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Construction Cost in the Philippines-UPDATED

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One of the life goals that we would want to achieve is to build our own house. But how much would your dream home cost you? Or in general, how much construction would cost? Does it vary depending on where you live? Or what type of home or building are you thinking of? In this blog post, we will discuss the construction cost in the Philippines.

The global pandemic changes everything—even the basic construction costs. According to the latest PSA data, the construction cost per square meter is lower in 2020 than in 2019. COVID-19 has struck peoples’ living. Many people have either lost their jobs or cannot afford construction because funds were allocated to more important things, like food and medical services. As a result, fewer demands for construction materials and services mean lower prices, you know, the fundamental law of supply and demand.

construction cost

But the pandemic is not forever. Thus, people can still pursue their dreams of owning or building their own houses. So let’s go back to the question: How much would your dream home cost you?

Discussion Points:

  • Residential and Non-Residential Construction Cost per square meter.
  • Variation of construction cost per square meter per region.
  • Construction cost data from construction management companies.

By the way, we presented three discussion points to widen our views regarding construction costs. Cost varies greatly. So it would be best to look at different information from as many angles as possible.

Residential and Non-Residential Construction Cost per Square Meter


TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION
4th QUARTER OF 2020 4th QUARTER OF 2019
RESIDENTIAL10,590.0011,872.00
NON-RESIDENTIAL9,772.0011,684.00
Source: PSA-Construction Statistics from Approved Building Permits Fourth Quarter 2020

When looking for statistical data on construction costs, the Philippines Statistics Authority or PSA has it. Every quarter, quarter, PSA publishes data regarding the number of constructions in the Philippines. Data are based on the approved construction project permits. Included on the construction permit are the estimated cost and the total area of the project. So that means construction cost per area can be determined.

Residential Construction Costs (Pesos per Square Meter)

TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION4th QUARTER OF 2020 4th QUARTER OF 2019
RESIDENTIAL10,590.0011,872.00
Single House10,011.0010,021.00
Duplex/Quadruplex10,954.0012,071.00
Apartment/Accessoria9,889.009,237.00
Residential Condominium15,271.0019,500.00
Other Residential7,995.006,364.00
Source: PSA-Construction Statistics from Approved Building Permits Fourth Quarter 2020

Non-Residential Construction Costs (Pesos per Square Meter)

TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION4th QUARTER OF 2020 4th QUARTER OF 2019
NON-RESIDENTIAL9,772.0011,684.00
Commercial9,404.0011,538.00
Industrial7,345.0010,376.00
Institutional13,079.0015,234.00
Agricultural4,418.005,076.00
Source: PSA-Construction Statistics from Approved Building Permits Fourth Quarter 2020

Of course, being these are estimated costs, these are NOT the actual costs of construction. But these data offer great insights into how much it would be to build a house or other buildings. After all, in planning your construction budget, it is better to start from something than nothing at all, right?

Variation of Construction Cost per Region

It turns out, construction cost varies depending on where you are planning to build. Regional variations in construction cost depending on material availability and possibly local regulations.

Construction Cost in Different Regions (Pesos per Square Meter)

REGIONRESIDENTIALNON-RESIDENTIAL
National Capital Region14,480.0012,209.00
Cordillera Administrative Region11,157.0012,604.00
I-Ilocos Region9,969.0011,411.00
II-Cagayan Valley9,886.0010,944.00
III-Central Luzon10,170.006,965.00
IVA-CALABARZON9,845.0010,709.00
IVB-MIMAROPA9,545.0011,722.00
V-Bicol Region12,089.0013,360.00
VI-Western Visayas11,068.0010,185.00
VII-Central Visayas9,562.0010,604.00
VIII-Eastern Visayas9,450.008,650.00
IX-Zamboanga Peninsula7,897.009,823.00
X-Northern Mindanao5,920.007,260.00
XI-Davao Region7,040.009,399.00
XII-SOCCSKSARGEN8,983.0010,527.00
XIII-Caraga8,123.009,012.00
Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao8,411.004,336.00
Source: PSA-Construction Statistics from Approved Building Permits Fourth Quarter 2020

Construction cost data from Construction Management Companies

Aside from looking at PSA data, construction companies publish their own data. These data were from their previous experiences on different projects that they handled.

The following construction cost data are from Arcadis.

Arcadis is a global design, engineering, and management consultancy based in the Netherlands. They have their local operations here in the Philippines.

Below are their cost data. Just a few notes. The “total” construction cost is the sum of the “building” and “services” costs. Building refers to the construction services and materials, while services refer to electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and other services.

Total Construction Costs as of 4th Quarter of 2018 (Peso per Square Meter)

DOMESTICBUILDINGSERVICESTOTAL
Apartments, high rise, average standard39,790 – 46,6508,910 – 13,23048,700 – 59,880
Apartments, high rise, high end53,526 – 92,08012,180 – 19,07065,706 – 111,150
Terraced houses, high end36,813 – 43,5812,760 – 4,81039,573 – 48,391
Detached houses, high end76,027 – 127,8068,700 – 15,88084,727 – 143,686
Source: ARCADIS-Construction Cost Handbook Philippines 2019

OFFICE/COMMERCIALBUILDINGSERVICESTOTAL
Medium/high rise offices, avaerage standard36,978 – 41,19611,480 – 15,55048,458 – 56,746
High rise offices, prestige quality50,940 – 53,01114,750 – 20,31065,690 – 73,321
Out-of-town shopping centre, average standard27,110 – 34,4409,480 – 14,87036,590 – 49,310
Retail malls, high end45,846 – 61,09110,930 – 18,47056,776 – 79,561
Source: ARCADIS-Construction Cost Handbook Philippines 2019
HOTELSBUILDINGSERVICESTOTAL
Budget hotels – 3-start, mid-market48,547 – 51,03113,550 – 18,20062,097 – 69,231
Business hotels – 4/5-star55,225 – 62,38914,750 – 22,40069,975 – 84,789
Luxury hotels – 5-star78,554 – 102,02717,630 – 31,12096,184 – 133,147
Source: ARCADIS-Construction Cost Handbook Philippines 2019
INDUSTRIALBUILDINGSERVICESTOTAL
Industrial units, shell only (conventional single story framed units)20,692 – 20,8214,400 – 7,70025,221 – 28,392
Owner operated factories, low rise, light weight industry31,182 – 32,9044,400 – 8,70035,582 – 41,604
Source: ARCADIS-Construction Cost Handbook Philippines 2019
OTHERSBUILDINGSERVICESTOTAL
Underground/basement car parks (<3 levels)20,789 – 23,2084,860 – 8,98025,649 – 32,188
Multi-story car parks, above ground (<4 levels)20,035 – 25,1694,630 – 9,68024,665 – 34,849
Schools (primary and secondary)27,678 – 31,7348,740 – 18,48036,418 – 50,214
Students’ residences30,099 – 34,3368,430 – 15,09038,529 – 49,426
Sports clubs, multi-purpose sports/leisure centers (dry sports) with a/c and including FF&E53,783 – 77,0957,820 – 12,53061,603 – 89,625
General hospitals – public sector52,183 – 56,42714,690 – 23,93066,873 – 80,357
Source: ARCADIS-Construction Cost Handbook Philippines 2019

A Large Gap Between Costs

Suppose you compare the construction cost per square meter presented by PSA and Arcadis. In that case, you will notice that the values are pretty far.

Why is that?

Well, a possible explanation is that PSA consolidates all the data coming from all over the country. All costs ranging from low cost or bare-minimum construction projects to high price and high-end projects are all averaged. On the other hand, companies like Arcadis could base their data on previous projects. These companies would also include their overheads(which vary on different companies) on the construction cost.

Summary

There are a lot of things to consider in construction. One of the very first things that should be considered is cost. In reality, the actual cost of construction will only be known when the construction project itself is finished. But it is best to have an estimation of the possible construction cost. In order to have the best estimation, talk to the experts. Ask your architect for help.

To sum up all points:

  • Construction cost in the Philippines according to PSA data ranges from Php 9,000.00 per sqm to as much as Php 15,000.00 per sqm. Of course, this could mean that the prices are most probably the average of all the cost of construction in every construction permits approved.
  • Php 15,000.00 per sqm sounds ridicuoluosly cheap, even far from reality, but remember that this cost estimate if from the approved construction permits. The PSA collects the data from all over the country and arrived at an average.
  • Construction companies like Arcadis indicate that construction costs can be as high as Php 140,000.00, assuming a high-end finish.
  • It is safe to assume that the baseline construction cost would be Php 25,000.00 per sqm for a descent style.
  • Construction cost varies depending on the location of the project.

16 comments

  1. do you have data in reference to the materials used to identify low cost, average and high end construction?

  2. Here in Metro Manila, as far as our experience is concerned, the average is around 22k to 25k for middle-end type of residential/apartment buildings. It is hard to image a cost of 15k. Also, price of steel increased by as much as 56% from pre-pandemic. Other basic construction materials followed suit although not that high. Prices do not go down as far as I am concerned.

    1. Hello, thank you for your input! Yes, 15k per sqm is ridiculously cheap but this is the data from PSA. You are right that it should be around 25k as it is presented by the construction company Arcadis. We updated our blog so that this price estimate is highlighted.

    2. Based on data from PSA, there is a 51% cost difference for a residential building in NCR compared to Reg VII. Does it follow that if the average cost of per square meter in NCR is 25K, it will cost me around P16,556 to build a similar house in Reg VII?

  3. Wbere can get a quote with price close to the nentioned price above. These construction are pushing prices way up high each year. But there are some who charge fairly but don’t know where to get them.

  4. Based on data from PSA, there is a 51% cost difference for a residential building in NCR compared to Reg VII. Does it follow that if the average cost of per square meter in NCR is 25K, it will cost me around P16,556 to build a similar house in Reg VII?

  5. I just want to know the estimated cost of a 25 story building residential
    with a size lot of 7000 square meter. Can you give me the estimated
    amount in PESO?

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