RIBA says practices are now more positive about workloads than at any point since start of 2009

Farringdon Crossrail station development plans by John Robertson Architects

Architects are more positive about workloads today than they have been for at least four-and-a-half years, the RIBA has said.

Publishing the results of its July 2013 Future Trends Survey, the RIBA said the workload index had risen substantially that month to +23, up from +17 in June 2013.

This is the most positive workload forecast recorded since the Institute began its Future Trends Survey in January 2009 and also continues of the upward trend witnessed since the beginning of this year.

The results will be welcomed by the entire construction industry given that architects are often viewed as a bellweather in the sector.

RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson said: “Activity in the private housing sector seems to be increasing, and there is a clear sense from a number of our members that the overall market for architects’ services is beginning to turn in a more positive direction.”

The RIBA said the increased level of optimism had not yet fed through into a significant overall increase in actual workloads, but added that when asked about work in progress, practices “continue to report steady workloads on a year-on-year basis.”

Medium-sized practices (11 - 50 staff) are currently most positive about the prospect of an improvement in workloads during the next quarter with the most optimistic areas of the country being the South of England (balance figure +38) and Scotland (balance figure +38), the RIBA said.

The RIBA Future Trends staffing index is also at its highest level since the survey began, rising to +5 in July 2013, compared with +1 in June 2013.