Architects’ workload confidence surges

RIBA’s future trends workload index for architects continues to rise strongly. It rose to +36 in January 2014 from +30% in December 2013. This year has seen a further strengthening of confidence, which had been steadily rising during the second half of 2013. Nearly half of UK practices expect workloads to increase over the next quarter, with only 8% expecting a fall.

Adrian Dobson, RIBA director of practice, said, ‘It’s heartening to learn 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 of England, 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 of commercial projects in London, the south of England, the Midlands and East Anglia.’

All sizes of practice are reporting very positive balance figures, suggesting that workload prospects are improving across the board.

Actual work in progress was up by 6% year-on-year — the second successive quarter that an increase in aggregate workloads has been recorded.

All key sectors saw an improvement in confidence levels this month. The private-housing sector workload forecast remains the most buoyant, increasing to +35 in January 2013 from +31 in December 2013. The commercial sector workload forecast rose to +15, up from +11 in December 2013. The community sector workload forecast also saw a solid increase to +10 in January 2014 from +4 in December 2013.

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