Cost of rebuilding a home rises 12% in past year

Society of chartered surveyors urges homeowners to check that home is adequately insured

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has urged homeowners to check that their house is adequately insured, as the average cost of rebuilding a home has risen by 12 per cent in the past year.

The latest House Rebuilding Guide, published by the SCSI, shows that national average rebuild costs, which include demolition and site clearance, have increased by an average of 12 per cent over the past 12 months.

The SCSI welcomed the figure as moderation on last year’s rate, which showed that home rebuild costs increased by 21 per cent in the 12 months to September 2022.

Chartered quantity surveyor Kevin Brady said the construction market is “extremely busy”, and the continuing increase in rebuild costs is a direct result of the shortage of construction labour across the sector, combined with high levels of demand for builders.

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The SCSI urged homeowners to take the time to calculate the correct reinstatement cost for their home using its free House Rebuilding Calculator, as the cost of rebuilding can vary based on property type and location.

The society estimated that the minimum base cost of rebuilding a three-bed semi is now €303,212 in Dublin, while the minimum base cost of rebuilding a similar house in the northwest is €225,204 — a difference of more than €78,000.

In terms of the increase in costs in the past 12 months, the rebuild cost for a three-bed semi in Dublin has increased the most, rising by €35,182 (from €268,030 to €303,212). Meanwhile, the rebuild cost for the same type of home in the northwest rose the least but still increased by €23,814 (from €201,390 to €225,204).

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SCSI president Enda McGuane said that homeowners might not fully appreciate the dangers of underinsurance.

He highlighted that where an insured sum is only 80 per cent of the total reinstatement cost, a homeowner will only receive 80 per cent of the agreed cost of reinstatement, whether the claim is made for partial replacement or total loss.

“In the case of a house insured for €280,000, where the actual total reinstatement cost is €350,000, the insured party will receive only €280,000 to reinstate the house in the event of the total loss … If there is a partial loss, which costs €100,000 to repair, the insured party will only receive €80,000 and will have to provide the balance of €20,000,” he said.

Mr McGuane also cautioned that rebuilding cost is not the same as a market valuation, and the calculator should not be used for valuation purposes.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.