Heading into the holidays, the AIA has more good economic news to report: the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) has recorded a third straight month of growth. The October score was 52.8, up from September’s 51.6 (any score above 50 indicates a growth in billings). The uptick reflects improving conditions in the housing market and real estate more broadly. All four regions were in positive territory, with the South leading at 52.8, followed by the Northeast at 52.6, the West at 51.8, and the Midwest at 50.8.
By sector, multi-family housing performed the strongest (59.2), followed by mixed practice (52.4), and institutional (51.4). The industrial/commercial sector lagged behind in negative territory (48.0)
“With three straight monthly gains – and the past two being quite strong – it’s beginning to look like demand for design services has turned the corner,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, said in a statement.
Project inquiries also grew, from 57.3 in September to 59.4 in October.