How much it costs to build a house in South Africa – Johannesburg vs Cape Town vs Durban

 ·10 Apr 2023

The average cost of building a typical 3-bedroom house in South Africa is R1.5 million – ranging from R7,900 to R15,000 per square metre, depending on the location.

This is according to Procompare, an online marketplace that connects homeowners with over 3,000 professional contractors for home projects – including construction and renovations.

The estimates provided in this article are sourced from proprietary data of historical project costs acquired from hundreds of building contractors in each area, which are updated regularly, said Procompare.

The data provided the average cost per square of building a house in different provinces of South Africa – giving the approximate total cost of a standard 3-bedroom (146 m2) and 2-bedroom (90 m2) home.

According to the data, the most expensive province in which to build a home is Kwa-Zulu Natal, with an average cost of R14,860 per m2, equating to R2.17 million for a standard 3-bedroom and R1.34 million for a 2-bedroom house.

Gauteng and the Western Cape this in second and third, with average costs of R13,330 and R13,150 per m2 – costing R1.94 million and R1.92 million to build a 3-bedroom house, respectively.

On the other end of the spectrum, building a house in the North West and Limpopo offers the cheapest cost per m2 – averaging R7,980 in the North West and R8,450 in Limpopo.

The full breakdown of the Average cost per square metre per province, the approximate total cost of a standard 3-bedroom and 2-bedroom home, is given in the table below.

Province Average cost per m2 Standard 146 sqm house 90 sqm house
Kwa-Zulu Natal R14 860 R2 170 000 R1 340 000
Gauteng R13 330 R1 945 000 R1 200 000
Western Cape R13 150 R1 920 000 R1 180 000
Free State R11 290 R1 650 000 R1 015 000
Eastern Cape R10 890 R1 590 000 R980 000
Northern Cape R10 370 R1 515 000 R935 000
Mpumalanga R9 190 R1 350 000 R830 000
Limpopo R8 450 R1 235 000 R760 000
North West R7 980 R1 165 000 R720 000

Procompare added that the cost per square metre increases when building a sectional title – such as one in a complex or an estate.

Additionally, when deciding on whether or not to build your own home, the location, size, and level of finish of the house are significant factors in determining the overall cost of construction, with construction rates varying significantly from province to province.

The cost also varies significantly whether the home is basic, mid-level, or high-end.

Other factors impacting the cost of the build are construction materials you decide to use – such as steel, bricks, and roofing tiles – and professional services.

When building a house, several professional services are required, and their fees are usually calculated based on a percentage of the total construction cost.

These services are often referred to as “hidden costs” and can vary depending on the province, town, and size of the company providing them.

The average fees for some of these professional services, as outlined by Procompare, are listed below:

  • Land surveyor: up to 5% of the construction cost.
  • Architect: up to 8% of the construction cost.
  • Structural engineer: 2% of the construction cost.
  • Quantity surveyor: up to 4% of the construction cost.
  • Lawyer: average of R900 per hour.

The cost of building in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban

Considering Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are the most popular residential markets in South Africa, the data also provided the cost of building a standard 146 square meter 3-bedroom house in these cities – including all professional services and fees.

These costs are listed below.


  • Building/Construction: R1,400,000
  • Architectural fees: R24,000 – R32,000
  • Engineer’s fees: R22,000 – R30,000
  • Municipal submission fee: R2,500 – R3,400
  • Total cost: R1,450,000

Cape Town

  • Building/Construction: R1,320,000
  • Architectural fees: R21,000 – R30,000
  • Engineer’s fees: R21,000 – R30,000
  • Council fees: LUM (land use management) R600 – R800 | BDM (Building Development management) R 3,100 – R5,600
  • Total cost: R1,380,000


  • Building/Construction: R1,500,000
  • Architectural fees: R35,000 – R44,000
  • Engineer’s fees: Reports and forms R4,500 | Structural plans R11,000 | Stormwater management plan if required R11,000
  • Council fee: R1,500 – R2,000
  • Total cost: R1,560,000

Read: Prices for these properties in South Africa are rising much faster than the rest

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter