The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports that April was the fifteenth consecutive month in which architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services.
AIA’s Architecture Billings Index score for April was 56.5. The index measured at 58.0 in March. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. During April, scores for both new project inquiries and design contracts moderated slightly, but remained strong, posting scores of 62.3 and 55.4, respectively.
“While business conditions at architecture firms have been very encouraging over the past year, project activity has been steadily shifting toward work on existing buildings,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Billings for reconstruction projects exceeded those for new construction for the first time in the last two decades. While the reconstruction share of building activity will continue to ebb and flow, in general, we’ll continue to move toward an increased share of building activity for reconstruction and a decreased share for new construction.”
Regional averages were consistently above 50, led by the West, which scored 58.2, followed by the Midwest (57.6); and the South (57.3). The Northeast brings up the rear with a still respective 53.1
Sector index breakdown also shows all positive numbers, with mixed practice coming in at 61.2 and commercial/industrial just behind that with 60.7. Multi-family residential clocked a 57.2 and institutional projects stand at 51.8 for the month.
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.