Cost of Building a House in South Africa 2023/2024

Cost of Building a House in South Africa 2023/2024

So, you want to build a house? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the cost of building a house in South Africa. Did you know? South Africa has an area of 1.221 million km2 and a population of approximately 56 million people. South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in Africa, with each province having its own unique climate and culture.

Building a house is a very important investment in your life as it is usually the largest financial decision we make. It is therefore very important that you plan properly when it comes to building a house which is why we have provided you with a list of the things that you should and shouldn’t forget to do when planning to build a house in South Africa. The list below has been divided into easy-to-follow steps that should get you started with the planning process of building a house.

The cost of building a house is a sensitive matter for most South Africans. Once upon a time, a house would cost slightly more than a car. Today, the two differ by about 500%. What can you do to make sure you get the best price? One option is to build your own house. Building your own house is a smart idea as it will cost you a fraction of the price you’d have to pay to have a house built for you. Like in Nigeria where there’s a real estate investment boom, The South African real estate market is a bit slow-paced

The exact cost of building a complete house in South Africa

The cost of building a house in South Africa varies significantly depending on the quality and location of the construction. For high-end, market-quality houses, it can range from R8,000 to R13,000 per square meter. Lower-cost housing tends to be around R5,000 per square meter. For high-quality, luxury homes, the cost can go above R20,000 per square meter. These price ranges account for factors like materials, labor, finishes, and regional disparities. Therefore, individuals interested in building a house in South Africa should consider their budget, preferences, and location carefully when planning their construction project.


How much does it cost to build a 3-bedroom house in South Africa?

The cost of constructing a 3-bedroom house in South Africa can vary significantly depending on various factors such as location, materials, design, and finishes. On average, for a house with an area of approximately 146 square meters, you can expect the cost to be slightly under R2 million.

However this is an average estimate, and the actual expenses may differ. The cost breakdown typically includes expenses for materials, labor, permits, design, and unforeseen contingencies. Factors like the quality of finishes, the complexity of the design, and the location of the building site can also influence the final cost.

Things You Need To Build A House In South Africa

What permits will I need?

There is a body in South Africa responsible for regulating any type of building by anybody. That body is called The South Africa National Building Regulations (NBR). They may not be exactly termed ‘Permits’, but they are documents you should have before any building project. You’ll need approval for the building plan. The foundation also will be approved. Sometimes, materials inspection from relevant authorities and then, roofing permit.

What Materials will I need?

There are some basic building materials that cut across many continents. Many of these are fundamental in any building whatsoever. In spite of these, there are also some unique materials needed for building that are peculiar to the topography, climate, soil and some other factors of the location. To build a house in South Africa, you will definitely need the following:

  • Cement: Cement is the fundamental binding agent in construction, used for making concrete and mortar. It provides structural stability and strength to your building.
  • Sand: Different types of sand, such as river sand or pit sand, are used depending on the specific construction needs. Sand is crucial for mixing with cement to create mortar or with aggregate to make concrete.
  • Steel Rods: Reinforcement steel rods are vital for reinforcing concrete structures, adding tensile strength and durability. They are commonly used in the construction of columns, beams, and foundations.
  • Wood: Wood is used for various construction purposes, including framing, roofing, and finishing. It’s versatile, relatively lightweight, and can be shaped to fit various structural needs.
  • Stones/Gravel: Stones and gravel are used as aggregate in concrete and for creating a solid foundation. They provide stability and load-bearing capacity to the structure.
  • Roofing Sheets: Roofing sheets come in various materials such as corrugated metal, shingles, or tiles, depending on your design and climate. They are essential for protecting the building from the elements.

How much is labor?

Labour in South Africa is predominantly done by the locals. Even when contractors are hired, they rely heavily on labor sourced locally for execution. Cement would be made into concrete. Sand would be made into bricks and blocks depending on the type of house and design. Steel rods would be bent and fashioned into sizes fitting for the structure. All of would these would attract different amounts. These labor costs will make up 40%-45% of the entire building cost. To build a decent home could cost about, take for instance if to build a flat of about 2300 square meters is estimated at $145,000, at 40% labor, the maths become easy.

How long will it take?

On average, it is cheaper to build a storey house in South Africa when compared with the cost of acquiring another land and additional labor. You see, the timeline estimated here does not include the days used in securing permits, documentation, and drawing designs. So, if you have all of these already in the bag, a simple house could be completed in 6 months. But make sure the builder’s holiday from December 16th to Jan 15th isn’t part of your estimated month of active work.

What about Government taxes?

When you have all your permits done, you should not be afraid of taxes DURING the construction of a house in South Africa. There are minimal disturbances during the building.

Cost to build a house in Cape Town

Cape Town is a prominent city in South Africa, And just like the economic factors affecting the prices of all cities in terms of value. The value of a house in Cape Town would be considered higher. A home that costs about $159,000 in some other location could rise to about $250,000 in Cape Town. Other special designs would be higher.

Cost to build a House in Durban

Durban is the third-most populous city in South Africa, Coming fourth just behind, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Pretoria in terms of Economic importance. The cost of building a simple house there is estimated at R10 000 to R20 000 per square meter.. It could go higher depending on the type of house.


Building a house in South Africa is a significant financial decision, and it’s crucial to plan meticulously. The cost can vary based on several factors, including location, materials, design, and finishes. On average, for a 3-bedroom house covering 146 square meters, the cost is slightly under R2 million. However, this is a general estimate, and actual expenses may differ. Whether you’re in Durban or another region, the cost varies, with high-end houses ranging from R10,000 to R20,000 per square meter, lower-cost housing around R5,000 per square meter, and luxury homes exceeding R20,000 per square meter.



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