Signs of steady demand for architects in RIBA Future Trends survey for May 2017
The Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) monthly 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.
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).
RIBA Executive Director Members, Adrian Dobson, said:
“The picture in May was one of broadly stable workloads rather than significant growth. 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.”
Notes to editors:
- For further press information contact Callum Reilly: firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7307 3757
- Completed by a mix of small, medium and large firms based on a geographically representative sample, the RIBA Future Trends Survey was launched in January 2009 to monitor business and employment trends affecting the architects’ profession.
- The Future Trends survey is carried out by the RIBA in partnership with the Fees Bureau. Results of the survey, including a full graphical analysis, are published each month at:
- The definition for the workload balance figure is the difference between those expecting more work and those expecting less. A negative figure means more respondents expect less work than those expecting more work. This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends workload index, which for May 2017 was +23.
- The definition for the staffing balance figure is the difference between those expecting to employ more permanent staff in the next three months and those expecting to employ fewer. A negative figure means more respondents expect to employ fewer permanent staff. This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends staffing index, which for May 2017 was +7.
- To participate in the RIBA Future Trends Survey, please contact the RIBA Practice Department on 020 7307 3749 or email email@example.com. The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete each month, and all returns are independently processed in strict confidence.
- The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. www.architecture.com
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