The World's Tallest Buildings Are All in China


China has maintained its dominance as the most prolific country when it comes to the construction of tall buildings, with 88 completions of buildings 200 metres or higher.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has analysed the total number of completions of buildings over 200 metres in height on a global scale.

China's bullish 88 completions for the year marks a record, surpassing the 80 completions in 2017 and representing a 61.5 per percent of the global total of buildings surpassing 200 metres erected in 2018.

Shenzhen recorded 14 completions, making this the third year in a row in which the city accounted for the world’s largest number of 200-metre-plus completions, and comprising nearly 10 per cent of the global total.

Related: CTBUH Awards World’s Best Tall Buildings

Golden Age Group's Victoria One building in Melbourne.
Golden Age Group's Victoria One building in Melbourne.Image: Elenberg Fraser

Australia recorded just one 200-metre-plus building completion, the Victoria One in Melbourne, Australia.

The 271 metre skyscraper, built by Probuild for Jeff Xu’s Golden Age Group, was designed by architects Elenberg Fraser and comprises 78 levels featuring 643 apartments, 163 car spaces and Melbourne’s largest internal car-stacking machine.

The development also features an indoor pool and gym, private dining and living spaces, and a club lounge exclusive to residents of the top eight floors.

Related: CTBUH Awards World’s Best Buildings

Completions by City

It is of little surprise Chinese cities top the charts for overambitious construction, benefiting from a credit binge and its commanding export-led economy.

Shenzhen, one of the fastest growing cities in China, has recorded record housing prices, jumping more than 30 per cent over the year, benefiting from its welcoming policy towards migrants from elsewhere in China.

The city is now rapidly growing thanks to to established technology companies such as Huawei, ZTE and Tencent, as well as a growing number of successful start-ups including drone maker DJI.

Nanshan, the district at the heart of the city’s emerging technology industry, generates the highest gross domestic product per person of any Chinese region at $48,000 a year, more than Hong Kong and not far behind Singapore.

Related: Shenzhen Skyscraper the World’s Fourth Tallest

Completions by Region

Globally, large scale construction has remained red hot in Asia, with 109 buildings, representing 76 per cent of the total buildings completed over 200 metres in height.

The Middle East lifted its high-rise construction in 2018, logging 13 completions, against nine for the region in 2017, representing 9.1 per cent of the global total.

North America rang in as a distant second place in the total number of 200-metre-plus building completions, with 16 in 2018, representing 11.2 per cent of the global total.

Nevertheless, this is a new record for the region, topping the prior record of 15 in 2017.

Related: Sydney Towers Shortlisted for World’s Best Tall Building

Completions Timeline

The total number of 200-metre and higher buildings in the world now sits at 1,478.

The year also saw 18 “supertall” buildings of 300 metres or greater height, more than any year previously.

After year on year growth of tall buildings of 200 metres’ or greater height levelled off at 143, after hitting an all-time record of 147 in 2017.

“Given the rate of urbanisation seen in the world and that we must build the equivalent of a new city of one million people every week to accommodate this growth, it is not surprising that the pace of tall building construction continues,” CTBUH chief executive Antony Wood said.

Looking ahead, 2019 looks set to be a record breaking year for tall buildings with the CTBUH forecasting 150 potential completions of buildings over 200 metres in height and 30 completions of buildings over 300 metres in height.

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