New York City building costs increase 5 percent in 2018; city most expensive in nation: NYBC report

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The NYBC NYC building costs report

New York City’s construction costs have increased from 2017 to 2018 by approximately 5 percent, compared to national cost increases of between 3 and 4 percent, the New York Building Congress (NYBC) reports.

NYBC’s New York City Construction Costs February 2019 says that costs have been increasing since 2010. The 2018 rates are the same as for 2017.

“As New York’s population and economy continue to grow, every sector of the building industry—commercial, residential, healthcare, education, cultural and infrastructure—remains robust, offering opportunity for both the labor force and contractors,” says Carlo A. Scissura, the organization’s president and CEO.

See the NYBC Construction Costs February 2019 report here

The the NYBC report also shows that New York is the most expensive US city to build in with construction costs for Class A offices between 15% to 50% higher than other major US cities.

Download (PDF, 1.98MB)

New York estimated average construction costs (noted as high estimates) were $575 per square foot, with Boston at $475, Chicago at $450, Washington, DC at $425, Los Angeles at $350, San Francisco at $330, and Denver at $255 per square foot.

Scissura says high land and materials cost, as well as regulations have driven the cost increases. Nevertheless, “while the cost of construction is high, the rewards for doing business in New York have never been greater,” he said.

The association’s report says the booming market, a concentration on luxury multifamily and public infrastructure, and premium office and retail sectors explain the cost increases in NYC beyond the national average.

The NYBC report states construction costs for premium offices spaces in New York could be as high as $300 more per square foot compared to cities in Asia and the Middle East.

The report also ranks New York retail construction as having an average greater than other US cities, with a high estimate at $425 per square foot. However the city isn’t the most expensive in the world — it costs a high average of $600 per sq. ft. to build in London.

Other cities ranked higher or were comparable to NYC in construction costs for hotels, healthcare, K-12 education, and multi-family buildings.

NYBC says it produced its report from information provided by ENR, Rick Levett Bucknall, Turner and the federal Bureau of Statistics.

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