Just when it looked like things were getting better, 2023 was quite a challenging year for a number of practices hit by rising costs, second staircase requirements and the financial viability of many projects questioned due to higher interest rates. These appeared to impact the larger firms harder whilst smaller studios working on luxury, high-end residential continued to thrive.
2024, however, feels like a switch is happening. The increase in interest rates is now starting to affect the luxury residential specialists who are seeing jobs put on hold and a sharp downturn in new projects. At the same time, we are witnessing an increase in opportunities from AJ100 firms that are feeling more optimistic as inflation declines. Many are also working on Middle Eastern giga projects which supplement a large proportion of their work.
Encouragingly we are also receiving many more senior roles to lead on these new projects and paying good salaries to attract the best people. These include:
Due to average architectural salaries sadly struggling to keep up with inflation over the last 20 years, we are seeing an ever increasing number of Architects looking to move into Project Management and also Interiors where salaries are often quite a bit higher as seen in our last salary survey. To follow the latest roles within these sectors, we now have these dedicated pages:
RIBA Future Trends Survey Results
Despite the latest RIBA Future Trends Survey results showing negative figures for both future workload (-9) and staffing index (-2), these were from December and overall, January has felt more positive. With inflation expected to return to 2% in the coming months, it is hoped interest rate cuts will follow and reinvigorate the housing market on which the workload of most architectural practices depends.
Also, even though there were many redundancies last year, firms that have been advertising for new staff have often reported receiving far fewer CVs than in previous years and Brexit is causing a surprising skills shortage. EU Architects looking for work in the UK used to be a substantial source of talent but new visa restrictions have brought this to a dramatic halt. We now even have a role in Portugal for Architects looking to return, highlighting the big change in the industry.
If you are also looking for new staff and struggling to find the right people, do get in touch.
Some of our latest opportunities can be seen below: