World's most expensive cities to build in

13 May 2019


New York is the world’s most expensive city to build in

New York in the US is the world’s most expensive city to build in, according to the 2019 International Construction Cost Comparison report by global design and consultancy organisation Arcadis.

The second most expensive city is also located in the US, San Francisco. Hong Kong was number three on the list, followed by Copenhagen in Denmark and Geneva in Switzerland.

Factors that influence a city’s position in the index include cost of living, labour and materials, overall productivity of the industry in that city, and the complexity of projects in that city.

The report reveals that New York and San Francisco face unique challenges when it comes to construction.

“New York’s high insurance costs, coupled with strict building codes and significant access and logistics challenges factor into soaring construction costs,” said David Hudd, cost and commercial director for Arcadis.

In San Francisco, the technology sector contributes to labour shortages and other market forces that drive up the cost of construction. Local building and energy codes are also a factor.

The other cities which made up the top ten most expensive places for construction, in order, are: London in the UK, Macau in China, Zurich in Switzerland, Japan’s Tokyo and Boston, the third US city to feature on the top ten list.

The report also listed the least expensive cities for construction. The three cheapest places to build were in India, with Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai the top three. Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam made up the rest of the top five least expensive cities.

To view the report in full, click here.

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