World’s most expensive cities to build in revealed

02 April 2020


The Shard in London - the world’s most expensive city to build in, according to the report

The most expensive and cheapest cities in the world to build in have been revealed in the annual Arcadis International Construction Cost Index (ICC).

The report revealed that the top three most expensive cities to build in are: London, New York and Hong Kong while the cheapest cities to build in around the world are all in India: Bengaluru, New Delhi and Mumbai.

According to the report, although multiple factors influence a city’s position in the index, the main factor is the level of specification and quality, which can vary over time. The report says that, “the costs of high-end hotels and residential buildings have increased significantly in cities such as London, reflecting a global market for luxury developments that only affects a small sub-set of the cities.

”Looking forward, enhancements to specifications to deliver low-carbon developments are likely to further increase differentials. We expect to see this effect emerging first in Europe, with the universal adoption of the requirement for the delivery of near zero-energy buildings (nZEB) in the public and private sector from 2020 onwards.”

Arcadis said that the report was finished just as the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic was becoming clear.

“Just as COVID-19 is leading to a search for new forms of resilience for public health and essential services, in time, we will also need to do the same within the construction industry,” said Andrew Beard, Arcadis’ global head of cost & commercial management.

As well as COVID-19 the report also highlighted the need for the construction industry to reduce the amount of greenhouse emissions it produces. Construction processes alone are responsible for nearly 12% of global, energy-related CO2 emissions and heating and cooling buildings is one of the biggest single causes of global warming.

The ten most expensive cities to build in are:

1. London

2. New York City

3. Hong Kong

4. Geneva

5. San Francisco

6. Copenhagen

7. Tokyo

8. Zurich

9. Dublin

10. Edinburgh

The ten least expensive cities to build in are:

100. Bengaluru

99. New Delhi

98. Mumbai

97. Kuala Lumpur

96. Shenzhen

95. Wuhan

94. Guangzhou

93. Chengdu

92. Bangkok

91. Hangzhou

To download a copy of the report, click here



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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
Neil Gerrard Senior Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 7355 092 771 E-mail: [email protected]
Catrin Jones Deputy Editor, Editorial, UK – Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 791 2298 133 E-mail: [email protected]
Eleanor Shefford Brand Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 236 E-mail: [email protected]