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The Average Cost of Building a House

06.07.20 - Getting Started

When you’re considering your very first home, there’s a question that’s very likely to come up: is it better to buy or to build your own home? Is one pricier than the other? And how much does a house build cost all up?

The answer is one you probably don’t want to hear: it depends.

The costs of building a new home are reliant on a long list of factors, including the size of the house (single- or double-story? Two bedrooms or four?), the location and availability of land, and the quality to which you want your house to be built. If you’re building on a block the same size as your neighbour’s, there can still be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in difference depending on your builder, taxes, the finishing touches, and so on.

There are ways to estimate the average cost to build a new house, however. From the cost of land to taxes and more, here’s what you might be looking at when building a new home.

Want a fast price estimation of your build? Use our calculator to determine the final cost when building and customising your new home with Domaine Homes.

The Price Of Land

According to financial website Finder, the average cost to build a standard three-bedroom house in Australia is around $180,000. However, those numbers don’t always line up, due to the cost of land from state to state. A new build in Sydney will likely cost more than a new build in Brisbane, for instance. Therefore, land plays a huge role in the cost to build a house.

The Urban Development Institute of Australia’s 2020 State of the Land Report put the following numbers on the cost of the average plot of land in major areas across the country:

  • Melbourne: $330,300 or $837 per sqm
  • Sydney: $458,900 or $1,209 per sqm
  • South East Queensland (including Brisbane): $270,800 or $622 per sqm
  • Perth: $217,000, or $579 per sqm
  • ACT: $423,000, or $856 per sqm
  • Adelaide: $179,500 or $400 per sqm

As you can see, the price varies drastically from state to state. But is it cheaper than buying a pre-existing house? If we use Sydney as our example, when considering the price of land and the cost of a standard build in Australia, it can be far cheaper to build a home than to buy. That brings us to…

The Quality Of The Build

(Our Nevada 28 kitchen interior)

The more cost-effective option for building your first home will likely be an off-the-plan build or purchasing a brand-new build in a newly established area. While this means you might be further from the city centre, it brings the costs down dramatically and brings home ownership into sight for many.

Another factor in the costs to build a home is the quality of the finish. For example, our Acacia 22 home starts at $165,000 with a full suite of new home inclusions, but you may choose to look into a home upgrade pack that will add extra beauty to your new home in the form of stone benchtops, freestanding bathtubs and other luxe finishes. This will of course increase the cost of the build, but it will also add long-lasting value to your new home should the time come to sell.

If you were to ask an architect to design you a home from scratch, however, you’re looking at much more significant prices. You could be paying upwards of $50,000 in design, fees and reports, at least $3,000 per sqm at a minimum, and any other unexpected costs that arise during the build of your home. If you have the budget for something like this, the results can be standout – but it’s understandable that many homeowners, particularly first-time homeowners, simply cannot afford the costs associated with a custom-architected build.

The Other Factors

Land and the cost of the physical build are just part of the average cost to build a new house. You’ll also need to take into consideration other fees and reports such as:

  • Site survey
  • Soil tests
  • Council building permits
  • Site clearance (removing trees, rocks, bushes)
  • Connections to services (water, electricity, gas, sewer etc.)
  • Fencing
  • Retaining walls.

While these costs will be small in comparison to the land and build, they can still add to the final figure of the cost of the build.

Although these figures can be daunting, it’s worth looking ahead and thinking about what your new house will look like once complete – once you make it yours, the cost will be a thing of the past. Why not check out our huge range of home designs and start planning for your future home today?

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