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Cost Of Building a House NZ: What’s The Cheapest Cost?

Cost Of Building a House NZ - What's The Cheapest Cost

For people looking to get out of the rental market, the priority is often to find the cheapest way to build a house in NZ. This is due to a number of factors that have impacted the property market in the last couple of years.

Firstly, rising costs of living are making it harder for people to save for a house deposit. Throw in the fact that property prices have been steadily rising for some time, and the dream of owning your own home looks a little tougher to reach.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, with house prices slowly starting to decline. Recent supply chain issues for building materials should also start to settle, which could potentially lower the cost of building a new home.

Let’s look at some recent housing figures, and also some tips to keep new build costs down.

The median cost of buying a house in NZ

According to recent figures released by REINZ, the year-on-year median housing price index to September has dropped by a significant 8.1%. That’s an overall figure, with different regions experiencing variable results.

No region showed an increase in house prices for the year to September 2022, with Taranaki being the closest with no change. The steepest declines were evident in Marlborough (-15.8%), Auckland (-12.9%) and Northland (-12.3%).

Regions that fared a little better in the previous 12 months were the aforementioned Taranaki (0%), Canterbury (-4%) and Southland (-4.7%).

It’s important to note that these figures relate to the value of a property, not necessarily what the market is paying. The actual property market saw housing prices increase 2% on average during the same time period. The median residential property price in fact rose to $811,000. Again. There are stark differences in property prices depending on the region.

How to reduce the costs of building

The above figures are all about the cost of buying an existing home. In recent years due to demand, availability of materials and the price of materials, there has also been an increase in the cost of building a house.

However, there are plenty of ways to reduce the costs of building your new home. It just takes a little planning.

Choose a cheaper location

As we touched on, the cost of buying or building a house in certain regions is a lot higher than others. For example, the average building cost per square metre in Wellington is $3,279, whereas it is $2,373 per square metre in Canterbury.

Obviously, you’ve got your ideal locations in mind, but being open to building in different areas can drastically reduce the cost. Plus, the land itself is also usually more expensive in larger cities than it is in regional areas, so there are additional savings to be made there.

Build on level blocks

Building on level blocks is another way to keep costs down. When you buy a sloped block of land, it increases construction costs. You may require engineering design, retaining walls and other expensive landscaping, and site access may be problematic. All of these things contribute to an increased cost of building your home.

Building on a flat, level block is a lot more cost-effective.

Reconsider open-plan designs

Open-plan living is all the rage these days, but it does come with one downside. The larger and more open your living spaces are, the more chance that engineering design is going to be needed. Because there are fewer walls to brace the structure, more thought needs to go into the overall design.

This isn’t usually a major problem for smaller homes, but if you want exceptionally large living areas in an open-plan design, it can increase your build cost.

Build from existing plans

Most building companies offer a range of different home designs. Here at Stonewood Homes, we’ve got house designs to suit all budgets and lifestyles. These pre-designed homes are often cheaper to build because the design is already done. Architects aren’t involved unless you make significant changes, and this keeps costs down.

When you build custom homes, you have additional design expenses, and typically custom homes are more time-consuming because the builder has never built from that design before. Also, choosing to build off the plan can result in faster council approval and faster overall build time.

Consider house and land packages

Another way to find cheaper homes is to buy house and land packages. You can find them all over New Zealand, often in new suburbs or developments. Often, developers and building companies buy and sell multiple lots, giving you more options. Plus, these developments are almost always on flat land, making builds quicker and easier.

Not only can this be a more cost-effective way to build a new house, but it’s also quicker because building companies often have crews working on multiple houses in the immediate area.

Looking for the cheapest way to build a house in NZ?

Stonewood Homes specialises in helping New Zealanders from all walks of life. So, whether you want to build your first home or you’re ready to build a dream home, we’re here to help. We offer a range of excellent house designs to suit any lifestyle. But we also offer custom builds and house and land packages, so there really is something for everyone. With a reputation for quality workmanship, excellent service and thoughtful home designs, Stonewood Homes is your first choice when building a new home. Contact us today to find out more.

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