RIBA Future Trends Survey for May 2017 Shows Signs of Steady Demand for Architects

RIBA Future Trends Survey for May 2017 Shows Signs of Steady Demand for Architects

The Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) monthly survey shows signs of a steady demand for architects in the UK. The Future Trends workload index - a tool used to measure RIBA members' confidence in the market for architectural services - changed little in May 2017, rising to +23 (up from +22 in April). London-based practices were again the most cautious about increasing workloads (balance figure +12), compared with practices in North of England (+36), South of England (+37); practices in Northern Ireland were by far the most positive with a balance figure of +50.

"The picture in May was one of broadly stable workloads rather than significant growth," commented Adrian Dobson, RIBA Executive Director Members. "The market for smaller-scale residential projects appears to remain buoyant, but some of our respondents reported a cooling of the larger-scale commercial sector market."

Practices of all sizes retained similar levels of confidence. Large practices (51+ staff) were slightly more positive (balance figure +25), with small (1-10 staff) and medium-sized (11-50 staff) practices both recording a balance figure of +23.

The private housing sector and commercial sectors were again expected to be the strongest performing sectors (balance figures of +22 and +7 respectively). The public sector forecast rose slightly but remained in negative territory at -2; the community sector forecast fell to zero, indicating no anticipated change in workloads.

The RIBA Future Trends staffing index fell in May 2017 to +7 (down from +9 in April). Large and medium-sized practices remained similarly upbeat about increasing future staffing levels (both recording balance figures of +13). Small practices were somewhat less confident but still positive (balance figure +6).

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