Mar 22

Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa

Newly Built 3 Bedroom Duplex House in Dawn Park - Wadeville, Johannesburg, Gauteng - Price R699,000

Newly Built 3 Bedroom Duplex House in Dawn Park – Wadeville, Johannesburg, Gauteng – Price R699,000

If you are planning to build a house or any type of building in South Africa, one of the top questions that you would like to find answers for is what is the cost per m2 of building a private house, flat, duplex house, office block or shopping space?

Fortunately, unlike in other countries where this kind of information is hard to find, the building rates per square metre in South Africa are published by the government institution STATSSA on an annual basis. It seems there is a lot of transparency in the South African construction industry, and as a result, South Africa has been named as the top country with the world’s less expensive building costs per square metre. The country also scores well in other consumer indices. Last year, it was ranked as the cheapest country to live, the cost of living is much more affordable when compared to other countries in the world.

The building cost per square metre should not be taken as the final or most reliable method to find the cost of a proposed building project, but it can only be used as a rough guide because there are many variables involved in building a house. Building rates are based on the gross floor area, and in this case if you want to find out the estimated cost of building a house, you have to add up the gross floor areas on the architectural plan or building drawings. On most plans, the total gross floor is usually stated. Multiply the gross floor area by the cost per m2 rate. But you have to get the rates first.

Where can you get building rates? Besides STATSSA, you can find rates from other sources such as Quantity Surveyors, Building Contractors, Property Developers and Municipalities. The various municipalities in South African towns and cities record the number of building plans passed each year, and hence they have access to useful data such as the types of buildings approved, the gross floor area, location and value of these buildings.

The building costs per square metre published on this post are for 5 types of buildings (Last updated 2015):

  • Free-standing houses
  • Townhouses
  • Flats
  • Office Space
  • Shopping Space

The rates are for nine provinces in South Africa – KwaZulu Natal (KZN), Western Cape (WC), Gauteng (GP), Northern Cape (NC), Eastern Cape (EC), Limpopo (LP), Mpumalanga (MP), North West (NW) and Free State (FS).

Free-standing Houses (Cost per square metre)

  • South Africa (RSA) – R5,932
  • KwaZulu Natal (KZN) – R8,580
  • Western Cape (WC) – R6,136
  • Gauteng (GP) – R6,102
  • Northern Cape (NC) – R5,693
  • Eastern Cape (EC) – R5,017
  • Limpopo (LP) – R4,732
  • Mpumalanga (MP) – R4,698
  • North West (NW) – R4,609
  • Free State (FS)- R4,152

Townhouses (Cost per square metre)

  • South Africa (RSA) – R6,802
  • KwaZulu Natal (KZN) – R7,637
  • Western Cape (WC) – R6,510
  • Gauteng (GP) – R7,118
  • Northern Cape (NC) – R7,000
  • Eastern Cape (EC) – R5,324
  • Limpopo (LP) – R4,864
  • Mpumalanga (MP) – R4,425
  • North West (NW) – R4,735
  • Free State (FS)- R6,226

Flats (Cost per square metre)

  • South Africa (RSA) – R8,163
  • KwaZulu Natal (KZN) – R9,945
  • Western Cape (WC) – R7,787
  • Gauteng (GP) – R8,876
  • Eastern Cape (EC) – R6,207
  • Limpopo (LP) – R4,499
  • Mpumalanga (MP) – R5,396
  • North West (NW) – R5,436
  • Free State (FS)- R6,165

Office Space (Cost per square metre)

  • South Africa (RSA) – R8,092
  • KwaZulu Natal (KZN) – R7,390
  • Western Cape (WC) – R7,713
  • Gauteng (GP) – R8,900
  • Northern Cape (NC) – R6,000
  • Eastern Cape (EC) – R5,413
  • Limpopo (LP) – R4,735
  • Mpumalanga (MP) – R5,921
  • North West (NW) – R5,385
  • Free State (FS)- R6,723

Shopping Space (Cost per square metre)

  • South Africa (RSA) – R7,364
  • KwaZulu Natal (KZN) – R7,875
  • Western Cape (WC) – R7,909
  • Gauteng (GP) – R8,121
  • Northern Cape (NC) – R4,576
  • Eastern Cape (EC) – R6,216
  • Limpopo (LP) – R6,510
  • Mpumalanga (MP) – R6,207
  • North West (NW) – R5,447
  • Free State (FS)- R5,951

STATSSA Average Costs Per Square Metre for Building Plans 2015

Comparison of Costs

The building cost depends on various factors, mainly the specifications, type of property, gross floor area, location and construction index. You can find a cost comparison of residential units here – click