Architects report first increasing workloads
Architects’ work levels have shown their first annual increase since 2009, according to the Future Trends Survey published by the Royal Institute of British Architects. This survey started in January 2009, and the latest figures suggest an aggregate upturn in project enquiries this Autumn. A statement from RIBA says, ‘RIBA chartered practices are increasingly optimistic about their medium-term future work flows.’
The index sustained a significant increase, rising to +35 in October 2013 from +26 in January 2009. This is the highest workload forecast figure since the survey started in January 2009.
The quarterly returns for the levels of work in progress also show an annual increase for the first time since the financial crisis. RIBA practices reported an 11% aggregate increase in workload between October 2012 and October 2013. However, architects’ workloads are still about a third below the peak of early 2008.
The private-housing sector workload balance figure increased to +34 in October 2012, up from +25 in September.
The commercial-sector workload balance figure rise to +18 in October 2013, up from +17 in September. RIBA comments that this steady improvement forecast bodes well for future growth in this sector.
The public-sector and community-sector workload forecasts were both unchanged at +3 in October 2013.
Adrian Dobson, RIBA director of practice and who has overseen the survey since it started, comments, ‘All indications strongly suggest that this extremely challenging and lengthy period of recession in the market for architectural services is finally coming to an end. The overall balance of reporting suggests steadily growing confidence, with many practices reporting a notable increase in enquiries and dormant projects springing back into life.’