these are excellent places to shop for those items all art lovers dream of, as well as an excellent opportunity for art dealers that wish to offer their regular clients high class items at reasonable prices.
One of the most beautiful open air markets in the city is in the historical neighborhood of San Telmo, that’s open all day during Sundays, from very early in the morning to late in the afternoon. Surrounded by countless antiques shops that open their doors to the public all week long, this fair is just beautiful, with very good quality items… Bargaining is always an interesting possibility when acquiring these type of objects, always a plus to get what you want at the price you want to.
In the outskirts of the city, the Solano fair is one outstanding market where if you have a sharp eye for antiques you can find absolutely amazing treasures. Since this fair is very much for locals you can find all from old clothes, semi used house goods, and whatever people had and needed to sell… Its always better to visit this outskirts out of the tourists path fair with a local, best if you know what you want but don’t have much time and your Spanish is not very good.
Back to the city, one excellent flea market is the Dorrego Market, in the heart of Palermo, very nearby a great restaurants area, this market has all kinds of items. Its just a matter of walking around and talking with the local people that are very kind and would gladly help you in your quest.
On the other end of the city, during the weekends there’s an other kind of flea market in Peru abajo. Located in the beautiful residential area of Acasusso you will find this fair has all kinds of decorative items and furniture, one of its specialties are chandeliers at very reasonable prices… High class and good prices, one excellent combo!
These are the most representative fairs and markets in BA. There’s nothing you can’t get, you name it, they have it… And of course, these are excellent sights when touring through the city of tango, ‘cause there are many different street shows that weekly chose those locations to show their art: tango, puppeteers, street theatre, live music, plus all kinds of local street food to enjoy during your walk, there’s no way that can go wrong!
Bob Fressinetti is a writer and antique enthusiast living in Buenos Aires
Comments (0) | Add a Comment
Newer | Latest | Older