New York is the world’s most expensive city to build in, according to the latest International Construction Cost report published by Arcadis, the leading global design & consultancy firm for natural and built assets. The high density Asian cities of Hong Kong, in second, and Macau, fifth, feature in the top five, along with Geneva, third, and London, fourth.

London has fallen two places since last year, largely due to the devaluation of the pound following the UK’s Brexit vote making it less expensive compared to other cities.  Shanghai, in 35th, and Manilla, 38th, are the biggest fallers overall, both dropping eight places.  The highest climbers in the ranking of 44 cities are Auckland, which is up to 13th, Belgrade, to 30th, and Taipei, 40th, all of which rose four places compared to 2016.

Edel Christie, Head of Program Management at Arcadis said: “High density cities like New York and Hong Kong are particularly high cost locations to build due to constraints with land availability, accessibility and land values.  Despite this they continue to prosper and see significant development activity thanks to their attractiveness as desirable global cities for commerce and people.  The cost of building critical infrastructure and new buildings over the course of a long build phase is notoriously difficult to predict, making the challenge of providing as much cost and commercial certainty as possible a vital one.”

The top ten most expensive cities to build in are outlined below, with changes from 2016 in brackets.

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

To view the full report, visit