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Architects' confidence surges

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The results of the latest RIBA Future Trends Survey has revealed a huge increase in architects’ confidence

The profession’s optimism steadily rose throughout the last half of 2013, with practices reporting workload increases of six per cent year-on-year for the last two quarters.

The Workload Index – the total difference between those expecting more work in the next three months and those expecting less – ballooned from +30 in December to + 36 in January.

Just eight per cent of architects expect workloads to drop in the next quarter while nearly half of them are predicting a rise in work.

Workload forecasts were up across almost all sectors; private housing increased to from +31 in December to +35; while commercial work went up from +11 to +15. However public sector workloads remain unchanged.

RIBA director of practice, Adrian Dobson said: ‘It’s heartening that all of the UK nations and regions are now returning very positive balance figures for future workload forecasts.  The improvement in sentiment is clearly no longer restricted to London and the South, but is much more widespread.

‘Current growth is largely being driven by a widespread strengthening of the private housing sector across the UK and a pick-up in commercial projects in London, the South of England, the Midlands and East Anglia.’

Previous story (AJ 18.12.13)

Architects remain optimistic despite dip in workloads

The latest RIBA Future Trends Survey has confirmed architects continue to remain confident despite a slight drop on the previous month’s workload figures

The Workload Index – the total difference between those expecting more work in the next three months and those expecting less – stands at +31, four points down from the previous month.

Although architects have said they were still ‘optimistic’, workloads across a number of sectors remain relatively unchanged. The community sector workload forecast saw a small rise to +7, and commercial work made no change from the previous month. Workloads in the public sector remain unchanged causing architects working in this area to feel cautious.

Despite housebuilding being on the up, the forecast for the private residential sector slightly decreased to +29, down five points from October’s figures. But in spite of this drop the residential sector still remains the most buoyant.

Medium sized practices with less than 50 staff were most optimistic about prospective workloads, reporting an index figure of +45.

RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson said: ‘In terms of geographical analysis the highest balance figures were in Scotland (+50), the South of England (+41) and London (+40), but all UK nations and regions remain positive about future workloads, again reflecting a widespread increase in confidence levels.’

This analysis was backed up by Ryder architecture’s Mark Thompson. He said: ‘As a practice with offices in Scotland, London, Liverpool and Newcastle, we are delighted to report the same upbeat message applies to our teams across the country, diversifying our sector portfolio to include transport, science, energy and leisure, with growth this year of 22 per cent.  We will continue to responsibly develop the practice.’

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