House building costs drop

Amid increasing calls for serviced land to be made available so Namibians can incrementally build their own houses, there is good news in terms of the cost of building a home.

04 October 2018 | Infrastructure

With fuel and food prices constantly on the rise, there seems to some relief for Namibians, with a slight drop in house construction costs over the past months.

Windhoek still remains the most expensive place to build a house, closely followed by Swakopmund.

The latest report by First Capital, which monitors house building cost trends in Namibia, collected the costs in Windhoek, Keetmanshoop, Swakopmund, Ondangwa, Rundu and Katima Mulilo.

Using prices from August, it found that the construction of a standard three-bedroom house will cost on average N$432 900 in Windhoek and N$330 950 in Keetmanshoop, due to varying land prices.

In Rundu it costs N$330 950 to construct a house, Katima Mulilo and Ondangwa N$340 000 and in Swakopmund N$360 000.

In March, First Capital found that the cost of building a standard three-bedroom residential house can range from N$376 298 in towns such as Keetmanshoop, Ondangwa, Rundu and Katima Mulilo, while the same house with similar specifications can cost N$449 926 in Windhoek and Swakopmund to build.

According to its latest report, building material prices were 4.1% higher in August, relative to August 2017. Labour costs, which also include contractor profit margins, are estimated to have increased by 4.1% in August, compared to last year.

Taking into consideration all costs involved in the house construction value chain, land accounts for 4% of total cost in Keetmanshoop, while in Windhoek it accounts for 27%.

On average the price of land increased by 5% in August this year, compared to last year.

“Land measuring 375 square metres in Windhoek's Khomasdal suburb (considered a middle-income suburb) costs seven times more than the price of land in a Keetmanshoop middle-income suburb.”

Urban land remains cheaper on average in Keetmanshoop, followed by Rundu and Katima Mulilo, while it remains expensive in Windhoek and Swakopmund.

In Keetmanshoop, on average, land measuring 375 square metres costs N$14 300, whereas the same land would cost N$115 500 in a middle-class location in Windhoek, such as Khomasdal.

Building materials remain the most significant cost component in the house construction value chain, on average accounting for 65% of total cost in Keetmanshoop, Rundu, Katima Mulilo and Ondangwa.

According to the report the cost of building materials is higher in Katima Mulilo (N$218 600) and Swakopmund (N$218 000), while Keetmanshoop (N$216 400), Rundu (N$216 700) and Windhoek (N$216 900) offer the cheapest building materials compared to other towns.

The total cost of building materials in Keetmanshoop is N$2 000 less than the cost of identical materials in Katima Mulilo.


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