Results of the Ifo Architects Survey of 3rd quarter 2014
Ifo Architects Survey: Encouragingly Good Current Business Situation
The business climate clouded over slightly at the beginning of the third quarter of 2014, but nevertheless remains very friendly, according to the results of the Ifo Institute’s survey of freelance architects.
The architects surveyed assessed their current business situation as even slightly better than in the previous quarter. As far as their business outlook is concerned, however, they expressed greater scepticism. The share of architects expecting developments to be negative over the next six months increased from 12% to 13%; and only one in seven survey participants expected the order situation to improve during this period.
57% of the architects surveyed reported signing new contracts in the reporting period, which is at the same level as in the previous quarter.
The estimated construction volume from newly-signed contracts (new builds without planning services in existing buildings) increased slightly in the second quarter of 2014. Planning for non-residential buildings exceeded the previous quarter’s level, while volumes in both commercial and public construction, on the other hand, remained at an average level.
Order volumes for detached and semi-detached house planning increased considerably by 10%, following a 20% increase in the first quarter of 2014. Orders for multi-family building planning were insignificantly higher than in the previous quarter.
In commercial construction architects reported a downturn in order volumes in the second quarter of 2014, which reached just half of the level seen in the first quarter of the year.
According to survey participants, the average order backlog totaled 6.4 months at the beginning of the third quarter of 2014, which was slightly higher than the figure for the previous quarter (6.3 months).
Presentation of survey results (in German)
The Ifo Institute has conducted its quarterly survey of freelance architects Germany-wide since 1996 (since 1980 in only four federal states) among a panel of 1,800 architects. The survey gathers data on the business climate, new contracts – from which construction volume is estimated – as well as orders on hand. The quarterly data is supplemented by annually surveyed data on how large the architectural offices are and on their legal forms and volume of fees.