High demand for rental housing raises Architecture Billings Index

AIA

Billings at architecture firms in September increased at their fastest pace since late 2010. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the September ABI score was 51.6, up from the mark of 50.2 in August. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 57.3, compared to a mark of 57.2 the previous month.

Key September ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: West (53.4), South (51.9), Northeast (49.5), Midwest (47.2)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (57.3), institutional (51.0), commercial / industrial (48.4), mixed practice (47.8)
  • Project inquiries index: 57.3

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

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