Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa – For New Residential, Commercial and Industrial Properties

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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

 

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BUILDING COSTS IN SOUTH AFRICA – 2021

STATSSA is the South African Government Department of Statistics that aggregates building cost data from municipalities around South Africa and its provinces. This data can be used to arrive at the building costs per square metre for various types of residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Every construction project involving new buildings, additions and undergoing major renovations and alterations must pass through the local municipality for approval. The municipality will capture information such as the gross floor area of the building drawing, type of building , location and estimated cost.

Local municipalities from the following Provinces are included in the STATSSA statistical building survey – Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu Natal (KZN), North West, Gauteng,  Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

STATSSA extracts various building cost data sets from two main categories:

  • Recorded building plans passed by larger municipalities at current prices by type of building.
  • Buildings reported as completed to larger municipalities at current prices by type of building.

Note that STATSSA does not differentiate nor categorize buildings according to quality classes, for example luxury, middle class, standard and economic/low-cost properties. Their figures are a combined average which reflects the Best Economic, Standard and Middle Class cost range. If you want building costs according to quality classes, visit the AECOM South Africa Report 2021. The following is building cost data for the first quarter of 2021 in South Africa:

National Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa  – Residential Buildings

Recorded building plans passed by larger municipalities at current prices by type of building

Across all provinces and municipalities in South Africa, the average building cost per square m2 for different types of buildings is as follows:

National Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa 2021

National Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa 2021 – NEW BUILDING  PLANS

Residential Buildings:

Dwellings < 80m2
The number of single family dwellings smaller than 80m2 in gross floor area were 440 and 540 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered only 271 new building plans of this size, which was a decrease of -38.4%.

The national aggregate gross floor area of these dwellings was 25,200m2 and 29,602m2 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 15,342 square metres, which was a decrease of -39.1%.

The total estimated valuation of new building plans was R170,385,000 and R191,522,000 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R107,541,000 which was a decrease of -36.9%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for dwellings < 80m2 is:

As at December 2020 – R6,470 per m2

As at March 2021 – R7,010 per m2

Dwellings > 80m2

The number of single family dwellings greater than 80m2 in gross floor area were 814 and 917 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered 892 new building plans of this size, which was an increase of 9.6%.

The national aggregate gross floor area of these dwellings was 208,972m2 and 254,219m2 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 242,275 square metres, which was an increase of 15.9%.

The total estimated valuation of new building plans was R1,581,942,000 and R1,955,641,000 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R1,859,640,000 which was an increase of 17.6%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for dwellings > 80m2 is:

As at December 2020 – R7,693 per m2

As at March 2021 – R7,676 per m2

Flats and Townhouses

These are multi-family dwellings. The number of flats and townhouses approved by the municipalities across South Africa was 1,294 and 1,912 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered 1,619 new building plans , which was an increase of 28.1%.

The national aggregate gross floor area of these dwellings was 119,986m2 and 194,234m2 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 162,663 square metres, which was an increase of 35.6%.

The total estimated valuation of new building plans was R860,489,000 and R1,542,965,000 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R1,498,276,000 which was an increase of 74.1%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for Flats and Townhouses in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R7,944 per m2

As at March 2021 – R9,211 per m2

Other Residential Buildings

These are residential buildings which cannot be classed in the above categories. The national aggregate gross floor area of non-classed residential properties approved by municipalities in South Africa  was 1,531m2 and 4,617m2 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 2,196 square metres, which was an increase of 43.4%.

The total estimated valuation of new building plans was R10,249,000 and R30,364,000 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R15,356,000 which was an increase of 49.8%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for Other Residential Buildings in South Africa is:

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As at December 2020 – R6,577 per m2

As at March 2021 – R6,993 per m2

National Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa  – Commercial Buildings

Recorded building plans passed by larger municipalities at current prices by type of building

Commercial buildings include office, banking, shopping, industrial, warehouse and other types of non-residential buildings.

Office and Banking Space

The national aggregate gross floor area of office and banking buildings approved by municipalities in South Africa  was 55,027m2 and 21,436m2 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 7,892 square metres, which was a decrease of -85.7%.

The total estimated valuation of new building plans was R415,144,000 and R170,245,000 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R61,588,000 which was an increase of 85.2%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for Office and Banking Space in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R7,942 per m2

As at March 2021 – R7,804 per m2

Shopping Space

The national aggregate gross floor area of shopping space approved by municipalities in South Africa  was 59,863m2 and 17,207m2 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 9,244 square metres, which was a decrease of -84.6%.

The total estimated valuation of new building plans was R565,823,000 and R148,275,000 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R63,130,000 which was a decrease of -84.6%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for Shopping Space in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R8,617 per m2

As at March 2021 – R6,829 per m2

Industrial and Warehouse Space

The national aggregate gross floor area of shopping space approved by municipalities in South Africa  was 58,353m2 and 87,302m2 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 31,630 square metres, which was a decrease of -45.8%.

The total estimated valuation of new building plans was R350,035,000 and R582,716,000 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R208,333,000 which was a decrease of -84.6%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for Industrial and Warehouse Space in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R6,674 per m2

As at March 2021 – R6,587 per m2

Other Non-Residential Buildings

The national aggregate gross floor area of other non-residential buildings approved by municipalities in South Africa  was 14,669m2 and 8,238m2 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 11,768 square metres, which was a decrease of -19.8%.

The total estimated valuation of new building plans was R91,085,000 and R48,207,000 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R80,165,000 which was a decrease of -12%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for Other Non-Residential Buildings in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R5,852 per m2

As at March 2021 – R6,812 per m2

National Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa  – Additions & Alterations [Residential Buildings]

Recorded building plans passed by larger municipalities at current prices by type of building

Dwellings/Houses (Additions & Alterations)

The national aggregate gross floor area of alterations and additions for dwellings/houses approved by municipalities in South Africa  was 165,689m2 and 170,308m2 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 156,793 square metres, which was a decrease of -5.4%.

The total estimated valuation of new building plans was R1,230,872,000 and R1,259,117,000 in January and December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R1,229,637,000 which was a decrease of -0.1%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for Additions & Alterations (Dwellings/Houses) in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R7,393 per m2

As at March 2021 – R7,842 per m2

NOTES:

*(%) The percentage change between cumulative figures for 2020 and 2021.

*Other Residential Buildings includes hotels, hostels, boarding house and other tourism accommodation.

*Other Non-Residential Space includes educational, recreational, medical and religious buildings.

Download the 2021 STATSSA Building Costs Report


National Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa  – Residential Buildings

Buildings reported as completed to larger municipalities at current prices by type of building:

Across all provinces and municipalities in South Africa, the average building cost per square m2 for different types of buildings based on finished projects / completed buildings is as follows:

National Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa 2021 COMPLETED PROJECTS

National Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa 2021 COMPLETED PROJECTS

Residential Buildings:

Dwellings < 80m2

The number of newly built single family dwellings smaller than 80m2 in gross floor area was 707 in January and 675 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered 341 newly completed residential dwellings of this size, which was a decrease of -51.8%.

The national aggregate gross floor area of these dwellings was 34,608m2 in January and 35,709m2 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 18,006 square metres, which was a decrease of -48%.

The total estimated valuation of completed projects was R186,616,000 in January and R226,781,000 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R115,266,000 which was a decrease of -38.2%.

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From this data, the building cost per m2 for completed dwellings < 80m2 is:

As at December 2020 – R6,351 per m2

As at March 2021 – R6,402 per m2

Dwellings > 80m2

The number of newly built single family dwellings greater than 80m2 in gross floor area was 532 in January and 627 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered 392 newly completed residential dwellings of this size, which was a decrease of -26.3%.

The national aggregate gross floor area of these dwellings was 139,889m2 in January and 171,543m2 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 109,369 square metres, which was a decrease of -21.8%.

The total estimated valuation of completed projects was R1,098,572,000 in January and R1,312,806,000 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R841,744,000 which was a decrease of -23.4%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for completed dwellings > 80m2 is:

As at December 2020 – R7,653 per m2

As at March 2021 – R7,697 per m2

Flats and Townhouses

The number of newly built flats and townhouses was 751 in January and 1783 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered 1224 newly completed residential dwellings of this size, which was an increase of 63%.

The national aggregate gross floor area of these dwellings was 98,529m2 in January and 189,633m2 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 79,020 square metres, which was a decrease of -19.8%.

The total estimated valuation of completed projects was R831,737,000 in January and R1,683,354,000 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R612,807,000 which was a decrease of -26.3%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for newly built flats and townhouses in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R8,877 per m2

As at March 2021 – R7,755 per m2

Other Residential Buildings

The national aggregate gross floor area of newly built residential buildings classed as Other (See Notes*) was 3,254m2 in January and 3,966m2 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 442 square metres, which was a decrease of -86.4%.

The total estimated valuation of completed projects was R31,694,000 in January and R37,949,000 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R3,047,000 which was a decrease of -90.4%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for these other types of residential buildings in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R9,569 per m2

As at March 2021 – R6,894 per m2

National Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa  – Commercial Buildings

Buildings reported as completed to larger municipalities at current prices by type of building:

Office and Banking Space

The national aggregate gross floor area of newly built office and banking space was 27,858m2 in January and 12,885m2 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 22,393 square metres, which was a decrease of -19.6%.

The total estimated valuation of completed projects was R264,295,000 in January and R90,952,000 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R213,882,000 which was a decrease of -19.1%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for newly completed office and banking space in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R7,059 per m2

As at March 2021 – R9,551 per m2

Shopping Space

The national aggregate gross floor area of newly built shopping space was 21,915m2 in January and 5,237m2 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 26,678 square metres, which was an increase of 21.7%.

The total estimated valuation of completed projects was R209,733,000 in January and R35,553,000 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R263,887,000 which was an increase of 25.8%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for newly completed shopping space in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R6,789 per m2

As at March 2021 – R9,892 per m2

Industrial and Warehouse Space

The national aggregate gross floor area of newly built shopping space was 111,295m2 in January and 205,383m2 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 7,878 square metres, which was a decrease of -92.9%.

The total estimated valuation of completed projects was R748,387,000 in January and R1,213,362,000 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R46,652,000 which was a decrease of -93.8%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for newly completed Industrial and Warehouse space in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R5,908 per m2

As at March 2021 – R5,922 per m2

Other Non-Residential Buildings

The national aggregate gross floor area of newly built non-residential buildings classed as Other (See Notes*) was 34,516m2 in January and 9,850m2 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 10,089 square metres, which was a decrease of -70.8%.

The total estimated valuation of completed projects was R254,876,000 in January and R65,346,000 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R68,134,000 which was a decrease of -73.3%.

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From this data, the building cost per m2 for these other types of non-residential buildings in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R6,634 per m2

As at March 2021 – R6,753 per m2

National Building Costs Per Square Metre in South Africa  – Additions & Alterations [Residential Buildings]

Buildings reported as completed to larger municipalities at current prices by type of building:

Dwellings/Houses (Additions & Alterations)

The national aggregate gross floor area of newly completed alterations and additions for dwellings/houses in South Africa  was 88,379m2 in January and 55,174m2 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total gross floor of 56,429 square metres, which was a decrease of -36.2%.

The total estimated valuation of completed projects was R657,773,000 in January and R427,222,000 in December of the year 2020 respectively. The first quarter of 2021 registered a total valuation of R415,813,000 which was a decrease of -36.8%.

From this data, the building cost per m2 for newly completed  Additions & Alterations (Dwellings/Houses) in South Africa is:

As at December 2020 – R7,743 per m2

As at March 2021 – R7,369 per m2

NOTES:

*(%) The percentage change between cumulative figures for 2020 and 2021.

*Other Residential Buildings includes hotels, hostels, boarding house and other tourism accommodation.

*Other Non-Residential Space includes educational, recreational, medical and religious buildings.

Click to access P50411January2021.pdf

 

BUILDING COSTS IN SOUTH AFRICA – 2015

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


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