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Architects' optimism still falling says RIBA

The RIBA’s latest Future Trends survey results suggest practices are becoming increasingly pessimistic

Even though the ‘official’ number of architects on the dole continues to drop (AJ 17.02.10), the institute’s survey figures for January show falling optimism in workload, staffing and sector predictions.

Only 24 per cent of practices expected private housing work to increase in January, compared to 28 per cent in December while just 11 per cent now think public sector work will increase compared to 15 per cent in December.

The majority of practices think staffing levels will remain the same, with only 5 per cent anticipating recruitment.

Half of the practices surveyed think workloads will remain at current levels.

Adrian Dobson, RIBA director of practice said: ‘The RIBA Future Trends Workload Index has fallen to its lowest level since August 2009; though it continues in positive territory, confidence appears to remain very fragile.

‘Practices based in the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are still the least confident of increases in future workloads.

‘Overall private housing is still seen by practices as offering the best prospects for future growth, but there has been a reduction in confidence this month even in this sector, falling to +6 in January 2010 from +14 in December 2009.’

For January 2010, the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index was at +9 (compared to +14 in December 2009) and the RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index is -7 (compared to -6 in December 2009).

Click here to see the RIBA’s full figures and graphs

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