RIBA Future Trends index gives mixed picture

Architects are still feeling mixed about future workloads, with long-term uncertainties about Brexit and the economy dampening confidence levels.

The latest Future Trends survey from the RIBA showed that the index recovered slightly to post a score of +14 in July from the +10 recorded the month before.


But the RIBA warned practices in London were more pessimistic than those outside the capital with the Midlands and East Anglia returning a balance figure of +32.

Practices of all sizes remained positive but large practices, those with staff numbers of 51 or more, showed the most confidence at increasing future workloads, with a balance figure of +63.

Private housing was again the sector architects were most confident about with a score of +17 while optimism about public sector workloads recovered to +3.

RIBA executive director for members Adrian Dobson said: “Commentary from participating practices points to a steady outlook in the medium term but with more uncertainty over the long term. Some of [June’s] pessimism seems to have lifted but signals remain mixed.”

Dobson said some firms had started to fret about developers slowing down work on larger residential schemes but added a number of practices were struggling to fill posts.