Architects’ fees fell in 2014, with a surprise 8.4 per cent drop in income from private sector housing work, new figures show
Across all sectors, fees dipped by 1 per cent in the 12 months to July 2014, according to a report by The Fees Bureau. Income from the public and commercial sectors grew slightly during the period and there was also a 3 per cent rise in architects’ hourly rates. But these gains were offset by the significant fall in revenues from private housing work.
A Fees Bureau spokesman said: ‘The contradictory movements – fees unchanged or lower while hourly rates are up – might be down to a difference between what architects are aiming to charge and what they are being forced to charge.’
The annual survey converts data submitted by UK private architects into an inflation-adjusted index, which uses fee levels at the turn of the millennium (represented by 100) as its baseline. This year the cross-sector index fell from 102 to 101, while the private housing index plummeted from 107 to 98 – its lowest ever level.
Architects’ poor performance in the residential market contrasted with new government figures indicating an 8 per cent rise in residential planning applications decided by councils in the period between 2012-13 and 2013-14.
However, Design for Homes chief David Birkbeck dismissed these government figures, claiming they masked a steep drop in planning applications at the start of this year. He said: ‘I have spoken to a number of architects who said they were encouraged to get applications in before the end of 2013. Because local elections were being held in May, a lot of developers did not want their schemes to be considered in the period leading up to polling.’
For more information about The Fees Bureau, click here.