The Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) Future Trends Survey for March 2012 has revealed that practices are increasingly positive about their future workloads. The RIBA Future Trends Workload Index for March 2012 stands at +11, rising from +9 in February, maintaining an upward trajectory for the third month in a row.
The majority of UK nations and regions returned positive workload forecast balance figures in March; the two exceptions were the North of England and Northern Ireland.
Private housing continues to be the best-performing sector, with London, the South of England, the Midlands and East Anglia performing particularly well.
Despite hope of an export-led recovery, the percentage of work in progress that comes from overseas projects has now fallen to 2%, down from 9% in January 2009.
RIBA Director of Practice, Adrian Dobson, said:
'We are cautiously hopeful in reporting that for a third consecutive month, the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index has continued its upward path and now stands at +11. However, we remain concerned that despite hope of an export-led recovery, many practices are experiencing difficulties in finding new markets overseas for their services.
The RIBA remains committed to increasing its overseas presence and promoting British architecture and RIBA members across the world, with a particular focus on the faster growing 'BRIC' economies.'
The Future Trends Staffing Index for March 2012 is -2, rising marginally from -3 in February 2012. Overall staffing levels have clearly stabilised, but there is as yet no sign of significant recovery in the overall jobs market for salaried architects.