These are the cheapest places to build in South Africa right now

Looking to invest in a fixer-upper or a new build? Then you might want to consider the North West if you want to get away with the cheapest construction costs in South Africa.

That’s according to a new Stats SA release which recorded building plans passed by larger municipalities at current prices per province for the period January-July 2018.

According to this data, building costs in the North West amount to R10,130 per sqm – R9,100 less than what it costs per square meter in the costliest province for construction, namely KwaZulu-Natal at R19,230 per sqm.

The second most affordable province is Limpopo, coming in at R10,550 per sqm followed by Mpumalanga at R11,390 per sqm.

Sitting at the opposite end of the price scale and at the second most expensive construction province is Gauteng at R15,730 per sqm followed by the Western Cape at R14,050 per sqm.

“While it is unsurprising to discover which provinces are the most affordable, it is interesting to discover that KwaZulu-Natal is more expensive than the bustling metropoles of Gauteng and the Western Cape, where one has come to expect to pay a premium on most living expenses,” said Adrian Goslett, regional director of Remax Southern Africa.

Materials and labour

To understand the difference in prices per province, you should know that there are several factors that affect construction costs, said Goslett.

The first of which is the cost of the actual building materials; items such as bricks, cement, timber and so on. If a province is low on suppliers for these materials which lowers the chances for competitive prices, or if a province has to import them, then it’s likely that that province will have higher building costs.

Labour costs can also have an impact on cost of construction.

“Interestingly though, according to CareerJunction’s Salary Review for the December 2017 to May 2018 period, unlike many other sectors salaries within the building and construction sector are not as competitive in Gauteng and fall in line with or just above the national average.

“Salaries in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are slightly lower, ranging between 6% and 11% below the national average,” he said.

He added that while KwaZulu-Natal proved to have the most expensive costs despite paying their construction professionals 11% below the national average, the two other major metropoles still managed to rack up more square meters of approved plans.

“The province which approved the largest amount of building plans per total square meterage for this period was the Western Cape with a total of 1,413,402 sqm in approved plans. Gauteng followed at 1,111,604 sqm in approved plans, and KwaZulu-Natal placed a distant third at just 291,014 sqm.

“Interestingly, Gauteng outperformed the Western Cape in terms of plans for freestanding properties, while the Western Cape outperformed Gauteng in terms of plans approved for townhouses and flats.

“This makes sense, as more Capetonians are choosing to renovate their sectional titles closer to the CBD rather than relocate to freestanding homes where they would be forced to endure the commute,” Goslett said.


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These are the cheapest places to build in South Africa right now