Construction Costs Per Square Metre

What are construction costs and why are they important?

If you are building a new home or investing in the construction of commercial or industrial property, it’s important to have an idea from the very start how much it may cost. It can help you negotiate with developers, and ensure you don’t pay too much. It can also give you an indication of how much you will need to borrow, before heading down the track of formally applying for a loan.

What information can I learn from a construction costs table?

Construction cost tables such as the ones on this page are a good place to start when you are considering building. They generally highlight the construction costs of a range of property types and, when you choose the nearest capital city, quality of build and size of the property, will present you with an indicative cost. It is important to realise these figures are purely a guide, and it is always a good idea to get independent detailed advice before committing.

Our construction costs table will give you information for the most popular kinds of developments, including:

  • Shelf, unique and architecturally designed homes
  • Townhouses
  • Units
  • Commercial developments
  • Industrial developments
  • Retail developments
  • Hotels and motels

 

How much does it cost to build a house?

Building a new home can be both exciting and daunting. While the chance to build the home you love from the ground up is attractive, the organisation and management involved in bringing everything together just the way you want it can be stressful. At the end of the day, the biggest influence on most of your home building decisions is cost.

Construction Type Level of Finish
House Low Medium High
3br brick veneer project home, level block, single level, shelf design $1,065 $1,270 $1,630
3br full brick project home, level block, single level, shelf design $1,090 $1,305 $1,670
4br brick veneer home, level block, single level, unique design $1,570 $1,750 $1,950
4br full brick home, level block, single level, unique design $1,640 $1,810 $2,010
3br brick veneer project home, level block, two level, shelf design $1,110 $1,310 $1,710
3br full brick project home, level block, two level, shelf design $1,130 $1,400 $1,790
4br brick veneer home, level block, two level, unique design $1,700 $1,900 $2,050
4br full brick home, level block, two level, unique design $1,780 $1,970 $2,250
Architecturally designed executive residence $2,160 $3,250 $5,050

The above rates are exclusive of GST.

What is a house and land package?

Homes packaged with the land they’re to be built on are called house and land packages. Most house and land packages in Australia are sold by developers, and there are two main kinds of options: buy the land before the house is built; or buy the house built on the developer’s land. Buying a house and land package is one of the most affordable ways to buy a home in Australia.

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Will I have to pay stamp duty on house and land packages?

When you buy a house and land package you generally only have to pay stamp duty on the price you pay for the land, not on the home you intend to build. The amount of stamp duty you will pay depends on which state or territory you live in. And it may depend on whether you live in a capital city or a regional area. You may even pay less stamp duty if you are buying a house for the first time, as governments sometimes attempt to stimulate local economies through home construction.

Calculator

The price of buying the property
$
The State/Territory where you will be buying the property
What is the primary use of the property e.g. will it be your main residence or are you buying the property as an investment?
What is the type of the property that you are buying?
Are you a first time buyer of property? You may receive discounts on the stamp duty paid as first time buyer.

Yes

No

Important Disclaimer: This is intended as a guide only. Values used in the calculations are subject to change.

Registration Fee

$102.00

Transfer Fee

$204.00

Stamp Duty Fee

$8,990.00

Total Stamp Duty Costs

$9,296.00

How much does it cost to build a townhouse?

Townhouses can be more expensive to build per square metre than traditional houses, given they are not as common, and still require a lot of specialised work. That can be quite surprising, given they usually have fewer bedrooms than a traditional house.

Construction Type Level of Finish
Townhouse
2br, single level brick veneer townhouse, including allowance for common property $1,250 $1,490 $1,740
2br, 2 level brick veneer townhouse, including allowance for common property $1,350 $1,580 $1,900
3br, single level brick veneer townhouse, including allowance for common property $1,235 $1,475 $1,725
3br, 2 level brick veneer townhouse, including allowance for common property $1,340 $1,610 $2,270

The above rates are exclusive of GST.

What about the cost of a large investment or commercial property?

Research is important if you are buying any real estate. At Mortgage House we want our customers to be armed with as much information and as many resources as possible before they take the plunge. Investing in building a large residential or commercial property can come with more risk than building a regular residential home, so making an informed decision is vital. Having an idea of what it costs to build these kinds of developments is a key piece of information.

Given the minimal amount of fixtures and features, building a warehouse or industrial development can cost a lot less per square metre than an office development or group of units. However, with lots of bathrooms, hallways and smaller individual rooms, building hotels or motels can be a lot more expensive.

Units
3 level walk-up unit complex, concrete structure, ground floor parking $1,650 $1,820 $2,320
3 level walk-up unit complex, concrete structure, basement parking $1,615 $1,785 $2,285
4-8 level walk-up unit complex, concrete structure, ground floor parking $1,720 $1,950 $2,650
4-8 level walk-up unit complex, concrete structure, basement parking $1,650 $1,920 $2,615
8 or more level unit complex, including lift and basement car parking $1,710 $2,280 $3,030
Commercial
1-4 level open plan offices, including A/C & lifts, excluding fit out $1,480 $1,760 $2,290
4-8 level open plan offices, including A/C & lifts, excluding fit out $1,620 $1,850 $2,400
8 levels and over, including A/C & lifts, excluding fit out $1,880 $2,064 $2,770
Industrial
High Bay Warehouse, standard config, concrete floor, metal clad $810 $885 $980
High Bay Warehouse, standard config, concrete floor, pre-cast concrete wall clad $1,050 $1,110 $1,20
Retail
Suburban shopping mall area including A/C $1,590 $1,810 $2,100
Supermarket, including A/C, excluding fit out $1,380 $1,500 $1,670
Hotels/Motels
Single level boutique motel, including A/C, guest facilities $2,650 $3,200 $4,500
Single level tavern/hotel, including A/C, excluding loose item fit out $1,980 $2,350 $2,650

The above rates are exclusive of GST.

Are construction costs the same all around Australia?

Simply put, no. There are a lot of regional variations to the square-metre cost of building either a residential, commercial or industrial property. To get an idea of how much it may cost in your area, use this regional variation table courtesy of BMT Quantity Surveyors.

Regional Variations
Cairns 115 – 130%
Brisbane 105 – 115%
Sydney 100%
Canberra 96 – 104%
Melbourne 98 – 108%
Hobart 87 – 97%
Adelaide 98 – 110%
Perth 100 – 120%
Darwin 110 – 120%

 

If your development is not located in Sydney, you can still estimate the construction cost of a development by applying a regional variation percentage. Simply multiply the construction cost by the regional variation percentage. This will give you an approximate cost for the construction type per square metre in your area. Mortgage House would like to thank BMT Quantity Surveyors for providing this information.

Apart from geography, what other factors can impact construction costs?

Size of the home: If you are building a house, size does matter, but maybe not in ways that you think. Double-storey homes usually increase the square-metre costs, because of features such as staircases and extra tradie materials such as scaffolding. An increase in size from four to five bedrooms doesn’t usually result in a large jump in the square metre cost of construction, given most four-bedroom homes are usually built with a study or minor other room. There is, however, generally an increase in the square-metre cost of building a four-bedroom home compared to a three-bedroom home. This can mostly be put down to the fact that the extra bedroom usually comes with an extra bathroom and an extra living space.

Finishes: The quality of finishes and fixtures can make a big difference in the cost per square metre of constructing a property. Full brick homes tend to cost more than brick veneer, and obviously the quality of materials used both inside and outside can have a big influence.

Location: Each state and territory has its own taxes and fees, and tradies from different states can also have different levels of compliance costs.

The cost of land: If demand for land is high in some suburbs, costs can escalate. Also, if the land itself is difficult to build on, construction costs can increase.

What finance options are available when I am constructing a property?

Construction Loans: If you are building a house, or even renovating, then a construction can be a great way to save on interest.

Property Development Finance: Your needs as a property developer will be quite different depending on your experience level and the type of property you’re looking to build. Whether your next property development project is a multi-dwelling apartment or a skyscraper, we have the right loan to build it.

How does a construction loan work?

A construction loan is a mortgage that is tailored to someone who is building a house or undertaking a large renovation. Construction loans are similar to regular fixed and variable mortgages and can be either. However, there is one main difference and it is a difference that can save you money. A construction home loan will work within an agreed timetable, and will make payments to your builder when construction stages have been met. The benefit to you is that interest will only be charged on the amount that has been paid out. Once the home has been completed, and you have 24 months for the house to be built, a construction home loan will revert to a standard mortgage, with regular principal and interest repayments.

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