Situation in the UK remains convincingly positive for the construction sector

The architects’ sentiment continues to be negative for especially Italy, Spain and France. The construction sector in these countries is expected to decline in 2014 and 2015. But where Spain seems to recover in 2016, the other two countries will need an additional year. UK and Poland will show most improvement in the upcoming 2.5 years, followed by Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. These are some of the conclusions of the Q2 2014 European Architectural Barometer report, a quarterly research among 1,600 architects in eight European countries. European architects act as a leading indicator for the construction activities.

The British market keeps on improving. One of the reasons for this is that the building permits for non-residential buildings have increased again the last two quarters. The building permits for residential buildings show an even bigger increase (27% more building permits in Q1 2014 than in 2010). Other indicators are showing positive signs as well, e.g. the sentiment within architectural firms is positive in Q2 2014: they show a strong order book and turnover development (39% of the companies reported increase of more than 5% in their order book in Q2 2014 and other 23% saw an increase of up to 5%). Nevertheless there are also signals that one should be careful about being not too euphoric: the last two quarters clearly show more architects than in the previous quarters who expect an empty order book in the next 12 months (37% and 40% opposite to 27% and 21% in the prior two quarters). Arch-Vision nevertheless predicts a growth of the market in 2014 (+4%) which will continue in 2015 (+4%) and 2016 (+3%).

These and many other results and trends of the developments of the European construction market can be found in the European Architectural Barometer, an international market research conducted among 1,600 architects in Europe. This study is conducted in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland by Arch-Vision four times a year. Besides indicators to forecast the European building volumes, a specific topic is highlighted each quarter. The topic in Q2 2014 was “Architectural design & Technology trends”. Architects can be used not only as a reliable source for future building volumes information, but their role is very important as they have great influence on how projects are built and which materials are used.

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