Could a 0.99 uptick in index rating indicate an expectation of increased single-family permits in Q2? Maybe, but not for every region. New inquiries, backlog, and the number of projects in production all grew by more than a point from January to February, according to the American Institute of Building Design’s (AIBD), Residential Design Index (RDIndex).
Visit AIBD.org/rdi to see historical data.
Three of the four regions yielded a similar increase in ratings, with the West showing the highest gains. However, the Northeast continues to report a negative RDIndex number in 2019; -0.34 in February and -0.43 in January. “The market has stalled and not anywhere near the rest of the country as far as overall building.” says one residential designer.
In June 2018, the amount of single-family projects in production, also referred to as “on the boards,” produced a 3.23 score, significantly up from 0.23 in January. This is the highest score since the category hit its peak in June 2018 with a 4.96.
The staff size indicator is stuck at a low rating of 0.52, which is down from 0.63 and may suggest that design firms across the country are skeptical overall. “New clients are accepted based on my schedule if we’re too busy to immediately start a project, they wait or unfortunately go to a competitor.” reports one respondent. “The government and insurance (liability & health) companies do not make it profitable (or fun) to have employees.” is another thought shared during the survey.
The disparity in numbers could also mean that firms are trying to hire, but are having trouble finding qualified help. “We are about a million and a half short of employees in the construction industry,” stated industry leaders at a recent CEO summit held during Design+Construction Week, a combination of the International Builders Show and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. AIBD is doing its part to help great employees connect with excellent building design, architecture, and engineering firms. Scroll down to the bottom of this blog and learn how the AIBD Job Board can help you.
If hiring is in your future, you’ll want to know of any pitfalls in advance. Check out this on-demand webinar published by the AIBD at Construct-Ed.com. Learn how to develop a job description, how to advertise for a position, and how to hire for success. Included with the presentation are highly detailed downloadable documents, checklists, and phrases you’ll want to include in your office handbooks and procedures manuals immediately.