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Projected Strength in Residential Markets Set to Be Derailed by Global Pandemic

The momentum building in the housing market since the Great Recession has completely reversed itself over the course of just a few weeks, according to an April 10 report from the American Institute of Architects.


The report reveals that revenue at residential architecture firms for March is estimated to have been 15 percent below their expectations at the beginning of the month, while April is expected to be almost 20 percent below previous expectations.


“Just as the residential sector was getting back on a solid foundation, it has been hit with this setback,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, Ph.D. “Until we have a better understanding of when the homebuilding and home improvement industries can resume their normal pace, demand for residential design activity is expected to suffer.”


Other key findings from the survey of residential architects include the following:

  • Seventy percent of firms indicate that inquiries for new work declined in March.
  • Seventy-eight percent of firms have already seen slowing or stoppage of projects.
  • Around 90 percent of firms have seen problems with current projects due to COVID-19.
  • Most residential firms, about two thirds, indicated that virtually all/majority of their staff are now working remotely.
  • Residential firms anticipate accelerated revenue losses in April, with almost 70 percent expecting losses of 10 percent or more for the month relative to their expectations in early March.

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