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The ins and outs of building a new house in Auckland

Designing and building your dream home has huge upsides. With New Zealand’s building standards, you know it’ll be warm, dry, energy-efficient and easy to maintain. A brand-new home designed specifically with you in mind and with shiny new fixtures, lovely new flooring, a great layout, loads of storage space and not having to worry about ancient pipes bursting, dodgy electrics, leaks or poor insulation is very attractive.

So, let’s talk money, contracts and builders ……

Looking at the numbers on new home builds

Generally speaking, new builds cost about 25 per cent more than buying an existing home. This shouldn’t really be a surprise as new stuff is usually more expensive than second-hand stuff.

According to Canstar, to build a home in Auckland in the first half of 2022, the average cost per m2 was $2,781. So, a 147m2 home, which was the average size built in May 2022, is going to cost just over $408,000. However, it’s important to remember that costs vary from build to build, depending on the size and design of a home. They also vary greatly depending on the site, including the slope, wind, and difficulty of site access.

If you’re thinking of building a new house in Auckland, talk to us about how much it will cost.

Or Call 021 550 142

Let’s look at building contracts

In New Zealand, there are basically two types of building contracts:

Progressive payments

This is where you hire the developer/builder/contractor to build you a house. Builders can pass on cost increases because you’re hiring them. You haven’t bought a house you have bought the services of a team to build one.

A fixed price contract

This where you sign a contract with a developer or a builder to buy a house at an agreed price that is yet to be built. Despite the name, however, this does not always guarantee a fixed price for your home. You can still be hit with price rises because the standard Registered Master Builders’ contract has a clause that allows for increased costs to be passed on. Specific stipulations and clauses in a fixed-price contract can limit which costs can be passed on. So, you must see a lawyer to ensure that the contract is fair, reasonable, balanced and acceptable for both parties.

Do your due diligence

We recommend you do your due diligence before signing any building contract. If you’re building a new house in Auckland, we want your building experience to be a positive one, so it’s incredibly important you know what is and isn’t covered in the contract.

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is

Maybe you’ve been presented with a building contract that looks good and you think you have got the best price in town. We suggest you take care.

Engaging a builder just because they look cheaper may mean any additional costs will be passed back to you because they have been underestimated.

Also, if the builder goes broke and is not around to build for you, then it’s a very hollow gain.

So, work with a builder who does their best to minimise the risk with forward orders and good planning, a builder like DBS Residential.

Or Call 021 550 142

Some building developers in today’s market

We’re currently looking at rising interest rates, inflation, and a high cost of living in Aotearoa New Zealand. Construction costs are increasing and at the same time we have supply chain delays, and labour shortages.

Building delays cost money. To protect both the builder and buyer from unreasonably long delays in a building project, off-the-plan builds commonly contain what’s known as a sunset clause. These are intended to protect both the builder and buyer from unreasonably long delays in a build by allowing either party to walk away. For example, if the build gets held up, a buyer could get out of the contract and still get their full deposit back.

While sunset clauses exist to offer security, they have been used by some less-than-scrupulous developers to cancel off-plan property contracts so they can get a better price from another buyer.

For example, in a property market with skyrocketing prices, some unethical developers have been known to use the sunset clause to cancel the contract. They then put the property back on the market at a higher price.

At DBS Residential, we recommend seeking legal advice before signing up for any off-the-plan development. A lawyer can make an amendment in a contract so developers can’t re-list the new home for the sole purpose of making more money.

Choose your builder wisely

To make your building process as stress-free as possible, you need a team of builders you can trust. It is so important you thoroughly research the builder for your new home.

Look for a building company that comes highly recommended. You need to make sure their record for effective management, planning, and delivering homes is good.

Check how many projects have they worked on before and whether their previous clients recommend their work.

Building a brand-new home is an exciting and rewarding challenge. To ensure building success you need a great team. A proven design and build team can give you functionality, space, 21st-century design, comfort and efficiency. 

Choose a creative, organised building team who works with you from before you sign the building contract through to putting up the letter box on move-in day.

That is exactly what DBS Residential is known for doing so well!

Or Call 021 550 142

I highly recommend DBS residential for any of your building or renovation needs! Dan was a pleasure to deal with and nothing was too much hassle.

We had multiple companies come out to quote our job and most couldn’t complete the work or even get a free estimate out. Dan reassured us the whole way through and although it dragged on a bit longer than expected it was completed before Christmas as promised!

The price was great for the work involved and we are very happy with the result!

Jeremy Lowe


If you’ve been thinking about building a new house in Auckland, call 021 550 142. Dan Hendy can meet with you for an obligation-free consult.