Capital beats three other European cities to top spot and New York

London is the most expensive city in which to build, according to a new report from Arcadis.

In its International Construction Costs study, the firm said safety and sustainability requirements as well as increased client expectations meant buildings in the UK capital were now more costly to put up than the previously most expensive city to build in, Geneva.

Another Swiss city, Zurich, was in third place followed by Munich in Germany with New York rounding out the top five.

london cranes

Source: Shutterstock

Building safety requirements and rising expectations from clients meant London is now the most expensive city to build in, Arcadis said

Peter Hogg, UK cities director at Arcadis, said: “London finds itself back in the number one spot, reflecting the capital’s resilience in the face of challenging conditions. Despite a 10% year-on-year decline in construction output and a significant 20% drop in housing, the commercial sub-sector experienced a notable 24% rise, largely attributed to retrofit activity.”

The other UK city in the top 10 was Bristol with Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Glasgow all in the top 20.

Meanwhile, Arcadis said markets stabilising and inflation easing meant there was increased global demand for labour, materials and power which meant productivity was becoming a critical factor in investment decisions and project viability.

Among the most in-demand sectors were the advanced manufacturing and technology markets, which include data centres, pharmaceutical facilities and gigafactories.