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Fees increase as 2013 looks set to be a ‘turning point’ for architects

Latest data sees architects fees rise for the first time since recession began

Architecture fees are on the rise for the first time since 2005, according to new figures from the Fees Bureau.

The annual survey, made up from data collected from architects in the UK found percentage fees had returned to the same levels as 2009. Fees still differ significantly according to sector however, with rates for private housing and commercial work rising.

The public sector has also seen a modest increase – although fee levels are still below the 2004 peak.

An optimistic Aziz Mirza of the Fees Bureau said: ‘As long as we don’t see any big shocks from Europe, 2013 could be a turning point. Our measurement of architects’ workloads shows [that while] new commission-stage work [remained] flat for most of 2012, production drawings-stage work rose each quarter.

Rising commissions suggest developers are readying themselves

‘There has been solid growth in private-housing, new-build work – albeit from a low base. Not many of these new commissions are making it onto site yet, but rising commissions suggest developers are readying themselves with new projects, which can be sent to planning and started on site in 2013.’

He added: ‘Leisure has been another strong source of work in the past three quarters, as have been the health and education sectors. The same cannot be said of commercial work, which continues to languish, suffering from a dearth of projects.’

Small practices have recorded little change in hourly rates, while principals of larger firms have been charging more.

Recent findings from the AJ’s State of the Profession survey found nearly 65 per cent of respondents’ practices had dropped fees, with 5 per cent having raised fees and 30 per cent with fees static in the past 12 months.

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