The True Cost of Building a House in Wollongong

You've got the floorplan all worked out in your head, you've found the perfect location and you're finally ready to build a house. But before you approach your bank or lender, you'll need to know how much it all costs.

From buying land and the construction process, down to the finishing touches, here are all of the factors to consider when breaking down the cost of building a house in Wollongong. Have a read before you sound the gong on your dream home built in the beautiful Illawarra region. 

The Average Cost of Building a House in Wollongong

According to us, it's hard to estimate your expenses until you have some rudimentary plans. 

Our lead builders say, "It's really hard to put a price on it. Our current range of builds is 1.2 million to 4 million. I would say 1 million would get you a nice architectural single-storey home."

In the past few years, home builders have had to contend with labour shortages, construction supply chain shortages and the increasing price of building materials. The Covid pandemic also caused a real estate boom in Wollongong and its surrounds, and housing supply constraints have continued.  

So, while it's a simple question, the answer isn't straightforward. Below we will show you some of the basic costs involved with building a house that isn't related to labour or materials and then go on to help you discover the details that could influence the overall cost of your build.

A Basic Building Cost Breakdown to get you started

Until you've built your first house, it's easy to think that labour and materials are all there are to build a house. But several other costs need to be factored in.  

Here are the additional costs and average prices that you will likely encounter:

  • Long service levy - $1800 The NSW government charges a levy on any construction over $250,000. 
  • Section 94A - 1% of the building cost Local Council charges certain development projects, like houses, a fee for building.  This is designed to provide the additional public amenities the area will need and comes at 1% of the building cost.
  • A certifier - $3,000 A certifier ensures your building is built to code and will approve different points throughout the building process. This is usually around $3,000. 
  • BASIX - $1,000 A BASIX certificate ensures your dwelling is resilient while reducing greenhouse gasses and water consumption.  
  • Survey - $1,000 A building survey checks the land and building to ensure no future issues (e.g. boundary issues).
  • Engineering - $3-6k A structural engineer will be required to ensure your house is safe and meets codes. 
  • DA Drawings - $12-25k These drawings are a requirement to get your new house plans approved.

These costs are just the basics - but the actual building costs may vary depending on numerous factors. Read on to find out what factors affect the cost of building a new home in Wollongong.  

What Factors Affect the Cost of Building a House in Wollongong?

Location, size, materials and quality are the main factors determining how much your home will cost. Here's a guide to the features that will affect construction costs on your new home. 

Location and accessibility

Where in Wollongong you choose and the size of your block can greatly impact land prices. For example, a small block of land at Shell Cove, just south of Wollongong, can set you back more than a larger block in Unanderra. Some local knowledge is essential to this process, so get in touch with local real estate agents or buyers' agents to make this process easier. 

If your land isn't a vacant, level block - for example, if it has an existing dwelling that needs demolishing - this will also add more time and money to your project. Council requirements, planning overlays and soil type can also affect the price of building your home in your chosen location. 

Size and design of the house

The square footage of your dream home will greatly impact the price. The bigger the house, the more labour and materials are required to build it. The average size of a new home is 248 square metres, and the average price for an architect-designed home is about $4000 per square metre. So you're looking at roughly $1,000,000 to custom-build an average-sized home in Wollongong

Don't forget that more complex home designs take longer to build and, therefore, cost more money. And once construction has begun, any variations you make to the plans can cause budget blow-outs. So be sure you want to sacrifice a big backyard for an extra bedroom before your builder sets foot on site.  

Quality of materials used

One of your first considerations should be the construction type you are looking for to build the home of your dreams. Do you have your heart set on using a particular material like timber? Could you settle for a brick veneer home, or does your site require the insulation provided by double brick? 

The price of construction materials has skyrocketed in recent years, and supply chain issues have also been causing construction delays. While supply constraints have now eased somewhat, demand for some products has seen the price of things like timber and steel stay high. Prices for reinforced steel are up 40%, and timber prices have risen well over 20%. Speak to your builder about these supply issues because materials delays could also cost you if it stalls the building process. 

When building a home, even small things matter. Choosing higher-quality fixtures and finishes will cost you more initially but may save you money in the long run if they outlive cheaper options. 

Labour costs

Construction labour accounts for about 30% of building costs. And while supply chain issues have eased somewhat, a labour shortage across all trades continues to trouble the construction industry. The availability of skilled tradespeople has also seen the price of labour rise sharply, according to the HIA. 

The complexity of your build will likely determine whether this labour shortage will significantly increase the cost of your build or add delays to your project, therefore impacting your pricing. 

Building permits and fees

Wollongong City Council can advise you on the permits that need to be in place before building a new home. The NSW Government Planning Portal also has information on the relevant permits for your build type. You will also incur transfer duty and land tax on the property, affecting your overall budget.

Additional costs (e.g. landscaping, furniture, appliances)

The price of building your home doesn't include the money you will need to finish your home. Swimming pools, fences and landscaping all need to be added on. You'll also need furniture, appliances and home and contents insurance. No one wants to move into a half-finished house, so factor in an estimated price for these things into your budget, too. 

Scott and Rob in A Class Uniform

Who to talk to about building a House in Wollongong

If you are looking for a new house, look no further than A Class Building and Construction. With more than 45 years of combined building experience in the Illawarra region, they are well-positioned to help you bring your custom home design to life. Give them a call or visit their website for more ideas and inspiration. 

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