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New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong Are the Most Expensive Cities for Construction

Investments in innovation, end user benefits and sustainability are necessary for the success of tomorrow’s construction sector.


Amsterdam - New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong are the world’s most expensive cities to build in, according to the latest International Construction Cost Comparison published by Arcadis (EURONEXT: ARCAD), the leading global design & consultancy organization for natural and built assets. The European cities of Copenhagen and Geneva complete the Top 5. The 10 least expensive cities for construction are situated almost exclusively in Asia.

In 2019, a cooling off of the global economy will have three principle impacts on construction market conditions: a tightening of financial conditions, a volatile supply of materials and costs and downside risks on demand for construction. Construction companies and their clients will need to make smart decisions in order to consolidate long-term success. Arcadis’ International Construction Cost Comparison 2019 guides companies towards a higher long-term return on investment for construction projects. 

“In 2019 and beyond, smart investment in three key areas is crucial for the future success of construction companies and the sector in general,” states Andrew Beard, Global Head Cost and Commercial Management at Arcadis. “Firstly, innovation and digitization present an opportunity for construction companies to increase efficiency, lower costs and increased productivity while improving the end product. Secondly, a strong focus on end-user benefits is necessary. Buildings will increasingly need to be part of the urban mobility ecosystem in order to create value in the long term,” Beard continues.

“Finally, constructing and operating buildings has a significant impact on the environment, in terms of water and energy use, carbon emissions and waste. As a consequence, clients are looking to incorporate resiliency and sustainability as part of their business strategy and into buildings.”

Top 10 most expensive cities                                               Top 10 least expensive cities

1. New York                                                                             100. Bengaluru
2. San Francisco                                                                       99. New Delhi
3. Hong Kong                                                                            98. Mumbai
4. Copenhagen                                                                          97. Kuala Lumpur 
5. Geneva                                                                                  96. Ho Chi Minh
6. London                                                                                  95. Wuhan
7. Macau                                                                                   94. Guangzhou/Shenzhen         
8. Zurich                                                                                    93. Chengdu
9. Tokyo                                                                                     92. Jakarta    
10. Boston                                                                                 91. Belgrade

The Arcadis International Construction Costs Comparison 2019 is a leading reference point in relative comparison of global construction costs. This year the comparison covers 100 major cities. Apart from providing a comparative indexation of construction costs around the world, the report also provides market insights and recommendations on the factors clients should be considering, in order to continue being successful in the future.

Read more and download the report: 


Improving quality of life


Arcadis is a leading global Design & Consultancy organization for natural and built assets. Applying our deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services we work in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets. We are 27,000 people, active in over 70 countries that generate €3.3 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world.

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