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Luxury investment market for whisky continues to fall

Only fine art returned double digit growth in the luxury investment market last year, as whisky continued to decline after a decade of growth.

The news comes from the latest wealth report by estate agent Knight Frank which highlighted that sales of ultra-rare and rare whisky as a luxury investment, despite long term growth of 280% over the decade, has collapsed as an asset class, falling by 9% in 2023.

“Despite witnessing a depreciation of 9% in the last 12-month, over a longer period of 10-year, rare whisky continued to command its premium value registering 280 per cent returns,” the report said.

Accelerated decline

The news is an acceleration on the 4% decline from whisky noted in the Index last autumn. At that point, the value of rare whisky in the fell by 4% in the year to June 2023, as all other luxury assets increased.

The whisky data was compiled by Rare Whisky 101, which measured the UK auction price of 100 bottles of rare single malt Scotch.

Although wine has also stalled, it has not collapsed in the same way as whisky, and in a similar vein to whisky, it should be noted that fine wine investment has increased by 149% across the past decade.

The results suggest a high watermark of value could have been hit for the fine wine and whisky investment market, as other luxury assets continued to grow, including art, watches and jewellery.

Latest figures

In the latest set of figures, fine art grew by 11% jewellery rose 8%, watches were up 5%, followed by coins at 4%, and diamonds at 2%.

Despite record-breaking sales at auction houses across 2023, the broader picture of luxury investment was depressed, with the overall index falling to -1% in 2023.

According to experts for the report, they described the news as a “market correction” rather than a cause for concern, and losses reflected a stabilisation of assets which have previously been inflated.

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