burger-menu icon close-icon

How much does it cost to build a house?

image for How much does it cost to build a house?

If you’re thinking about building your own home, a key element underpinning most of your construction decisions will revolve around the cost. Let's find out how much does it cost to build a house in Australia.

If you’re thinking about building your own home, you’ll need to know what it’s going to cost.

Unless you have an unlimited budget, a key element underpinning most of your construction decisions will revolve around the cost.

Of course, we all want to build an affordable home without skimping on the quality - but your budget will determine whether you can afford custom finishes like marble benchtops, real timber floorboards and soft close drawers, or whether you’ll have to make do with quartz countertops and vinyl flooring.

Factors that will impact the cost to build a house

How much it costs to build is highly dependent on a number of factors. These factors range from the land’s location to the size of the house, your construction loan interest rate, and depending on all those factors combined, your costs to build can be as high or as low as you’d like.

According to the Housing Industry Association, the average house size in Australia is 243 sqm and the estimated price of building a house is under $300,000, or an average of $1,183 per sqm (excluding design, planning and permit costs).

However, if you want an architecturally-designed home, you’ll have to fork out around $2,152 per sqm. Using the same square footage as the first example (243 sqm), you’d need just shy of $530,000 to build an architecturally-designed house on the same plot of land.

With this in mind, the factors that can affect the price of building a house include the land, location, materials used, builder/architect, and the size of the house.


The first main cost that you’ll encounter when building a house is the land. As many people say, the value of your home is all in the land - hence why it’s usually one of the most expensive aspects of your build. The price of land will be highly dependent on a few things, but mainly it’s size and it’s location.

But it’s not all about the land - the cost of land can carry onto the cost to build. For example, land that slopes will cost more to build on, and land that needs to be cleared of trees or rocks will also come with an added expense down the track.


Just like when buying a house, the price of the land is highly contingent on its location. For example, buying a plot of land close to a capital city is likely going to be more expensive than land in a small rural town.

Additionally, each state and territory has its own regulations and different amounts of taxes, insurance, fees, and other costs. For example, stamp duty applies to some states, whereas land tax applies in others.

Materials used

When you build a house, you get what you pay for. From bricks to kitchen benchtops to flooring - there will be no shortage of decisions about what kind of materials you’d like used throughout the home. For example, real timber floorboards will be most expensive. If this is out of your budget, more affordable flooring options will be vinyl or carpet (generally speaking).


Of course, you need someone to actually build the house. This is where builders come onto the scene. It’s important to ensure the builder’s are fully qualified and insured so that you know the home is being built safely and to the highest standard possible. Generally speaking, the cost to hire a builder is $70 to $120 per hour according to HIREtrades.

Additionally, if you’re after an architecturally-designed home, you’ll need to pay an architect to design the home. You can expect this to cost a hefty amount, depending on the design of your home.


The size of your home is going to influence its cost. For example, building a one-storey, two-bedroom home is likely going to be cheaper than building a three-storey, five-bedroom home with a built-in movie theater.

This is because the bigger the home, the more materials it’s going to require and the longer it’s going to take to build. And typically, builders charge by the hour.

Cost to build in each capital city

As you can imagine, the cost to build a house varies across the country. Building a mansion in Sydney is going to be more expensive than building a mansion literally anywhere else, purely because it’s Sydney.

To give you an idea of how much it might cost you based on where you live, this is how much it will cost to build a house in a capital city according to data from Rider’s Digest 2020 Brisbane, Australia Edition:

Capital city Cost range per floor area ($/m 2) - Low Cost range per floor area ($/m2) - High
Sydney $1,780 $5,100
Melbourne $1,720 $3,300
Brisbane $1,800 $4,000
Adelaide $1,580 $3,450
Perth $1,400 $2,700
Canberra $1,700 $3,400
Darwin $1,800 $2,800

Ready to build your dream home?

If you’re ready to make your home construction dreams a reality, you’ll need a construction loan. Construction loans are drawn down as the builder completes each stage of the home.

Check out some of our construction loans, or book an appointment with one of our friendly lending specialists to find out your borrowing power.

Apply now

About the article

As Australia's leading online lender, loans.com.au has been helping people into their dream homes and cars for more than 10 years. Our content is written and reviewed by experienced financial experts. The information we provide is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives or needs. If you'd like to chat to one of our lending specialists about a home or car loan, contact us on Live Chat or by calling 13 10 90.

Welcome to loans.com.au _

Just in case we lose you, may I ask for your contact details....

Loading Form