Architecture billings continue climb

Architecture billings improved in January.

The level of new developments entering the multifamily market may increase in the coming months, as property management companies witnessed an improvement in overall architecture billings in January.

While mixed practice properties had the best showing in the commercial real estate architecture billings market during the first month of the year, multifamily properties were not far behind, according to the American Institute of Architects. The firm's Architecture Billings Index returned a figure of 54.9 for mixed practice properties, while multifamily properties hit 54.5. These figures were higher than 50, noting that there was an increase in billings.

Overall, the total billings level was 54.2, the report explained. This was three points higher than in December. Other aspects of the commercial market improved, as well. The commercial/industrial reading finished with a figure of 52, while institutional was at 50.2.

"We have been pointing in this direction for the last several months, but this is the strongest indication that there will be an upturn in construction activity in the coming months," said Dr. Kermit Baker, chief economist for AIA.

The Midwest had the highest billing activity out of the four regions, the report added. Additionally, the other three regions were in positive territory.

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