Which sectors will be most buoyant? And which will become dead ducks? Well, from the projections you gave us, it is clear that private housing will be continuing its upward push begun during the past couple of years, and public housing will also be getting a nudge in the right direction.Could this be as a result of all those housing projections from central government finally making it to housebuilders on the ground? Certainly the Urban Task Force has been pressing for a return to cities in housebuilding, via the Urban White Paper, and more particularly for building on brownfield sites rather than green. And perhaps the projection is also a reflection of a series of proposed millennium communities and a general confidence in the economy.Not quite so strong as a sector, however, is retail, which is clearly being cut back on these shores .Are we coming to the end of the pipeline of permissions for out-of-town retail, after the planning moratorium placed upon them? Has the backlog of permissions finally dried up? Retail is so hit (down from 15 per cent in 1999 to 6 per cent in 2001) that Benoy chairman Graham Cartledge, whose firm was behind the award-winning Bluewater mall in Kent, was relieved to win the £100 million retail job at Kowloon Station in Hong Kong earlier this month . It was just so quiet at home.
BDP International, moreover, which has designed large retail schemes for Manchester and Southampton in recent years, has also noted that the sector is falling away (see profile, page 51). But leisure appears to be following hard on retail's heels, dropping from a whopping 29 per cent of works opportunities as foreseen in 1999, to 18 per cent in 2000, to just 12 per cent for 2001. A good thing, then, that the offices sector is moving in the opposite direction. In 1999 it was offices which were seen as making up just 9 per cent of practice workloads.The following year it was 12 per cent. And for 2001 practices surveyed in the AJ100 believe that offices will make up 17 per cent of their work.