The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for June 2015 shows "an all-time high," with the workload index ascending to +44 compared to +37 last month. All nations and regions within the United Kingdom returned positive balance figures, with practices in the Midlands and East Anglia responding most confidently about workloads in the next quarter. Following a slight fall last month, the private housing sector workload forecast increased to +39 (from +34), while the public sector saw a modest increase back into positive figures. Workload forecast balance figures have remained extremely high. The survey reports that large-sized practices continue to be the most optimistic about growth, while small and medium-sized practices "remain in strongly positive territory."
According to the RIBA, the RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index also "reached a record high this month," standing at +20 in June (from +16 in May). Astonishingly, 98% of participating practices expect staffing levels either to increase or to stay the same over the next few months. Only 9% of respondents reported that they had personally been under-employed, which is the lowest figure recorded since the survey began in 2009.
According to Adrian Dobson, RIBA Director of Practice, the "overall picture is of a profession that is confident about its future workloads and is beginning to feel the invigorating effects of a sustained period of real growth. Commentary suggests that many practices have a rapidly filling order book, with private housing continuing to be the primary driver of growth in demand for architects’ services." "Of course, many macro-economic factors and uncertainties may impact upon the financial fortunes of the architectural profession, but with all our key indicators now standing at new peaks the overall mood is very optimistic."
The monthly survey is designed to “monitor the employment and business trends affecting the architectural profession throughout the period of economic downturn,” the data from which is analyzed by both the RIBA and the Fees Bureau. It is a “representative sample of the range of different practice sizes and geographical locations” with 1,600 British Architects from 226 firms contributing.
Read the reports in full here.