The Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Future Trends Survey for March 2016 has reported signs of stability after recent downward trends, with the balance figure rising from +21 in February up to +31 in March.
“All nations and regions returned positive workload forecasts, with practices in the North of England being the most optimistic. Large practices (51+ staff) remain the most positive. Medium-sized practices (11–50 staff, balance figure +48) saw a boost in confidence levels, while small practices (1–10 staff, balance figure +28) were upbeat, however to a lesser degree," states the report.
The private housing sector was the strongest performing sector, despite a marginal decrease since February (to +28, down from +31), and the commercial sector saw the biggest increase, rising to +18 (up from +10 in February). The public and community sectors, however, saw slight dips in workload forecasts for the month.
RIBA Executive Director Members Adrian Dobson noted: “Commentary from participating practices continues to be generally positive. This is tempered by concerns that fee levels remain under pressure and the recent volatility of our key workload index suggests some uncertainty about the profession’s economic outlook. Practices are not anticipating a significant increase in public and commercial sector work. However, many reported an increase in enquiries and work in progress from the bespoke residential and domestic extension markets. Once again, the private housing and commercial sectors represent the largest areas of growth.”
Full results of the survey, including a graphical analysis, can be viewed here, and is updated each month.
News via the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).