Relocate your thinking around building new.

October 14, 2021

The cost of building a new home is increasing.

And everyone seems to know what’s causing it.  Limited supply of labour and materials.  Some of this is caused by the pandemic and the impact this has had on global supply of materials. And some, particularly labour, can be linked to an already stretched workforce of builders and supporting trades with a less than ideal number of new workers entering the workforce. Luckily, the Workforce Development Council initiative will help the trades catch up.  In the meantime, we’re left with the dilemma of demand significantly outstripping supply.

The cost to build a new home at the most basic level can be around $3000 a square metre.  Some group builders are not pricing anything under $3500 a square metre.  And we are no longer seeing the fixed price contracts of recent years. The price to build will only go up from there based on the site elevation, exposure to wind, contour and soil type.  The materials used in construction will also significantly impact on the square metre rate.

So what are your options if you’ve got a tight budget and you want to create your new home?  Why not try relocating.  The benefits are many.

  • It is significantly cheaper than a new build
  • Having already been built, you will only need to source a small amount of additional materials
  • You can choose a house based on your needs and wants – be it a basic 3 bedroom home through to a character villa.
  • And you are saving a house from being demolished and sending unnecessary waste to landfill – its the ultimate form of recycling.

So let’s break it down*…

Say you pick up a Relocatable house for $45k (see our listings for an example of what this could buy you)

If the house is approx 100m2, what other costs do you need to consider when Relocating a house?

The shift cost – approximately $65,000 if moving to a flat site on standard foundations, and within a 100km radius of its original location.

Consents, professional fees and council fees – the sum of these costs is about $25,000

The cost of connecting to services (water, sewerage, power etc) is about $20,000

An allowance for re-creating decks and having baseboards completed is about $10,000

If you are wanting to complete any renovations as part of the project, we’ll estimate a $25,000 allowance in this scenario.

Based on the above estimates, this project would cost $190,000. That’s $1900 per m2 for a ready to live in home. As we mentioned earlier, with a New Build rate of $3000-$3500 per m2 – the same size house would cost somewhere between $300,000-$350,000 to build new – for a comparable result. And if you’re needing inspiration of how a pre-loved home can be modernised for todays lifestyle, check out these before and afters:

Variables to consider may include:

  • foundations if the site has any complexities;
  • site services if the site is rural and needs new services;
  • and renovation requirements -depending on what’s needed, and how little or how much you want to spend.

Another factor is the time it’s taking to build a new house.  Many New Home builders are estimating a 12 to 18 months completion timeframe,  whereas a relocatable can be ready to live in within six months (sooner if your site and consents can be prepared earlier).  The timeframe is not dependent solely on the builders availability.

The NZ Government recently announced changes in the tax treatment of investment property interest.  Some rental investment properties purchased after 27th March 2021 can no longer claim loan interest as a deduction for tax purposes.  The exception is New Builds and we are pleased that Relocatable homes can be classed as New Builds for the purposes of these tax rules.

So why are you waiting ……?


For more information, visit our website and download our Buyers Guide. This is a great tool and will help guide you along the way to your first Relocatable project.

*Please note – All costs are estimates based on houses we have sold within the last 12 months, but are subject to change based on your project. We recommend sourcing formal quotes for your particular project, or talk to us about one of our Feasibility Studies to help you with your budget.





This information is of a general nature only and must not be taken as specific, current, or complete advice. Readers should make their own, independent inquiries before acting on any information herein. No responsibility is taken for any loss, damage or injury arising from the information in this guide. No representation is made that the information is accurate or suitable for all consumers. Readers who rely on this information do so at their own risk. Copyright© 2021 BRC Property Trust, all rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without prior written permission.  
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