Architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services in June, according to a new report from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for June remained at an elevated level of 57.1 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). During June, the new design contracts score also stayed positive at 58.9 but was not quite as strong as the 63.2 reading in May. New project inquiries logged another near-record high score at 71.8, compared to 69.2 in May.
“With the current pace of billings growth near the highest levels ever seen in the history of the index, we are expecting a sharp upturn in nonresidential building activity later this year and into 2022,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “However, as is often the case when market conditions make a sudden reversal, concerns are growing about architecture firms not being able to find enough workers to meet the higher workloads. Nearly six in 10 firms report they are having problems filling open architectural staff positions.”
Key ABI highlights for June:
● regional averages are 62 for the Midwest, 59.7 for the West, 57.3 for the South, and 53.2 for the Northeast;
● sector index breakdown are 61 for commercial/industrial, 57.9 for multi-family residential, 57.3 for institutional, and 56.4 for mixed practice;
● project inquiries index is 71.8; and
● design contracts index is 58.9.