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Singapore ranks 4th most expensive city in Asia to build in; construction starts to recover: Survey

SINGAPORE is the fourth most expensive city in Asia to build in, behind Hong Kong, Macau and Tokyo in that order, according to a survey by global design & consultancy firm Arcadis.

The Republic also ranks 27th in the world on Arcadis' construction cost index, which looks at the relative cost of building in 50 of the world’s major cities in 2018.

The index covers 13 building types.

Following a stronger-than-expected 2017, countries around the world are experiencing an economic upturn, which will accelerate the demand for construction, said Arcadis.

Singapore's construction market has also started to pick up after several years of continuous correction caused by over-supply and a slowing economy, said the firm. Demand is higher and there has been a change in market sentiment as construction cost levels are no longer dropping, it noted.

Arcadis forecasts construction costs in Singapore to move between -1 per cent and +2 per cent this year. Public sector demand will remain the key contributor, accounting for about 60 per cent of forecast demand, it said.

Khoo Sze Boon, executive director and head of cost management & quantity surveying at Arcadis Singapore, said: "Over the past 10 years, Singapore has maintained S$20 billion and above in terms of construction demand. This has allowed stability in the Singapore construction sector."

"The push for technology adoption and digitalisation through the construction industry transformation map will help transform the built environment industry to be more productive and sustainable. And capability development to equip our people with new skill sets will be key to be ready for this transformation journey."

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