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)
U.S. home prices increased 6.7% in September 2020, compared with September 2019, marking the fastest annual acceleration since May 2014. On a month-over-month basis, home prices increased by 1.1% compared to August 2020.