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Swiss construction costs highest in world, says report

Construction costs in Switzerland are more than 25% higher than anywhere else in the world and 71% higher than the UK, according to built asset consultant EC Harris’s annual International Construction Cost Comparison Report published today.

The report, which benchmarks the construction costs in 55 countries worldwide using UK prices as a baseline, revealed that Europe is the most expensive continent in which to build, providing eight of the top 10 entrants in its league table.

The price of construction in Switzerland is 71% higher than in the UK where costs are now more than 20% below their peak price in mid-2008. Overall, the UK is now tied with Bahrain as the 12th most expensive place in the world to build, up four places from 2010 when it finished 16th. However, this has been largely due to falling costs in other countries rather than rising prices in the UK where construction costs have continued to drop over the last 12 months, said EC Harris, adding that contractors were prepared to work for ever slimmer profit margins to remain competitive.

Denmark retained its position as the second most expensive place to build, closely followed by its Scandinavian neighbour Sweden. “It’s no surprise to see that Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries are the most expensiveplaces to build as high labour costs and the need to import materials are all combining to drive prices up,” said EC Harris head of cost and commercial Matthew Riley.

Ten most expensive countries in the world to build: 

9BelgiumNew Zealand


* Note – Japan was excluded due to uncertainty over costs in the post-Fukushima environment

* Note – Finland was excluded from the 2011 survey



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