Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy in Brisbane?

December 18, 2023
Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy in Brisbane?

Key takeaways:

  • Building a house in Brisbane in 2023 costs about $449,436, while buying is around $742,500.
  • The choice to build or buy is influenced by rising costs, location, and market trends.
  • First home buyers can benefit from government grants and stamp duty concessions.
  • Consider lifestyle, location, and long-term costs when choosing between a custom or existing home.

When deciding whether to build or buy a property in Brisbane, it’s crucial to consider the costs and benefits of each option. In recent years, trends suggest that building a house can be more affordable than buying a similar existing home.

However with the average construction cost in Brisbane now ranging significantly, the financial feasibility of building a new house has become more challenging. Therefore, it is essential to carefully evaluate both options in the context of current market conditions and personal financial circumstances.

In this article, we will compare the costs associated with building and buying a home in Brisbane. We will also examine the advantages and disadvantages of each option, such as customisation, time frames, and potential savings. By weighing these factors, you will be better equipped to determine whether building or buying a home is the most cost-effective decision for your situation.

Analysing Costs to Build or Buy in Brisbane

Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy in Brisbane?

Comparing Construction and Property Prices

In 2023, the average cost of building a house in Brisbane has changed. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as of February 2023, the average cost is approximately $449,436. This figure represents an increase from February 2022, when the average cost was $391,937.

The cost can vary significantly depending on factors such as whether the build is a volume build or a bespoke home, the size and location of the land, and the quality of finishes

“However, construction costs per square metre have increased further in 2023, now ranging from $2,500 to $4,500 in Brisbane. This marks a significant rise from the $1,120 to $1,730 range in 2022.”

Additionally, with the average cost of buying a new house in Brisbane now approximately $742,500 in 2023, the dynamics between building and buying a home have shifted.

To understand how this compares with other major cities, such as Sydney, you can explore the differences in housing costs in Are houses cheaper in Brisbane than Sydney?.

Property prices have increased too, meaning that building a property was generally cheaper than buying an existing home towards the end of 2023. However it’s important to note that construction costs are escalating pretty rapidly.

Land Acquisition and Construction Considerations

When considering to build or buy a home, it’s crucial to take land acquisition and construction considerations into account.

You need to factor in the costs of purchasing a block of land in your preferred location and the expenses involved in hiring a builder, obtaining planning permits, and sourcing labour and materials for construction.

You’ll also need to budget for any differing costs based on the house’s size and type. When choosing the right suburbs, location is key – consider proximity to amenities, schools, and transportation.

Market Trends and External Factors

External factors like COVID-19 restrictions and the economic environment can impact both the construction and property markets in Brisbane.

Keep an eye on market trends, lockdowns, border closures, and inflation rates to decide the best time to enter the market. Be flexible with your plans according to the current situation, and be careful not to make hasty decisions based on temporary circumstances.

Government Support and Financial Incentives

Government support and financial incentives can play a role in deciding whether you should build or buy in Brisbane. First home buyers may be eligible for concessions, such as the First Home Buyer’s Grant, which can reduce your total costs .

Also, consider any applicable stamp duty concessions or exemptions for first home buyers, as they can make a significant difference in your overall budget.

Long-term Financial Projections

It’s essential to look at the long-term financial projections when deciding to build or buy a house in Brisbane. This includes exploring capital growth potential, ongoing maintenance costs, and other expenses associated with homeownership.

Lifestyle and Practicality Preferences

Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy in Brisbane?

Custom Home Versus Existing Home Amenities

When deciding whether to build or buy in Brisbane, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle and practicality preferences. Building a custom home allows you to personalise the layout, materials, and features to suit your needs.

On the other hand, an existing home might already have attractive amenities, such as a large garden or proximity to cafes and nightlife.

Location and Accessibility

Location is a crucial factor in your decision-making process. Building a new home often means choosing a block of land in a suburb further from the CBD, potentially affecting access to public transport, schools, and entertainment.

Buying an existing home in a well-established area like Ashgrove can offer more convenient accessibility to your preferred amenities.

Renovation and Upkeep

An existing home might require renovations or maintenance, which could be costly and time-consuming. Tradespeople, such as electricians and plumbers, may need to be involved, adding to the overall cost of owning the property.

A newly built house should have fewer initial upkeep requirements, as most materials and systems are new.

The Building Journey

It’s important to consider the process of building a house, which can involve coordinating with builders, surveyors, and other construction professionals.

You’ll also need to secure a building contract and manage the delivery of materials. The building journey can be challenging, but the end result may be a uniquely designed home that meets your living preferences.

Community and Neighbourhood Selection

When opting for a custom-built home, you have the opportunity to choose a neighbourhood based on factors like proximity to schools, recreational facilities, and public transport.

For existing homes, researching real estate in Brisbane can give you an idea of the suburb’s amenities and lifestyle options.

Type of Dwelling Preferences

Your preferred type of dwelling may influence your decision to build or buy in Brisbane. For example, a high-set, timber frame home might be more readily available as an existing house, while customising a new build allows a greater selection of materials, such as brick or tile.

If a rural setting appeals to you, a larger block of land might be easier to find for a custom-built home.

“Consider your lifestyle and practicality preferences when deciding whether to build or buy a home in Brisbane.”

Both options have their merits, and it’s up to you to determine which path is best suited to your needs and priorities. For more information, check out Is it cheaper to rent or buy in Brisbane?.

Suggested reading: Don’t stop your research here! For a deeper dive into Brisbane’s housing costs, our additional resource breaks it down for you. Read more about how much does a house cost in Brisbane Australia?

FAQs on ‘Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy in Brisbane?’

Is it cheaper to buy land and build a house in Australia compared to buying an existing home?

According to available statistics, it generally tends to be cheaper on average to build a home in Australia rather than buying an existing one. This is reflective of the current market trends where construction costs, although significant, can still total less than the cost of purchasing an already built property.

How much does it cost to build a 4 bedroom house in Queensland?

Building a 4 bedroom house in Queensland can cost between $1,900 to $3,900 per square meter, on average.

Taking into account the average sizes of four-bedroom homes in Australia, the total expense is estimated to be around $423,700 to $1,014,000, excluding the cost of the land. This range is based on the varying construction costs and house sizes.

Will construction costs go down in 2024 in Australia?

Experts anticipate that construction costs in Australia could stabilize or decrease by 2024. This prediction hinges on factors like improved geopolitical stability, enhanced global trade opportunities, and increased infrastructure development.

Such conditions are expected to positively influence the construction market, potentially leading to reduced costs.

What is the cheapest type of house to build in Australia?

The cheapest type of house to build in Australia is typically a shipping container home. These homes offer more space for a lower price compared to traditional housing.

While the national average for building a house is about a thousand dollars per square meter, shipping container homes can provide twice as much space for the same cost, making them an economical alternative.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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