RIBA Future Trends survey says practices reluctant to take on new staff amid market uncertainty

The outlook for architects’ workloads remains bleak according to RIBA’s Future Trends survey for last month.

In October confidence that workloads would increase in the next three months grew slightly from a score of -10 in September to -7, according to RIBA’s monthly Future Trends survey, which measures market confidence in the profession and has a baseline of zero. Architect practices in London remained the most optimistic about increased workloads while Northern Ireland and Scotland were the least confident.

Adrian Dobson, director of practice at RIBA, said: “Not unexpectedly, practices continue to describe a challenging and unpredictable state of play, with increased competition for falling levels of public sector work and continuing resistance by banks to lend for development projects.”

“But on a more positive note, the bespoke housing sector remains strong, buoyed by all-time low interest rates, and more specialised areas within healthcare and conservation also continue to perform well,” he added.

In line with the predicted continued lack of growth in workloads, no practice predicted taking on more staff in the next quarter.