How much does it cost to build a house in Australia?

The average cost of building a house in Australia is around $320,000. The vast majority of houses will cost over $271,000 to build, and the cost of regular-sized houses can climb up into the low millions depending on location, design and materials. Brick houses are usually $2,400 per square metre to build and timber $1,680.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has established that the cost per square metre to build a house is $1393.55 on average in Australia. However, this does not include the hidden costs that can heavily influence the final price tag of building a home. Versatile factors like planning permits, repairs or unexpected interferences will all contribute to the total cost.

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How much to build a house Australia: Cost Breakdown & Construction Cost Guide

How much is it to build a house? Houses are notoriously expensive in this day and age because there are so many different cost factors. Here is what you can expect to pay for througout the process of building a house.

Land: the first expense is the block of land itself. An average block of undeveloped Australian land will usually cost around $80,000. Preparing the land for building is also likely to cost a few thousand dollars (on average, around $1,500-$3,000). If you want to build a second house on your own land, you will get to avoid these prices – but remember that general construction costs are not cheap.

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Design: this is where you will need to have an architect compose floor plans. You will also need to purchase the relevant permits for your structure – the average cost of which is approximately $2,000. Hiring an architect to devise house plans alone will cost around $5,000 but depending on what you expect from your architect this price may climb. See here for advice on whether an architect or a draftsman is a better choice for your project. You will want to find a company or individual contractors at this stage to get quotes and begin preparation for building.

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Laying foundations: this refers to excavation, preparing the foundation and setting the base. Concrete slab costs are fairly low, making them one of the most popular choices for foundation materials. This whole process is likely to cost around $15,000.

Skeleton frame: installing the frame of the house is the next step in the process. This is where the structural elements of the design are installed. After the frame has been erected, the house will be ready for the installation of floors, walls, ceilings, windows and doors. The average cost to construct the hosue frame is approximately $35,000.

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Final practical touches: the installation of the elements that make the house fit for habitation; the roof, floors, windows, walls, ceiling and doors. This usually costs around $50,000 depending on the specifications of each of these elements (i.e. custom windows and doors will probably take longer to install.

Getting on the grid: the next step is to have plumbing and electrical systems installed including pipes, wires and ducts. This usually costs another $50,000.

Internal furnishings: including the installation of drywall, insulation, interior doors and other design features that transform this building into a house fit for habitation. Other interior elements include furniture, appliances, countertops and even simple painting finishes. This is actually one of the most expensive parts of building a home and on average adding these interior furnishings will cost about $110,000.

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Average cost to build a house: build new home prices by state

How much does a house cost to build in each state? It varies. The ACT is the most expensive state to build a new home in on average, and South Australia edging out Tasmania for status as the cheapest. Obviously these prices are subject to variation particularly dependant on location; trying to build a house in a metropolitan area like Sydney or Melbourne will cost significantly more than the average state price estimate.  

State

Average cost to build house ($)

ACT

440,000

NT

365,000

NSW

349,000

VIC

327,000

WA

298,000

QLD

289,000

TAS

285,000

SA

275,000

 

How much does a house cost to build? Calculating how much to build a house Australia

A handy tool for modern construction projects is the online cost calculator. Simply input the details of your project and you can get a rough estimate of how much the build will cost overall. This can help with questions like ‘is it cheaper to build or buy?’, by providing information specific to your personal circumstances. Another way to get proper, personalised information is to approach contractors and asks for quotes.

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Considerations

Before deciding to build a house, there are a few things you will want to consider. These factors are also likely to heavily influence the overall price, so you should consider them with regard to your budget at all times.

The first is the type of house that you want to build; prices will vary drasticallly depending on whether you want to build a 4 bedroom house, a townhouse, a simple unit, or a double storey house, etc. The design of the house is another thing to consider – do you want an architect designed house? Or are you happy with a more standard model, perhaps with floor plans drawn up by a draftsman?

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You should also keep in mind your location and the way that this may affect the construction process. This does not just refer to accessibility or your proximity to the city, but the geographic conditions in which your house will be situated. Poor soil can pose a huge challenge to construction, as can uneven/hilly terrain.

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The impact of the pandemic is also worth considering when deciding whether to build a house. COVID-19 has sparked a drastic increase in the cost of building materials, with prices increasing by up to 10% in just the past year.