According to a new report from The American Institute of Architects (AIA), demand for design services in May 2019 remained essentially flat in comparison to the previous month.
AIA's Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for May 2019 showed a small increase in design services at 50.2, which is slightly down from 50.5 in April. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. Both the project inquiries index and the design contracts index softened in May but remained positive.
"The last four consecutive months, firm billings have either decreased or been flat, the longest period of that level of sustained softness since 2012," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.
"While both inquiries into new projects and the value of new design contracts remained positive, they both softened in May, another sign the amount of pending work in the pipeline at firms may be starting to stabilize."
Key ABI highlights for May include:
Regional averages: Midwest (51.6); South (51.4); West (50.0); Northeast (47.5)
Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (55.4); commercial/industrial (53.0); institutional (48.0); multi-family residential (46.0)
International property consultant CBRE is reporting this week that global commercial real estate investment volume in Q4 of 2019, including entity-level deals, was nearly level (-0.5%) with Q4 2018, while full-year volume fell by 2% from 2018.
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).
Based on research from Learnbonds.com indicates that U.S. mortgage debt is now the highest since the Great Depression in 2008. The outstanding US mortgage debt which has been growing steadily in recent years hit a record high of $15.8 trillion in Q3 2019.