This information is general in nature only and does not constitute legal advice. While Budget Direct has endeavoured to ensure the information we’ve relied on is accurate and current, we do not guarantee it. Budget Direct accepts no liability for this information and recommends you obtain legal advice specific to your individual circumstances before entering into any contracts for the purchase of property or obtaining of finance.

If you have dreams of building your own house, it’s important to know how much money you’ll have to borrow or save to get it built.

Calculating the exact cost to build a house can be difficult, as it depends on numerous factors.

This article outlines three of the main factors and the building costs in each state and territory.

Size of the property

The bigger the house, the more materials you’ll need to build it.

In Australia, building costs are usually calculated by multiplying the total floor area (m2) by the cost estimate ($ per m2) provided by the building contractor.

Type and quality of building materials

Whether you’re using a timber finish or building a full brick house, the price of materials you use will have one of the largest impacts on your final price.

Things like stone benchtops, reverse-cycle air conditioning and custom fencing also add to the final cost of your house.

Building-site constraints

Depending on the type of property you have bought, there may be costs associated with getting the land ready to be built on.

For instance, depending on the style of house you’re building, a site that has a natural slope may need to be levelled before the house can be built on it.

Building costs per square metre

According to the Melbourne, Australia edition of Riders Digest 2019 and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the cost of building a house in Australia can vary wildly.

The average cost to build a house in Australia in 2018 was $313,800.

However, depending on its location and other factors, the price of an average-sized house can range from $271,000 to $1,124,550.

State Low range cost per m2 High range cost per m2 2017–⁠2018 average floor area m2 Low range total cost High range total cost
NSW $1,780 $5,100 220.5 $392,490 $1,124,550
VIC $1,720 $3,300 246.4 $423,808 $813,120
QLD $1,800 $4,000 231 $415,800 $924,000
SA $1,580 $3,450 199.2 $314,736 $687,240
WA $1,400 $2,700 236.5 $331,100 $638,550
NT $1,800 $2,800 192 $345,600 $537,600
ACT $1,700 $3,400 242.5 $412,250 $824,500

Average cost to build new house since 2003

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, between 2003–04 and 2017–18 the average cost to build a house in Australia increased 74.8%.

Average annual increases were highest in the Australian Capital Territory (6.6%) and lowest in Queensland (4.3%).

State 2003–2004 2010–2011 2017–2018
NSW $210,300 $307,300 $348,400
VIC $180,800 $254,200 $316,500
QLD $177,600 $277,500 $289,400
SA $147,300 $219,900 $271,000
WA $152,000 $273,100 $297,700
TAS $150,300 $224,400 $291,500
NT $202,900 $363,100 $356,100
ACT $202,900 285,100 $431,500
Australia $179,500 $268,600 $313,800

If you’re looking to build a house, you might find these cost increases discouraging.

But don’t forget, building a brand-new house can be cheaper than buying an existing one. In addition, you can order the floor plan and features you want.

Keep in mind that the land and building are not the only costs.

Depending on the state you live in and other factors, you may need to pay stamp duty on the property, planning fees, transferral fees, and finishing costs.

If it’s your first home, you may be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG).