NEW! CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

AIA: Architecture Billings Index shows expansion in November

by Calculated Risk on 12/21/2010 05:30:00 PM

Note: This index is a leading indicator for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment.

From the American Institute of Architects: Firm Billings Rebound in November

At 52.0, the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) recorded a three point gain from the previous month, and reached its strongest level since December 2007. With ABI scores above the 50 level in two of the past three months, the prospects of a sustainable recovery in design activity are enhanced.
AIA Architecture Billing Index Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index showed expansion in November (above 50) and this is the highest level since December 2007.

Note: Nonresidential construction includes commercial and industrial facilities like hotels and office buildings, as well as schools, hospitals and other institutions.

According to the AIA, there is an "approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending" on non-residential construction. So this indicator suggests the drag from CRE investment will end next summer. This fits with other recent stories about a pickup in design activity.