How much does it cost to build a new home?


In Australia today, how much can you expect to spend when building a house?

Without sounding trite, the answer to this could be summed up with that frustrating yet often accurate phrase: how long is a piece of string?

There are a number of different factors that can impact the cost of building a house, including but not limited to:

  • the size of the dwelling

  • the location and availability of resources the slope of the land

  • the quality of the fixtures and fittings

With this in mind, there are some “ballpark figures” I can come up with, to give you a guide as to how much it may cost you to build a property.

So: How much can you expect to pay?

First up, let’s get one thing clear: the base price that builders advertise on billboards and display on their websites are generally only a starting point, and do not reflect how much your home will actually cost when it’s 100% completed.

This is because these “starting from” prices usually only include the basics.

If you are looking for a complete price that includes everything from the carpeting through to the landscaping and driveways as well as the white picket fence at the front, then you need to shop around for what’s known as a “turn-key” package – which means all you need to do at the end is turn the key and step inside.

The cost of building a house varies widely, particularly depending on where in Australia you are planning to build.

And as mentioned, the size of the property and the quality of the finishes will impact the final price, too.

Look at the guideline below, according to Riders Digest 2019 Melbourne, Australia Edition.

Average costs to build a new house

Calculating the average price to build a house in Australia

It’s all well and good to get a ‘per square metre’ indication of price – but how do you translate that into actual costs, to give you an understanding of how much you’re going to pay to construct your new home or investment property?

There’s no point in going to the bank and saying, “I need to borrow $1190 per square metre”; they’re going to need a little more info to go on than that!

To help you understand the full costs of building a house, we’ve run the numbers on a standard home build of around 150-170m2.

Based on this sizing, if you wish to build a three- or four-bedroom home with one or two bathrooms, prices typically start as follows:

  • A budget-style, basic home:

From $160,000 for a 3-bedroom home and from $190,000 for a 4-bedroom home. For a turnkey package, add approximately $18-20,000.

  • A standard home:

From $180,000 for a 3-bedroom home and from $200,000 for a 4-bedroom home. For a turnkey package, add approximately $20-22,000.

  • A premium, higher end home:

From $200,000 for a 3-bedroom home and from $220,000 for a 4-bedroom home. For a turnkey package, add approximately $22-25,000.

Adding an additional story can add around $80-100,000 to the cost of construction.

Learning the lingo:

When you go through the process of building a home, you’ll come across plenty of industry jargon that can be tricky to understand – and even trickier to price.

Here are a couple of terms that may be included in your building contract, which are important to understand:

Provisional Sums

A provisional sum is an estimated amount of money that is determined by the builder, according to how much they believe the relevant job or material will cost.

Often the builder can’t put a fixed cost on certain parts of the job at the time of providing a quote or signing the building contract because of unknowns.

For example, while your site may look flat and the builder quotes as such, when staring the works, they may discover large clumps of rock that need to be removed and levelled prior to the slab being laid.