Stats SA distinguishes between various types of construction activities, including free-standing houses, townhouses, flats, offices and shopping space. The following infographic shows which of these are the most costly to build, according to Stats SA’s latest Selected building statistics of the private sector as reported by local government institutions.
Nationally, it would cost you an average of R8 163 per square metre to build flats, according to building plans passed by municipalities in 2015. Flats are followed by office space (R8 092 per square metre), shopping space (R7 364 per square metre), townhouses (R6 802 per square metre), and free-standing houses (R5 932 per square metre).
Notice any provincial patterns in the charts below? Click on the infographic to enlarge.
Residential construction (i.e. free-standing houses, townhouses and flats) is most expensive in KwaZulu-Natal, while commercial construction (i.e. office space and shopping space) is most expensive in Gauteng.
With the exception of townhouses (where Northern Cape holds the number three position) the provinces of Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal hold the top three cost positions for all the other building types. These are the three largest provincial economies: Gauteng contributed 34% to South Africa’s economy in 2014, followed by KwaZulu-Natal (16%) and Western Cape (14%), according to gross domestic product (GDP) data1. No plans were passed for flats in Northern Cape.
The picture was starkly different 19 years ago. Like today, Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal were the three largest economies in 1996. However, they held the top three cost positions for only one of the five building types (i.e. free-standing houses). Notice how Western Cape has climbed the cost rankings for both townhouses and shopping space?
Download the latest Selected building statistics of the private sector as reported by local government institutions, 2015 here.
1 The latest provincial GDP data is available in Table 9 of the GDP_annual and regional tables 2016 Excel file. Download it here.