San Francisco overtakes Tokyo as priciest place to build

July 14, 2022

Turner & Townsend’s 2022 international construction market survey shows San Francisco is the most expensive place in which to build in the world, according to www.constructiondive.com. The city was No. 3 in 2021.

Tokyo fell to No. 2 this year from No. 1 in 2021. Three other U.S. cities—New York City, Boston and Los Angeles—made the list.

Following is the full list of the top 10 most expensive cities in which to build, according to the survey.

  1. San Francisco
  2. Tokyo
  3. Osaka, Japan
  4. New York City
  5. Geneva
  6. Zurich
  7. Hong Kong
  8. Boston
  9. Los Angeles
  10. London

The July 5 report found construction in San Francisco costs $439.29 per square foot because of inflation, supply chain issues and demand from tech companies such as Google and Apple.

The report said 38.6% of markets surveyed were classified as “hot” (28.4%) or “overheating” (10.2%), where conditions are deemed at risk of acting as a brake on development. The number of “cold” markets fell from six to one.

Additionally, 79.6% of markets were experiencing skills shortages and 15.9% markets were in balance; only 4.5% of markets had a surplus in construction labor.

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