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London architects most optimistic, claims RIBA

Architects have showed renewed optimism over future workloads with studios in the capital most optimistic, according to an RIBA survey

The RIBA future trends workload index was +7 last month compared to -3 in September. London practices were more positive about the future compared to other regions and medium-sized practices were most optimistic overall.

Around 53 per cent of practices surveyed expected no change in workload over the next quarter, while a further 27 per cent predicted an increase.

The remaining 20 per cent expected the situation to get worse in the next quarter.

RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson said: ‘Although this month’s Workloads Index is a very positive finding it would be imprudent to forecast a sustained improvement on a single month’s figure.’ 

Current workloads were 95 per cent of the level 12 months ago, according to the survey. Private housing and bespoke one-off commissions remained the most robust areas.

The institute’s staffing index increased to -1 last month from -6 in September.

Staffing levels were just 1 per cent lower than 12 months ago, according to the survey. Practices were also employing 5 per cent more year-out and post-Part II students compared to October 2011.

Around 25 per cent of architect respondents reported they had been personally under-employed in October.

Anecdotal feedback showed some architects felt the government’s consultation on extending permitted development rights had slowed demand with householders now waiting to assess the impact of potential changes.

 

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