But RIBA surveys says profit margins are being hit

Architects’ confidence rebounded last month, doubling from the figure posted in November.

The RIBA Future Trends survey for December rose to +17 from November’s score of +9 with architects based in Wales and the West and the North of England the most optimistic.

Practices of all sizes expected to see an increase in workloads with medium sized firms – those employing 11-50 staff – the most confident.

Forecasts for private housing doubled to +20 but commercial remained flat. Hopes that the public sector workloads would pick up also suffered, falling to -8 from November’s score of -2.

While confidence has ticked up, RIBA executive director members Adrian Dobson said bottom lines were still struggling.

“Commentary from practices suggests that fees and profit margins have not fully recovered to pre-recession levels,” he added.

And he said last year’s decision to leave the EU was still to be fully felt. “The impact of the referendum outcome on work in progress has so far been limited and there are currently no signs of a skills shortage. However, the longer term effects of Brexit remain uncertain.”