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Results of the Ifo Architects Survey of 1st quarter 2017

Ifo Architects Survey: Planning Contract Figures for Residential Buildings Continue to Climb

The business climate improved clearly at the beginning of the first quarter of 2017, according to the results of the Ifo Institute’s survey of freelance architects.

The architects surveyed assessed their current business situation more favourably than last quarter, with only one in eleven architects describing the situation as “poor.” They are very positive about the six-month business outlook.

In the fourth quarter of 2016 around 59% of survey participants signed new contracts.

The estimated construction volume from newly-signed contracts in the fourth quarter (new builds without planning services) was around 15% higher than the level seen in the previous quarter.

The number of newly-acquired contracts for the planning of single-family and duplex houses rose by a good 50 percent in the reporting quarter, hitting a peak level. In Eastern Germany in particular there was a clear increase in the number of newly-acquired orders. After soaring by 130% in the three preceding quarters, the number of planning contracts for multi-family buildings nevertheless slightly exceeded the high level previously reached in the fourth quarter of 2016.

New orders for planning services from both private and commercial clients fell in the fourth quarter of 2016. New orders from the public sector, by contrast, were markedly higher than in the previous quarter.

The average order backlog of 7.1 months exceeded the seven-month mark for the first time in 27 years.

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Presentation of survey results (in German)

  1. Gluch, Erich, "ifo Architektenumfrage: Weiter steigende Planungsaufträge für Wohngebäude", ifo Schnelldienst 70 (06), 2017, 64-65 | Details | PDF Download


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.

Further information

Ludwig Dorffmeister

ifo Institute
ifo Center for Industrial Organisation and New Technologies
Phone: +49(0)89/9224-1343
Fax: +49(0)89/907795-1343
Email: dorffmeister @

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