Choose Your Weapon (grey) by Banksy

Banksy’s Choose Your Weapon (Grey)

The value of Banksy prints have more than doubled in the last 12 months, with affordable unsigned editions being the most sought-after on the secondary market. Here we chart the rise and rise of Banksy prints in 2020.

The Rise and Rise of Banksy in 2020

Prices for Banksy prints at auction have been increasing steadily since January. The value of sales dipped by 3% in the first two months of lockdown, but quickly rose by 7% or more from May onward. September saw the largest increase of 94% – the total value of prints that month was no doubt boosted by the two record-breaking lots, Girl With Balloon at Sotheby’s on 18 September and Girl With Balloon – Colour AP (Purple) at Christie’s on 23 September. Overall there has been a 104% increase in Banksy prints value in 2020.

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What was the top price paid for Banksy print in 2020?

£791,250 was the top price paid for a Banksy print in 2020. When Girl With Balloon – Colour AP (Purple) sold for £79.1k in Christie’s Banksy: I Can’t Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Sh*t Online Auction in September, it more than doubled its high estimate. The rare screenprint achieved 80% more than the previous auction record, set by Sotheby’s just 5 days earlier, and 100.2% more than Girl With Balloon – Colour AP (Gold), the world record for a Banksy print in September 2019. Banksy’s Girl With Balloon print is consistently one of his most sought-after artworks at auction.

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What was the total value for Banksy prints sold this year?

Close to £42.7 million worth of Banksy prints were offered from January – December 2020 – nearly seven times more than the amount of prints sold in 2019, which totalled around £7 million. This is the highest yearly increase in the last decade. The second-highest jump was from 2018–19, when the total value of Banksy prints rose by 92%.

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How many Banksy prints were offered by auction in the last 12 months?

314 Banksy prints were offered in the last 12 months. This is only 5% more than the total number of Banksy prints offered in the same period in 2019–18. But given that 2019–2020’s total sales value is almost double that of the year before, the average price for a Banksy print has jumped from £23,000 to £42,500 in just 12 months.

Banksy YOY increase in number of Banksy prints offered via auction - Graph 3

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How much has the average value of a Banksy print increased in 2020?

There has been an 85% YOY increase in average Banksy prints value this year. The jump from £23,000 to £42,000 is the biggest increase for a Banksy print average value in the past 10 years and a 673% increase from the average price for a Banksy print in 2010 (£5,500).

Banksy YOY increase in average print value 2009-2020 - Graph 4

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What sort of increase have unsigned Banksy prints seen in 2020?

186% is the increase in value for unsigned Banksy prints in 2020. In comparison, signed prints have only increased by 81% in value over the last 12 months, suggesting that unsigned Banksy prints are almost twice as desirable as signed prints at auction right now.

This may be due to their accessibility: more unsigned prints are in circulation than signed ones, so they come to market more often and their prices are relatively lower. Banksy normally releases signed and unsigned prints of the same image, often 150 signed and 600 unsigned editions.

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Where have we seen the biggest change in demand in the Banksy market this year?

Whilst demand for Banksy works has rocketed at all value levels in 2020, the demand for ‘affordable’ Banksy artworks has been unprecidented. The biggest jump in value by far has been for works under £45,000, there has been a 215% increase in the value of unsigned prints below this threshold, meaning it’s almost impossible to find prints below this threshold in good condition with authentication certificates in place.

The desirability of these lower-priced Banksy prints is currently much higher than their signed counterparts in the same price bracket, But, for much of this year, the value of unsigned affordable and unsigned higher-priced prints  – achieving £75,000 or more – having been growing at very similar rates.

The market for unsigned higher-priced prints has risen by 164%. For signed higher-priced prints, this is 90%. The data suggests that the most popular Banksy prints on the market right now are the signed, affordable prints, which has seen a slow but gradual increase of 65% since January. This reflects the greener collectors entering the middle market for Banksy prints.

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Other reading:

Banksy Market 2021 Report - MyArtBroker


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