Latest RIBA Future Trends survey says issue has grown since summer

Architects remain confident about upcoming workloads but delays on site continue to dog firms.

The RIBA’s latest Future Trends index recorded a score of +12 last month meaning the overall figure has stayed in the black for a year.

construction site

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Hold-ups getting materials to site continue to dog practices

But an eight-month run of all regions staying positive has come to an end with the South of England slipping into negative territory with a score of -2 with London the most positive region, posting a score of +26.

The RIBA’s head of economic research and analysis Adrian Malleson admitted: “With stalling growth and rising inflation in both the general economy and the construction sector, concerns are growing that the rapid recovery we saw through 2021 is losing momentum. The new covid variant, Omicron, is clearly emerging as a significant risk.

“Commentary suggests supply-side issues continue to drag on architects’ current and future workload.”

He added that delays in getting planning applications through in a timely manner was also causing some jobs to be stalled or pulled completely.

The survey said workloads were up 10% compared to a year ago but projects that are already underway are remaining blighted by delays in getting materials to sites.

Getting hold of products was causing hold-ups for 74% of practices and a quarter said jobs had been put on hold as a result.

And a quarter reported the design process was being delayed by the shortages, up from 18% in June.

Private housing, commercial and public sector work all stayed in the black, the survey added.