January’s index saw the overall confidence mark increase from +15 in December to +29 – the highest mark since June 2015’s record of +44.
Despite the mood among architects about future work being generally positive across the UK, Scottish-based practices continue to lag behind the rest with an index score of -25, although this was an improvement on the -50 recorded in December.
Practices located in southern England reported the most optimistic index score of +38, while practices of all sizes recorded optimism about workloads in the coming months.
The key areas of work for architects were listed as private housing and commercial work; but confidence in the public sector also remained positive for a second successive month – up from +6 in December to +7 in January.
Adrian Dobson, executive director members, RIBA, said: “The survey commenced seven years ago and from January 2009 to January 2013 it consistently recorded decreases in the overall value of architectural work in progress.
“However, we have now seen eleven quarters of continual workload growth, which despite some cooling off in its rate is nevertheless still a healthy 3% per annum.”
Year-on-year employment figures also indicate that practices have taken on three per cent more staff than they did in January 2015.
“Whilst a small number of practices have reported recruitment difficulties there does not yet appear to be a clear skills shortage,” added Dobson.
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