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Turner & Townsend's latest global construction cost survey ranked Manchester as 24th most expensive in the world. Credit: Joe Gardner for Place North West

Manchester on global list of most expensive cities for construction

Julia Hatmaker

A report from Turner & Townsend says it costs more to build in Manchester than Paris, Singapore or Berlin.

The International Construction Market Survey looked at the cost of materials, labour and more in 90 global markets. Turner & Townsend then looked at the average cost of four different building types: CBD offices of up to 20 floors, large shopping centres, large warehouse distribution centres and medium-sized townhouses.

Manchester’s construction costs came in at £1,687 per sqm, making it the 24th most expensive city in the world for construction, according to the survey.

For perspective, Paris’ costs were listed as £1,602 per sqm. Singapore’s costs were £1,499 per sqm and Berlin’s were £1,678 per sqm.

Tokyo topped the list, with an average cost of £2,906 per sqm. Hong Kong followed with an average cost of £2,828 per sqm and then San Francisco with a cost of £2,701 per sqm.

London was the most expensive city in the UK with an average cost of £2,326 per sqm. Bristol and Birmingham were also deemed more expensive than Manchester for construction, with average costs listed as £1,808 sqm and £1,755 sqm respectively.

Read the report.


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And yet they’re building here all over the place and have been for years with seemingly no end in sight.

By Anonymous

This is very bad news confirmed. It equates to more and more pressure of quality versus quantity. Even if Manchester itself manages to make business cases stack up, it will do so at the expense of others re driving up labour costs and creating labour pool instability.
While George Osborne was throwing our money around on civic trinkets like HS2, it was investment in building stable workforces that was needed.
He really was the worst chancellor of all time.

By Jeff

A report from Turner & Townsend says it costs more to build in Manchester than Paris, Singapore or Berlin, but less than Birmingham, Bristol or London.
What are the figures for Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield?

By Clickbait

Liverpool and Sheffield were not included in the report. Leeds came in at £1,642 per sqm.

By Julia Hatmaker

Basically its expensive to build in the UK and dearest of all is London. No real surprises in the report.

By Chumlywarner

Hard to believe these figures , with 3 English cities outside of London having greater construction costs than 3 of the world`s greatest destinations ie Paris, Singapore , and Berlin , but there you go.
Looking at if from a UK perspective we have Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester on this list and though construction costs are higher the yield must be worth it , also the situation that HS2 is earmarked to run high-speed and direct to these 3 destinations does not bode well for Liverpool or Sheffield.
Bristol of course is an anomaly here.

By Anonymous

Should Manchester be worried, or is the market willing to pay? Is it just the city centre or mushrooming out? Are land costs escalating out of control, if so this is possible cause for concern for non domestic properties and social infrastructure?

By Just saying!