How much does it cost to build a house in 2021?
Based on actual figures used by builders, the cost to build a house in Australia can range from $1300 per square metre to $3900+ per square metre, depending on the level of finish, materials and labour costs.
If you’re building a new home, it’s important to have an idea of costs. Knowing how much it costs to build a house means you to plan how much you need to borrow or invest into the project. It can also help you to negotiate with a builder when you’re getting quotes.
Based on actual costings used by builders, architects and quantity surveyors, the cost to build a house in Australia can range from $1300 per square metre to $3900+ per square metre, depending on the specifications of your project.
Read this page to get a better idea of house building costs and start planning your budget. It covers:
- Is it cheaper to buy or build a house?
- Average house cost by number of rooms
- How much does it cost to build a 3 bedroom house?
- How much does it cost to build a 4 bedroom house?
- How much does a 5 bedroom and second storey house cost?
- What else affects house building cost?
- House design costs
- Getting quotes from house builders
Is it cheaper to buy or build a house?
One of the first decisions to make about a new house is whether you’re better off buying or building.
In most cases, building a house is actually cheaper than buying a house, but there are downsides to building your own house. The most obvious of these is that building is a long and involved process that requires a lot of research, project management and patience.
On the upside, you’re able to design a home that meets your needs and lifestyle, and some people get a lot of satisfaction from seeing a project through to the end.
Average house cost by number of rooms
The cost of building a house is mainly determined by the number of rooms and the level of finish. This table gives you an idea of the average house cost in Australia per square metre, keeping in mind that there are always going to be many variables to take into account.
How much does it cost to build a 3 bedroom house?
How much does it cost to build a 3 bedroom house? You can expect to pay in the region of:
- $1300 per square metre for a 3 bedroom weatherboard house on a level block, using budget materials
- $1600 – $1900 per square metre for a 3 bedroom full brick single level project home, on a level block using mid-range to high-end materials and finishes
How much does it cost to build a 4 bedroom house?
How much does it cost to build a 4 bedroom house? You can expect to pay in the region of:
- $2400 per square metre for a 4 bedroom brick veneer single level project home on a level block using mid-range finishes
- $3900+ per square metre for an architect-designed 4 bedroom full brick, two-level home on a level block using high-end materials and finishes
How much does a 5 bedroom and second storey house cost?
How much does it cost to build a 5 bedroom house? You can expect to pay upwards of $4300 per square metre for an architect-designed 5 bedroom home.
If you want to know how much does a second storey extension cost, expect to be charged anywhere from $1850 to $3300 per square metre, depending on the quality and price of the construction materials and inclusions.
Just remember that these figures are a rough guide, as building costs can vary significantly based on your location, the project design and level of fitout.
House design costs
Design costs also need to considered alongside house building costs. You will need a professional to help you design your home, such as an architect or building designer. Architects will charge anywhere from 8% to 15% of total building costs to design your house plans, with 10% being the average for residential projects.
These house plans will then need to be submitted to the council for approval. The council approval process could take anywhere from 30 days to 100 days, depending on your local council. Your builder or architect can help to ensure that your submission meets all the relevant criteria, so you can avoid delays.
What else affects house building cost?
As well as the size of the house, other factors that will impact on the final cost of your house building project include:
- Type of construction, specifically timber frame ($), brick veneer ($$) or double skin brick ($$$)
- Number of levels, with multi-level buildings costing more
- The individual builder and their pricing structure
- Choice of materials, finishes and accessories
- Site access and slope of the property
- Whether it’s a volume-built project home or custom built
What impact has COVID-19 had on house building costs?
Like most other industries, the Australian housing industry has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic during 2020 and 2021.
Although the full extent of COVID-19 restrictions on construction remains to be seen, factors such as volatile exchange rates, supply problems and reduced productivity have increased construction costs in some areas and extended project timelines.
Those building homes during the pandemic could access land tax concessions and other benefits to help offset these increased costs, but these discounts are now coming to an end. Talk to your builder to find out how this could affect your project.
Getting quotes from house builders
When it comes time to hiring a builder for your house building project, you need to be sure they’re right for the job. Some questions to ask them include:
- Are you licensed?
- Do you hold professional indemnity and public liability insurance?
- Do you have experience in my job?
- Do you have references I can call?
- Can you provide a written quote?
- How long will my job take?
- When can you start?
After you have plans and a firm idea of the material costs for your project, you can start to get quotes from local builders to compare.