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2021 cost to build an apartment | apartment building construction cost

2021 cost to build an apartment | apartment building construction cost

Apartments and multi-family residential buildings are good investments for many people. According to the Census, the number of people living in apartments has grown, with more than of all households now living in apartments. For this reason, many builders and investors are considering building new apartment buildings.

This means that the cost to build an apartment building has an enormous range. The national average cost to build an apartment building is between $4.5 and $50 million, with most people paying around $10.5 million for a 5-story mid-rise apartment building with a total of 50 units.

Two sections were added to the table on cost of apartment buildings by unit size - 8 and 12Two subsections were added to the section on cost of apartment buildings by unit size - 8 and 12Enhancements section was updated with the costs and information for building a parking garage or lotTwo questions and answers were added to the FAQ section

Updated the introduction with a new project scope and an average project cost range.Added a section on the cost of building per square foot.Added a section on the cost of building per unit.Added a section on the cost per building type with a table and subsections.Added a section on the cost per story.Added a section on the cost per unit.Added a section on the cost of prefab building.Revised the cost breakdown section with new percentages.Added a section on the cost factors that could influence the project.Added a section on the cost of maintenance.Added a section on the cost of owning an apartment building.Added a section on single vs multi-family buildings.Updated the enhancements section with the cost of luxury buildings.Updated the additional considerations section with cost estimates and variations, licensing info, and the 2% rule.Added an FAQ section with 4 questions and answers.Updated the final costs with the national average range.

When building an apartment building, multiple cost factors come together to form the final total. One of these is the construction cost, which is usually calculated per square foot. This cost does not include the finishing, architect or contractor fees, land purchase, landscaping, parking lots, and many of the interior and soft costs like designing, material selection, and delivery.

Apartment construction costs per square foot vary both by location and structure type. Small apartment buildings with five or fewer units have lower construction costs per foot than mid-rise buildings, which have lower costs per square foot than high-rise apartments.

There is some overlap and variation, depending on whether this is a luxury, mid-range, or builder-grade apartment building. The total cost range per square foot to build an apartment building is between $85 and $400 a square foot, with an average cost of $229 a square foot.

Another factor in determining the apartment buildings total cost is to look at the cost per unit. This does not include the costs of building the entire structure or any architect or contractor fees, but it includes the materials, building, and finishing of each unit. Like construction costs, there is a range of costs per unit, which is dependent on the size, whether this is a luxury unit or mid-range, and building location.

Apartment buildings come in many different shapes and sizes, which also impacts costs. The more corners and different shapes a building has, the higher the construction prices. The number of units and overall size of the building also plays a role. Below are some of the most common types of apartment buildings and their average cost per square foot.

An infill apartment building is a general term for stick-built apartment homes, including duplexes, triplexes, six-packs, or walk-up apartments. These apartment buildings typically resemble single-family homes in architecture and style and are timber-built. Depending on the size, they have construction costs of $85 - $175 per square foot and can have up to 6 apartments in one building, although the average is 2 - 4.

A low-rise apartment building has 1 - 3 stories and is usually made of wood construction. It is sometimes called a 3-over-1 style building. It can have 5 - 50 units and usually has elevators as well as two stairwells and a double-sided corridor. They cost $150 - $225 a square foot to build.

Mid-rise apartment buildings are larger and usually made of wood on concrete or with a steel podium. They can be up to 12 stories, but most are 10 or under. They have 50 to 200 units, with double-sided corridors, elevators, and multiple egresses. It is not uncommon for these apartment complexes to have an apartment gym, concierge, and other amenities. They may also have mixed uses, with retail stores on the lower level. They cost $175 - $250 a square foot to build.

High-rise apartment buildings are subject to zoning laws, which dictate exactly how high they can be. They have a tower footprint and are built of concrete and steel. They are always over 12 stories, and many are 20, 30, or 40 stories high. They can have 4 - 20 units per floor, usually a mix of different sizes of studios, one bedrooms, and two bedrooms. They often have gyms, pools, concierge, and other amenities in the building. They cost $225 - $400+ a square foot to build. Roughly every 10 stories increases the cost to build.

Apartment buildings typically become more expensive to build the larger they get. This is partly because the number of units that fit per story increases with the building size, but the materials also change. So there is no one per-story cost or range, but rather different costs per square foot and total ranges based on the approximate size of the finished building. Below is a general idea of costs based on the number of stories. These numbers are an approximate average range, and the actual figures vary depending on multiple factors:

3-story apartment buildings are most likely wood, with a brick or stone veneer, so their building costs are generally lower. Assuming 2 - 4 units per floor, this would cost $3.1 - $3.4 million to complete.

4-story buildings are likely to be partially wood with a brick or stone veneer, if not entirely made of wood. Costs begin to climb for the extra structural support needed. Assuming 4 units per floor, this would have a cost of between $4.5 and $5.5 million to complete.

5-story buildings have a higher cost range than 4 stories, with added units, materials, and construction fees. They also typically have more units per floor at this height, with buildings sometimes achieving as many as 200 for very sprawling complexes. They have an average range of between $7 - $12.5 million.

At this point, your structural needs begin to change. This is still considered a mid-rise structure, but you need to start incorporating steel for added support. You also have more units and potentially more units per floor for a cost of between $10.5 and $16.5 million on average.

20-story buildings have the same cost per square foot as 15 stories and use the same structural materials. Because they are larger, they have higher overall fees, with costs between $25 and $50 million on average.

The same cost per square foot of 15 and 20-story buildings applies to 30-story buildings. The larger number of units and extra materials and labor add to the cost. These properties cost $35 - $75 million to complete on average.

40-story buildings have the same cost per square foot as 15, 20, and 30-story structures. They use the same materials but have more units, material needs, and labor needs. They cost between $50 and $150 million to complete on average.

At this size, most residential buildings fall into the luxury status, which adds even more costs to the building. The cost per square foot and the unit and labor costs overlap with the costs of 15, 20, and 30-story buildings, but finishing costs are at a higher rate, bumping some of the costs to $400 a square foot or higher. Expect starting costs to be between $75 and $250 million.

Apartment buildings can have a wide range of units, which vary in size and scale. It is common for one building to have a mixture of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments of different sizes. Therefore, the number of units can often be a poor measurement of the total cost of an apartment building. A large building can have fewer luxury apartments that are all two bedrooms and cost a lot more than a much smaller building with the same number of units that are a mix of studio and one-bedroom units that are mid-range in finish. Therefore, the cost range per number of units in a building can be enormous.

The cost to build an 8-unit apartment building is between 3.1 and 15.5 million. An apartment building of this size could have between 3 and 6 stories. At this size, its common to start mixing various sizes of apartments on each floor.

A 16-unit apartment building will cost between $3.1 and $18 million. Units of this size may have between 4 and 10 stories. They will also usually have a wide mix of apartment sizes, and potentially some luxury units.

At 50 units, you are officially in a mid-rise apartment building, so your costs increase. If this is a luxury building, it could be more than 12 stories, making it a high-rise, costing between $7 and $50 million.

Given the popularity of high-rise apartment complexes in urban areas, many construction firms turn to modular or prefab building design to cut costs. This can be a much less expensive method of building, lowering the construction cost per square foot and reducing many of the additional soft costs like designer fees. Expect the average cost per square foot for a prefab apartment building to start at about $125 a square foot. This also applies to high-rise buildings, making them much more affordable.

Every project is different, but this is a basic breakdown of the costs. This includes the labor and materials for each section as a percentage of the total project cost. Architect, designer, and builder fees are in addition to the total cost to build.

Location is one of those additional factors. Cities and urban areas typically have higher construction costs than other areas, influencing the total cost per square foot. In addition, the layout or floor plan of the building also impacts the project cost. The more elaborate the floor plan, the higher the costs.

Some apartments have mixed uses. They may include offices or storefronts, and many also offer areas like pools, gyms, social areas, and lobbies. The more amenities a building has, the higher the overall construction costs. For these reasons, the only way to get a true project cost would be to contact a builder or architect specializing in this work.

There is also a wide range of costs associated with owning an apartment complex. The building size, number of occupants, building conditions at the time of the sale, building materials, and location all play a role in the ownership cost.

Also, owning an apartment complex is considered a source of income. Meaning that rather than paying out each month, you take in money that is over and above your operating expenses and the cost to purchase the building, assuming a competitive loan rate. The cost of owning the complex should be between about 20% and 50% of the money brought in by the complex.

When building or purchasing an apartment or rental property as an investment, consider the investment costs of a single-family versus a multi-family residence. With a single-family investment, you purchase a house that you rent to others. If the tenants leave and you have difficulty rerenting it, you will not see a return on your investment during that time, but you still have the maintenance and ownership costs.

Single-family investments usually involve less money upfront but are also less likely to be easily financed. Multi-family investments cost more upfront, but because of the multiple income streams, most banks front the costs more readily.

Most apartment buildings will have above ground parking, with lot sizes that allow for a minimum of one car per unit. Some may have lots that allow two or more cars per unit. Costs per space are between $24,000 and $25,000 for most parking garages, while surface lot costs can be lower at $3 to $7 a square foot.

Average costs to build a single apartment unit start at around $65,000. Studio apartments may cost less depending on size and location - some very small studio apartments may be built for less, but luxury studios may cost more.

This will vary tremendously based on the size of the complex, and the size of the units. Its not uncommon for a complex to have a mix of differently sized apartments. A small complex may have 10 apartments, while a large complex could have 100 or more apartments spread throughout multiple buildings.

Two sections were added to the table on cost of apartment buildings by unit size - 8 and 12Two subsections were added to the section on cost of apartment buildings by unit size - 8 and 12Enhancements section was updated with the costs and information for building a parking garage or lotTwo questions and answers were added to the FAQ section

Updated the introduction with a new project scope and an average project cost range.Added a section on the cost of building per square foot.Added a section on the cost of building per unit.Added a section on the cost per building type with a table and subsections.Added a section on the cost per story.Added a section on the cost per unit.Added a section on the cost of prefab building.Revised the cost breakdown section with new percentages.Added a section on the cost factors that could influence the project.Added a section on the cost of maintenance.Added a section on the cost of owning an apartment building.Added a section on single vs multi-family buildings.Updated the enhancements section with the cost of luxury buildings.Updated the additional considerations section with cost estimates and variations, licensing info, and the 2% rule.Added an FAQ section with 4 questions and answers.Updated the final costs with the national average range.

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