Monday, July 13, 2009

Confidence is returning to the profession, survey claims.

By Ruth Bloomfield

June results of the RIBA future trends survey suggests downturn is bottoming out

Optimism is slowly returning to the architectural profession, according to the most upbeat RIBA future trends survey since the start of the year.

Data for June shows that conditions are still tough, but improving slightly.

Practices predicting more work rose from 27% in May to 31% in June, while the number of staff that are currently underemployed fell from 27% in May to 23% in June.

The housing sector is looking particularly robust compared with previous months. The number of practices expecting their workloads to increase rose from 11% in May to 24% in June. Confidence within the commercial and public sectors remained fairly stable however.

Meanwhile eight per cent of practices expect staff levels to increase over the next three months, compared to just three per cent in May. The number of practices expecting staff cuts fell from 23% in May to 16% in June. Three quarters of all practices expect staff levels to remain constant over the next three months.

Adrian Dobson, director of practice at the RIBA said the results indicated the recession was bottoming out for the sector: “The June results mark the end of the first six months of the RIBA Future Trends Survey, and overall we have witnessed a slow but steady return to some confidence and optimism within the profession over the last quarter.”