According to new data from The American Institute of Architects, U.S. demand for design services in December 2019 increased for the third month in a row.
The AIA's latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 52.5 for December reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). During December, both the new project inquiries and design contracts scores were positive, posting scores of 58.7 and 53.4 respectively.
"Despite the ongoing slowdown in billings in the Northeast, balanced growth across sectors and regions looks more positive for the coming year," said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. "Factors outside of the construction sector, such as trade policy and international events, could still impact demand for design services, however recent fears about a downturn in construction activity have largely subsided."
Key ABI highlights for December 2019 include:
Regional averages: West (54.0); South (52.2); Midwest (51.9); Northeast (44.0)
Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (54.0); multi-family residential (51.0); mixed practice (50.8); institutional (50.8)
The National Association of Home Builders' latest 55+ Housing Market Index is reporting this week that U.S. builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market dropped four points to 68 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
According to new research by Zillow, the total value of every home in the U.S. is $33.6 trillion, nearly as much as the GDP of the two largest global economies combined -- the U.S. ($20.5 trillion) and China ($13.6 trillion).
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's newly released Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), U.S. mortgage credit availability decreased in December 2019.
The MCAI fell by 3.5 percent to 182.2 in December.
According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales fell in November 2019, taking a small step back after October's gains. The Northeast and Midwest both reported growth last month, while the South and West saw sales decline.
Demand for design services in November 2019 increased at a modest pace for the second month in a row. During November, both the new project inquiries and design contracts scores were positive, posting scores of 60.9 and 52.9 respectively.
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