Architecture & Design – UK Real Estate Labour Market Trends, September 2023

House building targets being scrapped results in slow down in recruitment

Key findings include:

  • Architecture and Design sees a decline of 10.9% in vacancies in 2023
  • Projects has emerged as the leading area in 2023 with 31.4% of the vacancies
  • London maintains its dominance, holding a 39.6% national share 
  • HLM Architects are ones to watch, with vacancies up 71.4%


The Architecture and Design labour market, which reached its zenith in 2022, is now poised for a significant decline in 2023, with an estimated -10.9% decrease in professional vacancies, bringing the total to 3,983 positions. Indeed, the increase in interest rates and the subsequent implications on borrowing costs for developers means that with the cost of capital going up, there has been a slight dip. That combined with the Conservative party scrapping housing targets, has also led to a slowdown in demand, according to the latest UK Real Estate Labour Market Trends report by market data analysts Vacancysoft.

Projects has emerged as the leading area in 2023, boasting a total of 150 published job vacancies year-to-date. These numbers are expected to remain consistent with 2022 figures, exhibiting just a 2.7% year-on-year change. This division is likely to maintain a substantial share of vacancies, contributing significantly to the architecture and design job market at 31.4%. However, not all areas are on an upward trajectory. “Interior Design” is predicted to experience a decline of -27.9% in 2023 for example.

London continues to be the epicentre of architectural activity, boasting the highest annual totals in this category. However, it is expected to experience a slight dip of -6.1% in 2023, possibly signalling a stabilisation of the market. The question is, how will demand in the capital change, as interest rates stabilise?

The North region is poised for growth, with its share of vacancies increasing from 14.2% in 2022 to 19.5% in 2023. This shift is accompanied by a remarkable 31.6% year-on-year change, reflecting an increasing demand for architectural professionals in this area.

Amongst the Architecture firms, several notable companies are poised to make significant moves in 2023. Benoy and Norr Consultants are expected to increase their Architect vacancies by 25% and 33.3%, respectively. HLM Architects stands out with a remarkable projected uplift of 71.4%, indicating a potentially substantial expansion.

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