Figures in July’s RIBA future trends survey build on last month’s increase, with the index increasing to +23 from +17 in June 2013 offering hope of construction work following on.
It represents a welcome continuation of the upward trend witnessed since the beginning of 2013, said RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson. “Activity in the private housing sector seems to be increasing, and there is a clear sense from a number of our members that the overall market for architects’ services is beginning to turn in a more positive direction.”
The increased level of optimism has not yet fed through into a significant overall increase in actual workloads, but when asked about work in progress the practices continue to report steady workloads on a year-on-year basis. Whilst recovery from the recession is slow the market for architects’ services has clearly stabilised, and practices are seeing grounds for much more optimism about future workloads, he said.
Medium-sized practices (11 – 50 staff) are currently most positive about the prospect of an improvement in workloads during the next quarter.
In terms of geographical analysis, all the nations and regions in the UK returned positive workload forecast balance figures this month, with the South of England (balance figure +38) and Scotland (balance figure +38) being the most optimistic.
All the sector forecasts remained in positive territory this month. The private housing sector saw the most significant increase in July 2013, rising to a balance figure of +28 from its June 2013 level of +12.