Southern region reports decline in billings for the first time since June 2012
According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), U.S. architecture firm billings growth softened in October 2018 but remained positive for the thirteenth consecutive month.
AIA's Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for October was 50.4 compared to 51.1 in September. With continued strength in new project inquiries, billings are expected to remain steady into the coming months.
"The aftermath of this year's hurricanes and wildfires are the likely cause of the billings contraction we're seeing in the South and West regions," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. "These natural disasters have clouded the health of design and construction activity, making it difficult to separate a temporary setback from a general slowdown in design activity."
Key ABI highlights for October include:
Regional averages: Midwest (57.8), Northeast (51.8), South (48.4), West (46.9)
Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (52.7), multi-family residential (52.3), institutional (52.0), commercial/industrial (48.9)
The National Association of Realtors is reporting this week that single female buyers continue to be a powerful force in the U.S. housing market, while low inventory, rising interest rates and increasing home prices remain, holding back first-time buyers despite notable interest in buying a home.