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3 Australian cities make list for most expensive to build in

3 Australian cities make list for most expensive to build in

by Sasha Karen | May 10, 2018 | 1 minute read

Three Australian cities made the list of the top 25 countries most expensive to build in worldwide. Which three made the list, and why is it so expensive to build there?

Magnifying glass, luxury home, Australian cities, most expensive to build in, property market
May 10, 2018

Australia’s three biggest property markets of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney are some of the most expensive cities to build property in, according to the International Construction Costs 2018 report from Arcadis.

The most expensive city to build in was San Francisco, followed by New York and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Brisbane ranked at 22nd on the list, followed by Melbourne at 21st; Sydney was the most expensive Australian city at 19th.

The demand for property in these cities was described as being driven by healthy commercial, retail and residential construction, supported by the billions of dollars of infrastructure projects in the pipeline, highlighted in this year’s budget.


In particular, Melbourne and Sydney provide the lion’s share of construction growth in the country, according to Matthew Mackey, national director of cost and commercial management for Australia Pacific at Arcadis.

“Melbourne and Sydney remain the powerhouses of the construction market, contributing over two-thirds of the market’s growth in the last financial year,” Mr Mackey said.

Australia ranks so highly, he said, because of how far Australia is from the rest of the world.

“The cost of construction has always been high in Australia due to its geographic isolation and the associated costs of import taxes, travel and transporting materials that this brings,” Mr Mackey said.

“Another contributing factor in Australia is rising labor costs, which is driven by ongoing skills and labor shortages, which can risk making projects commercially unviable.

“Despite this, the construction market in Australia is very positive. China remains a huge source of investment and, after a three-year decline in activity, the Australian construction market grew by 1.2 per cent in 2017 and is expected to grow to 3 per cent by 2020.”

The top 25 most expensive countries to construct in, according to the International Construction Costs 2018 report, are:

1. San Francisco
2. New York
3. Hong Kong
4. Toronto
5. Boston
6. Philadelphia
7. Chicago
8. London
9. Macau
10. Geneva
11. Copenhagen
12. Tokyo
13. Washington DC
14. Stockholm
15. Frankfurt
16. Dallas
17. Houston
18. Paris
19. Sydney
20. Brussels
21. Melbourne
22. Brisbane
23. Rio de Janeiro
24. Riyadh
25. Jeddah

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