China will overtake the US as the world's largest construction market by 2018, and would be about four times larger than India's at the end of the next decade, according to a report by market analyst Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics.

In the next 10 years, China's construction market will be worth about $2.4 trillion and represent 19.1 per cent of the global construction output, said the Global Construction 2020 report released in London on Thursday. Speaking at the launch of the report, Mike Betts of Global Construction Perspectives said, "The construction market in China is already enormous at almost double the size of its nearest rival Japan. The US has for some time held the top spot but despite its strong predicted growth over the next decade, China will become the world's largest construction market by 2018."

From 2009 to 2020, only Nigeria and India will enjoy higher growth rates than China in their construction output. Despite India's continued construction boom, China's market will still be between three and four times larger than India's at the end of the next decade, the China Daily said quoting the report. In the vast majority of the emerging markets, residential construction helps to drive high growth rates. In China, housing will be the slowest growing sector, but still, the country will see its construction market more than double in size in just one decade.

The 10-year forecast indicates emerging markets would rapidly overtake the construction output of their developed neighbors. The top 10 highest growth markets in 2020 will be the emerging markets, with Poland the only European country to feature on the list. China would rank third. The report highlights that today's global construction market is worth an estimated $7.5 trillion, representing 13.4 per cent of global GDP. But by 2020, construction will be a $12.7 trillion global market, an overall growth of 70 per cent in the next decade. Construction in 2020 will account for 14.6 percent of global GDP.

The infrastructure construction market in emerging markets will grow by a staggering 128 per cent over the next decade to 2020, compared with just 18 per cent over the same period in developed countries. The largest construction market globally is residential, accounting for 40 per cent of the total global construction market by 2020, when it will be worth $5.1 trillion.