Architects' commissions lowest since start of crisis

In the third quarter of 2012, the value of new commissions for architects in the Netherlands reached its lowest point since the start of the credit crisis. Compared with the average quarterly level in 2007, the drop in construction value of commissions to design residential and commercial buildings was over 70 percent.

Residential commissions hit especially hard

The largest decrease was for contracts for new residential projects. The value of commissions in the third quarter of last year was 80 percent below the average value in 2007. Residential renovation projects, too, were under pressure, with commissions down by 60 percent.

As commissions for architects to design buildings are one of the first steps in the construction process, they are an important indicator for future construction activity.

Construction value of new commissions received by architects

Construction value of new commissions received by architects

Commissions for commercial buildings also substantially down

Widespread vacancy of office buildings has led to continued low values of commissions for new office buildings, etc. Compared with 2007 the value plummeted by nearly 72 percent. The value of new commissions for renovation of commercial buildings was nearly 30 percent lower.

One bright spot in the commercial construction market is that the value of commissioned designs in the third quarter of 2012 was 12 percent higher than in the same quarter of 2011.

Ron Duijkers