North America leads construction costs, GCC countries in growth – report

San Francisco tops list of most expensive places to build; UAE among fastest growing construction markets, says Arcadis

A study by Dutch consulting engineers, Arcadis, has found North America cities to be the most expensive in the world for construction projects, while two Middle Eastern cities head the list of fastest growing construction markets.

In a report on the study published last week, Arcadis said San Francisco has the highest costs in the world for construction projects at present, followed by New York and Hong Kong, with Toronto and Boston coming in fourth and fifth respectively. With Philadelphia and Chicago, North America emerges as the most expensive region in the world to build in with six cities in the top 10. Macau joins Hong Kong from Asia while London at eighth and Geneva at tenth make up the European contribution.

Meanwhile, the UAE has emerged as the fastest growing construction markets in the world in 2018, with year-on-year growth of 10% respectively. Third on the list is the Philippines, with Vietnam and Indonesia making up the top five. India, Sweden, South Korea, China and the Netherlands make up the rest of the top 10 construction markets experiencing the fastest expansion.

Comparing the 2017 table for the most expensive construction markets, the report pointed out that it included a host of European cities for a more diverse geographical list. Copenhagen, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Paris and Vienna, which were among the top 10 last year, have all slipped out, while both London and Geneva have slid down within the top 10.

Pointing out the reason behind the US cities dominating the higher ranks, the report said: “The relative strength of the US dollar is a key factor influencing the positioning of cities in the index this year. The strong dollar places North American cities higher in the index compared to markets where the domestic currency is relatively weaker against the greenback.

“Construction demand growth has also played a key role. Markets where demand is strong typically see price inflation, increasing the costs of construction for clients and investors.”


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