Architecture Billings Index ticks up; multi-family sector remains robust

Oct.October 24, 2012 12:30 PM

Billings at architecture firms across the nation increased last month at their fastest pace since late 2010, according to the American Institute of Architects’ September Architecture Billings Index, which was released today. Overall, the ABI score ticked in at 51.6, up from the 50.2 recorded in August. The new projects index rose to 57.3 from 57.2 in August.

The overall index counts a score over 50 as an indicator that billings have increased.

Much of the score came from the multi-family sector, which reported an index of 57.3 in September. Institutional, commercial/industrial and mixed practice posted respective indices of 51, 48.4 and 47.8.

“Going back to the third quarter of 2011, the multi-family residential sector has been the best performing segment of the construction field,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker in the release. “With high foreclosure levels in recent years, more stringent mortgage approvals and fewer people in the market to buy homes there has been a surge in demand for rental housing. The upturn in residential activity will hopefully spur more non-residential construction.”

Scores in the West and South were over 50: 53.4 and 51.9, respectively; the Northeast and Midwest came in at a respective 49.5 and 47.2.

The index is often a leading indicator for future construction spending. — Zachary Kussin

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