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Amelia 2019 Auction Recap

 

 

CBA Recaps Amelia 2019 Auctions

Softer Than Scottdale?

‘Best Location for Porsches’ Auction?

 

Good weather, soft clouds … and even softer auction results for Porsches. We know the market is down for all things Porsche. So two main take aways from Amelia may be that an auction house concentrating on Porsches is probably not wise and that low demand can make for some great deals on no reserve Porsches. There are also a few other observations from Amelia 2019 which we bullet point below. But first let’s look at a few issues we raised going into Amelia.

In our Amelia Island 2019 Auction Preview we felt that auction house overall performance has been mixed and in particular that Gooding needed a good showing. We were looking for evidence that an auction strategy of reserve with a low estimate range could outperform a strategy of no reserve with a high estimate range. We wondered if Amelia was the location to best sell Porsches? And finally what is the current value proposition of auction houses, liquidity, price or both?

We have talked about RM possibly stretching things too thin with too many auctions but Amelia did not support that supposition. Not only did their total sold lots go up from 2018 but so did their Porsche sold lots – and at around the same average hammer price as last year which is pretty good. Similarly Bonhams numbers year on year were comparable. Each of these houses performances also only adjusted modestly from Scottsdale 2019. The news was not so good for Gooding. Their total hammer was only $18.8m ($14.2m if the Koum cars are subtracted) as compared to $32.7m at Amelia in 2018 and $43.8m in Scottsdale 2019. The contrast was stark.

Amelia 2019 v. 2018 Lots Sold Amelia 2019 v. 2018 Hammer $ Amelia v. Scottsdale 2019 Lots Sold Amelia v. Scottsdale 2019 Hammer $
Gooding -12% -43% -30% -57%
RM +33% +42% -9% +6%
Bonhams +2% +20% -13% -1%


The no reserve high estimate strategy deployed by Gooding with the Koum collection cars allowed them to sell more cars overall but the prices achieved were unimpressive and the strategy proved mostly unsuccessful. RM seemed to achieve OK pricing by combining reserve auctions with lower estimate ranges. We postulated that sales above or below low estimate would tell us something. And as a high percentage of sales at Amelia were below low estimate it would seem that a no reserve strategy wrapped in a wide ranging high estimate is not a reliable prescription. We don’t have definitive evidence yet that either of these strategies is making a difference so more data and a deeper analysis is required.

In 2018 it seemed that it was being established that Amelia Island had taken over from Scottsdale as the place to sell Porsches (notwithstanding that Monterey is the big show for all auction houses). However, there seems little evidence that this is really true. It’s really only true if the house decides to offer more Porsches there, it’s not that they do better there in terms of successful hammers or price. We can see that Gooding has decided to make it very Porsche … RM and Bonhams have not. And in terms of average hammer prices it really just matters what’s on offer. A deeper analysis is required to determine if there is any advantage to Amelia but it seems not.

# – % lots sold Scottsdale 2018 Pors Lots Sold Amelia 2018 Pors Lots Sold Scottsdale 2019 Pors Lots Sold Amelia 2019 Pors Lots Sold
Gooding 21 (19%) 34 (40%) 15 (14%) 25 (34%)
RM 13 (12%) 15 (17%) 20 (16%) 19 (16%)
Bonhams 14 (15%) 12 (14%) 17 (16%) 7 (8%)


$ – % total sales $ Scottsdale 2018 Pors $ Sales Amelia 2018 Pors $ Sales Scottsdale 2019 Pors $ Sales Amelia 2019 Pors $ Sales
Gooding $3.4m (9%) $13.6m (42%) $2.3m (5%) $8.4m (45%)
RM $3.5m (11%) $5.3m (22%) $4.4m (13%) $4.5m (13%)
Bonhams $2.2m (33%) $7.7m (19%) $1.6m ((18%) $1.3m (9%)


Avg Porsche Sale Price Scottsdale 2018 Pors Avg $ Amelia 2018 Pors Avg $ Scottsdale 2019 Pors Avg $ Amelia 2019 Pors Avg $
Gooding $185k $402k $153k $335k
RM $270k $352k $291k $236k
Bonhams $553k $184k $152k $189k


Auction reserves are often set below low estimate, the estimates designed to entice higher bidding – enough so to at least clear the reserve. But if auction house reserves are too high the estimate ranges are too high and an increasing number of no sales result. More no sales drives auction houses to demand more no reserve lots – for all but the rarest and best stuff – as economics dictate that they need to sell. However, in a market of sliding prices the end result is often less than satisfactory for sellers who net less than they could have had they simply sold their cars on the open market. So their cars quit showing up. Quality suffers and offerings become generic.

On the buyer side, as the offerings become generic with not all that much special on the block, with each house featuring mostly the same stuff just in a different shade, there is reason to look elsewhere as there is a vast inventory on the market sitting unsold. Unless of course there is a ‘deal’ to be had … and so the chance to pick up a car on the cheap from an – increasingly frequent – no reserve listing becomes the auction house’s only raison d’etre in the buyer’s view. It’s either a deal or it’s no deal.

As these forces co-mingle it becomes more difficult for auction houses to compete if they can’t deliver on the promises that make them valuable. Commanding the best and rarest high value models and examples because they can get the money out of the buyers who will pay up because that is where the cars are. At the moment it seems we are at the other end of this … in a self feeding cycle wherein more less valuable cars are sold and less high value cars show up as sellers feel auction houses are taking an inordinate chunk of the profits and delivering nothing more than buyers looking for an all-in ‘steal’. There are plenty of bargain hunting buyers around … it makes little sense to hold an auction to get that business.

A few more bullet points from Amelia …

  • Prices are falling at an increasing rate for all but a few models of Porsches such as the Carrera GT – especially the new stuff. Porsche does not encourage speculation on the new stuff but probably likes the pub as they don’t discourage it either. It’s hard to know how they feel about all the Porsche owners buried by ADM’s for the next decade or two.
  • Based upon the ‘facts on the ground’ reserves are being pulled in real-time before the auction for a lot even starts. It seems that exit hunting sellers want out of their cars more than they want the incremental money.
  • It seems ‘previous owner’ premiums are all but dead and buried – serious buyers don’t care whose warehouse the car was sitting in … just what it is.
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    Now let’s see what happened with the Porsches we focused on at Amelia … as usual we consider it a successful forecast if we were within 10%. And as new feature we T up the auction houses and call them out on their estimate ranges.

     

    Gooding and Company

    Lot 021 – 2018 Porsche 991 GT2 RS Weissach – 120 M – White Black Leather/Alcantara – estimate $400k to $500k – Reserve.

    What we said: We are sticking to our guns as there are even more 991 GT2 RS’s on the market now than there were then … $360k hammer if reserve is pulled.

    Hammer price: $320k ($357k all-in) – Reserve Pulled.

    Our take: As we discussed in our Scottsdale 2019 Recap just 6 weeks ago a 55 mile GT Silver Weissach hammered for $415k (all-in $461k) which very much surprised us on the upside – and it now seems that was an anomoly. As since that time 991 GT2 RS prices have collapsed more so than we could have ever imagined. This car hammered well below MSRP and it took a long climb to even get to that. A bad deal for the seller – who agreed to pull the reserve from the start (seller could have made a lot more on it just selling it privately at sticker which is still possible). Netting the consignor around $304k on a $340k sticker car that a year ago commanded as much as $150k over is not a good look for Gooding either. This result would certainly seem to confirm that there is no 991 GT2 RS premium anymore, except possibly for something very unique.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +20%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +36%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +11%
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    Lot 042 – 1993 964 RS 3.8 – 15.2k KM – Speed Yellow Black/Grey – estimate $1.2m to $1.5m – No Reserve.

    What we said: A 964 3.8 RS does not come to market very often so it’s hard to know where the market really is. We can see this one at a $1.35m hammer.

    Hammer price: $1.025m ($1.132m all-in).

    Our take: Hard to forecast something like this as they come about so inoften. This result seems to indicate that interest in rare air cooleds has really cooled. For sure the result was a sign that the no reserve high estimate strategy was probably not advisable. This was a pretty soft hammer … the buyer did well.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +15%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +32%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +24%
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    Lot 043 – 1995 993 RS – 55k KM – Speed Yellow/Black – estimate $325k to $375k – No Reserve.

    What we said: Someone could pick up a driveable $290k hammer 993 RS here.

    Hammer price: $270k ($302k all-in).

    Our take: The 993 RS is nice car but its not that special in the scheme of things. Ultimately too many 993 RS were built to be super valuable. Which does not bode well for the future of recent hot models like the 991 GT2 RS built in even higher quantities. Buyer got a nice driver for not unreasonable money.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +17%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +28%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +7%
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    Lot 044 – 2008 997 GT3 RS – 12.5k M – RS Green/Black Leather – estimate $250k to $300k – No Reserve.

    What we said: It’s the right color – desireable RS Green. The estimate range is too high for a car that should hammer at $215k.

    Hammer price: $160k ($179k all-in) – No Reserve.

    Our take: There was a time when a low mileage Green RS or ‘frog’ was a $300k car – it was the must have color. This car was solid confirmation that for whatever reason the market for the 997 3.6 RS has officially returned to 2014 pre run up prices. More surprising was that this car sold for less than the upcoming 997 3.8 RS which were built in larger numbers. Hammer was right around MSRP which is way off from the peak. Buyer should be pleased and another outcome that helps to prove out that a no reserve strategy with a high estimate range is questionable.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +36%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +47%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +26%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 045 – 2010 997 GT3 RS – 5.5k M – Grey Black//Black Red Accents – estimate $180k to $220k – No Reserve.

    What we said: This car is right at low estimate – $180k hammer

    Hammer price: $170k ($190k all-in).

    Our take: It was surprising that this car sold for more than the ‘frog’ but the comparison is not about the strength of this car it’s about the weak outcome for the 3.6 RS. There was decent bidding action on this car and it hammered at market.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +6%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +23%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +6%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 046 – 2011 997 GT3 RS 4.0 – 159 M – Carrara White/Standard Interior Black/Red Seats Leather/Alcantara – estimate $550k to $625k – No Reserve.

    What we said: A museum piece that can’t be driven without hurting its value … we can see a $495k hammer.

    Hammer price: $525k ($582k all-in) – No Reserve.

    Our take: This car was all-in the full money … it did better than we thought it might. It probably could have sold at the hammer price in the private market. Demonstrating that auction houses are extracting a lot of the profit from these cars solely in exchange for liquidity – something that sellers are probably not all that excited about.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +5%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +16%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: -6%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 047 – 2011 997 GT2 RS – 449 M – Carrara White/Full Leather Interior Black – estimate $550k to $650k – No Reserve.

    What we said: The estimate range on this one makes little sense given the current market. A hammer at $440k would put it at the top of the price range.

    Hammer price: $400k ($445k all-in).

    Our take: Not a good result. The market for all things 997 GT and Turbo is softening at an increasing rate and the 997 GT2 RS is perhaps suffering more than most. But this has been true for the 997 GT2 RS for some time … so maybe that’s just how it is.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +27%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +38%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +9%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 048 – 2015 918 Spyder Weissach – 40 M – Liquid Metal Chrome Blue/Authentic Leather Interior Onyx Black with Acid Green Piping – estimate $1.8m to $2.0m – No Reserve.

    What we said: … the money is all about the miles. So what should the premium be? A $1.65m hammer is achievable for a new 918.

    Hammer price: $1.35m ($1.49m all-in) – No Reserve.

    Our take: There are very few 918’s that have sold for $2m – in each case they were uniquely special – which in this case made Gooding’s low estimate very questionable and the high estimate patently unachievable. That said, this is essentially a new car so some premium should be expected – and we wondered what that would turn out to be. A handful of bids took it to $1.3m and it stalled out for a $1.35M hammer … despite the auctioneer’s valiant efforts to get it going again. The outcome really was less than impressive and once again the strategy of no reserve and a high estimate range seemed to prove ineffective. Once you add in the buyer’s concession the price is probably the market. The auction house took quite a profit for simply providing liquidity. We also now know that every other 918 on the market is probably worth around 20% less than asking.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +25%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +33%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +18%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 050 – 2016 991 911 R – 13 M – White/Leather Interior in Black with GT Silver Stitching – estimate $350k to $450k – No Reserve.

    What we said: A $310k hammer would land it at all-in around $125k over sticker.

    Hammer price: $280k ($313k all-in).

    Our take: We asked in our Scottsdale 2019 Recap ‘did the ‘GT3 Touring kill the 911R’. Not sure if that’s the case but for sure the 911R is heading back to sticker.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +20%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +38%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +10%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 083 – 2004 Carrera GT – 4.4k M – GT Silver Metallic/Dark Grey – estimate $650k to $750k – Reserve.

    What we said: If it were another color, another year and had a different history it would hammer for more than the $600k we forecast … assuming reserve is pulled.

    Hammer price: $620k ($687k all-in) – Reserve.

    Our take: Reserve was off from the start. The car ran quickly to $600k where it stalled for quite awhile before it popped to the hammer. A decent driver one would assume. And demonstrating that the CGT market remains the strongest among all of the water cooled Porsches at ~50%+ of MSRP.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +5%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +17%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: -3%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    RM Sothebys

     

    Lot 117 – 2004 Carrera GT – 1,600 M – Seal Grey Metallic/Dark Grey – estimate $600k to $750k – Reserve.

    What we said: Does it need tires, has it had the requisite engine out service, what else has deteriorated or needs replacing just from sitting? Deducting for the unknowns this car should hammer for $675k.

    Hammer price: $700k ($775k all-in).

    Our take: The auctioneer announced that at the seller’s expense the car would be sent to Canepa to be fully serviced prior to delivery. That was nice and certainly influenced the result somewhat. However the all-in number really is more representative of a low mileage 2005 in a better color. Maybe this is a sign that a reserve auction with a lower estimate range can produce a better result?

  • RM Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: -17%
  • RM High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +7%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +4%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 118 – 2015 918 Spyder Base – 1,300 M – Dark Blue Metallic/Leather Interior Onyx Black with Acid Green Piping – estimate $1.25m to $1.5m – Reserve.

    What we said: Base models are harder to sell. Hammer at $1.15m if reserve is lifted.

    Hammer price: $1.075m ($1.187m all-in) – Reserve Pulled.

    Our take: As we some time ago forecasted 918 prices are softening pretty quickly. This car is an example of the chunky downward drift phase that 918’s are currently in. A nice Base model, good color and a hammer that was right … for today.

  • RM Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +14%
  • RM High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +28%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +7%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 134 – 2018 991 GT2 RS Weissach – 200 M – GT Silver Metallic/Leather Alcantara Black/Red – estimate $340k to $380k – Reserve.

    What we said: This example has an MSRP right at the $340k average for the 991 GT2 RS. A hammer at $375k would be an outcome which reflects the real market.

    Hammer price: $340k ($379k all-in) – Reserve.

    Our take: We don’t need to repeat our take on the the 991 GT2 RS market. We are fully adjusting our interpretation of ‘… the real market’. Although GT Silver is the most common color, the color may have added incremental value over White. A realistic estimate by RM.

  • RM Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +0%
  • RM High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +11%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: +9%
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