Singapore ranks 4th most expensive market to build in Asia

Lion City’s construction market continues to face significant manpower shortages and supply chain constraints.

Singapore ranked the fourth most expensive market to build in Asia and the 37th most expensive globally in Turner & Townsend’s International Construction Market Survey 2021.

Construction costs in Singapore averaged approximately $2,825.98 (US$2,079) per square metre (sqm) according to the report. It followed Tokyo ($5,521.38 or US$4,001 per sqm), Hong Kong ($5,373.72 or US$3,894 per sqm), and Macau as the most expensive construction markets in Asia. Tokyo and Hong Kong are also the top two costliest cities globally.

Turner & Townsend noted that whilst Singapore’s construction sector showed gradual signs of improvement, it continues to be weighed down by the effect of border restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Singapore’s construction market outlook is anticipated to remain uncertain in 2021. Although we could be seeing a gradual increase in terms of construction work demand (mainly driven by public sector projects), the overall market is still facing significant manpower shortages, supply chain constraints, and in particular escalating construction costs attributed to the current situation. There is also the need for the industry to further improve productivity to meet this growing demand,” said Khoo Sze Boon, managing director for Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines for Turner & Townsend.

According to the study, the price for steel, softwood and copper piping rose sharply globally over the year, affecting most international cities.

The study was based on data from 90 global markets. It measures input costs for materials and labour to calculate the average cost per sqm across 27 construction types. All local construction costs were converted into US dollars to allow comparisons.

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