Singapore is 4th most expensive city in Asia for construction: Arcadis

Singapore is the fourth most expensive city in Asia for construction costs, following Hong Kong, Macau and Tokyo, according to the latest International Construction Cost (ICC) Index published by Arcadis, a leading global design and consultancy organisation for natural and built assets.

Globally, Singapore ranks at 46 while Hong Kong, Macau and Tokyo rank at 8, 10 and 11 respectively - out of 100 cities.

In 2020, the construction industry in Singapore contracted by 35.9% due to a reduction in both public and private sector construction activities. This year, demand for public sector construction is expected to remain strong, fuelled by major infrastructure and public residential projects in the country. Meanwhile, private sector demand has potential to perform better than its current forecast if the economy picks up momentum throughout 2021.

“The pandemic has been a key driver shifting the industry to become more resilient, more sustainable and to adopt a leaner approach to the construction workforce. Reducing emissions from human activity will be a new focus for Singapore, as the country makes efforts to combat climate change in the coming years,” said Josephine Lee, Arcadis' executive director in Singapore.

“Urban solutions and sustainability will be highlighted areas, with initiatives such as digitalising, and building up capabilities to develop greener, more sustainable and more energy efficient buildings.”

Over the past year, Singapore has been raising its building construction sustainability standards and improved efforts to encourage the adoption of green technology and sustainable practices, explained Arcadis.

“Given the global trends in decarbonisation, Singapore has taken a forward-looking outlook on investing its research and development efforts into decarbonisation technologies, in particular for carbon capture, storage and utilisation,” the company said.

“The success of these initiatives is dependent on how fast Singapore is able to adopt the necessary technologies and address the shift in economic structure that decarbonisation would bring.”

The 2021 Arcadis ICC Index covers 100 of the world’s large cities across six continents. The cost comparison was developed covering 20 building functions, based on a survey of construction costs, review of market conditions and the professional judgement from its global team of experts. The calculations are based in USD and indexed against the price range for each building type relative to Amsterdam.

In addition to providing a comparative index of global construction costs, the report also looks at construction around the world and the noteworthy changes and initiatives of the past year in numerous global markets amid the Covid-19 pandemic. As some governments prepare to launch various initiatives to boost their economies, which includes investment spending on infrastructure, Arcadis highlights the opportunity to create long term value from the right investments especially around sustainability. A five-point plan is presented in the report to help guide clients and their project teams to define and deliver their project requirements in the context of a broader assessment of value.

The top 10 most expensive cities globally, in order of ranking, are: Geneva, London, Copenhagen, Oslo, Zurich, New York City, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Dublin and Macau.

The top 10 most expensive cities in Asia, in order of ranking, are: Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, Manila, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok and Jakarta.

Photo: Jason Goh/Pixabay

Click here to download the report.