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Architects' confidence hits ‘record’ level

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Architects taking part in the RIBA’s monthly barometer of industry confidence have reported the highest level of positivity about workloads in the survey’s six-year history

The Future Trends Workload Index reached a new high of +44 in June, up from +37 the previous month, indicating a further growth in the proportion of practices expecting their workloads to increase in the next quarter.

The figure is the highest rating the index has registered since the survey began in 2009. It added that regionally the Midlands and East Anglia were the most confident areas of the UK, while firms that employed 51 or more staff were the most confident by business size.

RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson said the profession was confident about its work pipeline and ‘beginning to feel the invigorating effects’ of a sustained period of real growth.

‘Anecdotal commentary received suggests that many practices have a rapidly filling order book and the overall sense is of a profession that is busier than it has been for a long time,’ he said.

‘There of course remain many macro-economic factors and uncertainties that might impact dramatically upon the financial fortunes of the architectural profession, but with all our key indicators now standing at new peaks, this summer does appear to be an opportunity to make hay while the sun shines.’

Dobson said the private housing sector appeared to be ‘the primary driver’ of growth in demand for architects’ services, while there had been a ‘slight’ rise in forecast public-sector work. He said commercial sector forecasts had fallen back slightly from May’s survey.

The Future Trends Staffing Index also hit a record level in June, rising to +20 from May’s figure of +16. RIBA said the employment market for salaried architects had become ‘very positive’, with 98% of respondents saying that staffing levels would either remain the same or increase over the next few months.

Adrian Dobson’s full commentary on the indices can be read here.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Once again AJ - what about fee levels! 'Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity' It will be interesting to see how practices will handle increased salary demands with very low fee level growth. Casflow crises are inevitable unless this absolute business basic is addressed

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