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

Written by

24 September 2022


3 min read

The average cost of buying land, building a home and procuring trades and materials in Australia.

Can you afford to build a house in Australia? That’s a question many homebuilders-to-be have asked themselves, but may not have been able to obtain a clear answer from their financial institution or peers. The reason for this is that the cost of building a home depends entirely on where you live, the materials and finishes you choose to use, the land on which you wish to build and the size of the home you hope to build.

The average cost of building a house in Australia

In April 2022, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the average cost of building a home in Australia was around $473,000, but this figure includes the cost of building both units and detached homes, so it might be slightly skewed towards the smaller end of the scale. However, a 2022 report by Rider Levett Bucknall provided a breakdown of the average cost per square metre to build a single or double-storey home in Australia, according to major cities.

  • Sydney: $1,960 to $5,900 per m²
  • Melbourne: $1,860 to $4,000 per m²
  • Brisbane: $1,800 to $4,000 per m²
  • Gold Coast: $1,400 to $4,000 per m²
  • Adelaide: $1,580 to $3,450 per m²
  • Canberra: $1,700 to $3,400 per m²
  • Perth: $1,400 to $2,700 per m²
  • Darwin: $1,800 to $2,800 per m²

Given that data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that the average size of a dwelling in Australia is around 248 square metres, the cost of building a house is then estimated to be between $347,200 and $1,463,200.

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Australis by Sealand Architects | Photography by Emma Bourne
Australis by Sealand Architects | Photography by Emma Bourne

The cost of land

It's important to factor in the cost of land when estimating your budget for building a home, and the cost of land varies wildly in Australia. According to Australia’s 2021 State of the Land report by the Urban Development Institute, in 2020, Sydney’s median lot price was $495,000, Melbourne’s was $319,000 and Adelaide’s was $183,460. The report then estimated the average cost of land per square metre to be $1,285 in Sydney, $819 in Melbourne, and $400 in Adelaide.

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The cost of design

Information prepared by All Australian Architecture estimates the average building cost per square metre for different types of home design packages to range from $900 to $1,500 for project homes, $1,700 to $3,000 for design and construct projects, and from $2,500 to $4,000 for homes designed by architects, while luxury homes can cost much more than this.  

Read now: How the pandemic has impacted building timelines, trades and material supplies

The Byron House by Paul Uhlmann Architects | Photography by Andy Macpherson Studio
The Byron House by Paul Uhlmann Architects | Photography by Andy Macpherson Studio

Other factors

Other variables that may influence the cost of your build are the condition of your building site, the timeframe within which your build is completed. The complexity of the architectural design of your home, landscaping, fencing, pools, council costs, permits, and the availability of trades and materials.

The pandemic has also affected the cost of and availability of materials. For example, the Master Builders Association NSW reports that building material costs are now increasing at their fastest rate since 1980. The cost of materials used in house building has increased by 4.2% during the March 2022 quarter and is now 15.4% higher than a year ago across the country, with the rate increase similar across all six capital cities. 

Learn more about building your dream home on ArchiPro.

At ArchiPro we recognise and acknowledge the existing, original and ancient connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have to the lands and waterways across the Australian continent. We pay our respects to the elders past and present. We commit to working together to build a prosperous and inclusive Australia.