How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in South Africa?

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 Under: Guides

Building a house in South Africa is a dream for many people, but how much does it really cost?
The answer is not simple, as there are many factors that affect the price of building a house, such as the location, the size, the design, the quality of materials, and the labour costs. In this blog post, we will explore some of these factors and give you an estimate of how much you can expect to pay for building a house in South Africa in 2023.




The location of your future home plays a significant role in the overall cost. Land in prime locations can range from R1,000 to R3,000 per square meter. In contrast, in less developed areas, the cost can be significantly less. Moreover, the location influences the environmental conditions, such as terrain, soil quality and the climate, which can affect the type and quality of materials needed for building a house. A site located in a remote area might have limited availability of materials and professionals - travel and accommodation expenses also need to be factored in. An example of this scenario is building a holiday home in less densely populated areas of the Western Cape like Pringle Bay.


Size and design


The size and design of the house also affect the final cost. Larger and more intricate designs are naturally more expensive. For instance, a 250-square meter house with a relatively simple design might cost around R1.5 million, while a house of the same size but with a more complex design could cost upwards of R2 million. The design also determines the number and type of rooms, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, etc., which have different costs depending on the quality and quantity of fittings and fixtures.


Quality of materials


The quality of materials you choose greatly influences the cost, especially the finishes. A house with standard quality materials could cost around R7,000 to R8,000 per square meter. However, if you opt for high-end luxury materials, the costs can skyrocket to R20,000 per square meter or more. The quality of materials also affects the durability and maintenance of the house, which can save you money in the long run. Choosing imported materials or materials with bespoke features e.g., tiles with 3D Printed patterns will also drive up the cost of building your home.


Labour costs


The labour costs in your area also play a substantial role in the total cost. The labour costs depend on the availability and skill level of workers, as well as the complexity and duration of the project. You can save money by hiring local workers or doing some tasks yourself if you have the expertise.


Permits and taxes


Permits and taxes are an unavoidable part of the construction process. These costs can vary based on the size and location of the project, but on average, you can expect to set aside about 1-5% of your budget for these expenses. You will need to obtain various permits from your local municipality, such as building plans approval, water and electricity connections, sewerage and drainage systems, etc.  You also need to factor in the National Home Building Registration Council (NHRBC) enrolment fee for your home, this is a mandatory according to government legislation.




As you can see, there is no definitive answer to how much it costs to build a house in South Africa, as it depends on many factors that vary from project to project. However, based on our experience, you can expect to pay between R7,000 and R20,000 per square meter for building a house in South Africa in 2023. Check out our Building Costs page for more categories and information. The cost will ultimately depend on your choices and preferences so we would recommend that you contact the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) for a list of quantity surveyors in your area who you can contact to assist with a more accurate estimate.

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