These are the 10 most expensive cities in the world to build in

Paris, Frankfurt, and Macau are all on the list, but none of them are more expensive than the city in the number one spot.

March 07, 2017 |

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The recently released International Construction Costs report, published by Arcadis, details the relative cost of building in 44 of the world’s major cities across 13 building types.

As part of the report, the top 10 most expensive cities in the world to build in are outlined, and a U.S. city is at the top of the list. New York led the way among all cities for construction costs, according to the report.

“New York rises to the top globally once again due to a lack of real estate availability, accessibility issues, and high real estate prices,” says David Hudd, Arcadis Cost and Commercial Director, in a release. ‘To build in such a dense urban environment like New York City, you must find solutions to control costs, such as expertly handling storage, transport and staging of building materials, identifying skilled construction firms and labor far in advance, and implementing modularized construction.”

New York isn’t showing any signs of slowing down either in terms of construction costs. The city is expected to remain the most expensive to build in into 2017 and beyond as large-scale construction projects and international investors drive development. The Big Apple is almost 50% more expensive to build in than the national average and is even 20% higher than other major and expensive cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Boston.

For the U.S., San Francisco is the second most expensive city to build in because of its cramped environment, rigorous seismic requirements, and competition for contractors.

In terms of worldwide construction costs, Hong Kong is in second place, followed by Geneva, London, and Macau. The entire top 10 list is as follows:


  1. New York
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Geneva
  4. London
  5. Macau
  6. Copenhagen
  7. Stockholm
  8. Frankfurt
  9. Paris
  10. Vienna


For the full report, click here.

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