Is the industry starting to slide in Australia and New Zealand?
In my day to day conversations with architects in Melbourne, most seem to be doing better than they were a year ago. The problems seem to be affecting the large end of town, and firms doing business in particular countries. We've had a few residential jobs in New Zealand go on hold indefinitely because of the crunch and its effects on property prices.
Looking about the planet,
Ireland: James Pike, O’Mahony Pike: ‘‘strong anecdotal evidence’’ that firms which were reliant on the Irish housing market were making between one-third and half their staff redundant.
United States: Jack Reigle, design business advisor: Larger firms are insulated by a backlogue of work that should see them through to 2009. Generalist firms on low profits are more vulnerable than specialists. An AIA survey of billings last month suggests that design business is stable in the Mid West but is soft everywhere else. Government sectors are stable.
Australia: Bloomfield Tremayne's market updates suggest that while job listings have reduced 35-40%, this is after several boom years when market demand was up 50%. They suggest Sepetmber / October will be the litmus test months for finding out which way the architecture economy is moving. As in the States, the institutional sector is strongest. Unlike the States, the domestic sector is still fairly strong due to an undersupply of housing.
Any other views on the crunch? Is your firm hiring or firing?