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Most and Least Expensive States to Build a Home

Cameron Huddleston
Most and Least Expensive States to Build a Home

There are pros and cons to building your own home. Certainly, price is one of the factors if you’re trying to decide whether to build or buy a home, so it can pay to understand the home-building market in your state. To help, GOBankingRates pinpointed where it’s the most and least expensive to build a house.

Click through to see the best and worst states to build a home, starting with the worst.

50. Hawaii

Estimated cost to build a house: $288,066
Estimated hourly labor cost: $27.01

Hawaii has both the highest estimated cost to build a house and the highest estimated hourly labor cost. It’s not surprising, considering that another GOBankingRates study found that Hawaii is one of the most expensive places to spend your real estate dollars.

49. California

Estimated cost to build a house: $259,726
Estimated hourly labor cost: $21.26

California isn’t far behind Hawaii when it comes to the high cost of building a home in the state. It’s one of the states facing a real estate bubble, so building or buying a home might be out of reach for many because of rising prices.

48. Washington

Estimated cost to build a house: $238,898
Estimated hourly labor cost: $22

The average hourly wage for construction laborers in Washington is the eighth highest in our rankings. However, the state has the third-highest estimated cost of building a home.

47. Massachusetts

Estimated cost to build a house: $228,490
Estimated hourly labor cost: $25.84

Massachusetts has the sixth-highest estimated cost to build a home. It also has the third-highest labor cost in our rankings.

46. Alaska

Estimated cost to build a house: $228,064
Estimated hourly labor cost: $23.88

Statewide, the estimated cost to build a home in Alaska is the seventh-highest in our rankings, but the average cost to build a home in the state’s three largest cities is the third highest. Plus, Alaska has the fifth-highest labor cost.

45. New York

Estimated cost to build a house: $233,202
Estimated hourly labor cost: $23.11

New York has the fourth-highest estimated cost to build a house and sixth-highest labor cost. But you won’t be much better off purchasing a house because another GOBankingRates study found that New York is one of the least affordable states to buy a home.

44. Illinois

Estimated cost to build a house: $223,329
Estimated hourly labor cost: $27.01

Illinois has the eighth-highest estimated cost to build a home. However, it has the highest labor cost, tied with Hawaii.

43. New Jersey

Estimated cost to build a house: $222,073
Estimated hourly labor cost: $24.05

New Jersey is one of the worst states to build a home because of high labor costs. Building costs also are among the highest in the U.S.

42. Connecticut

Estimated cost to build a house: $219,599
Estimated hourly labor cost: $21.47

Connecticut has the 11th-highest estimated cost to build a home, but its average labor cost is the ninth-highest in our rankings. Plus, the average cost of building a home in the state’s three largest cities is the sixth-highest.

41. Delaware

Estimated cost to build a house: $231,060
Estimated hourly labor cost: $16.57

Delaware has the fifth-highest estimated cost to build a home. But its labor cost is lower than in about half of the states. Fortunately for homeowners, Delaware is one of the states with the most affordable home insurance.

40. Oregon

Estimated cost to build a house: $218,013
Estimated hourly labor cost: $18.13

Labor costs are lower in Oregon than in many of the most expensive states to build a home. However, the average cost to build homes in the state’s three largest cities is the seventh-highest in our rankings.

39. Colorado

Estimated cost to build a house: $220,944
Estimated hourly labor cost: $16.52

Labor costs in Colorado are lower than in about half of the states. But the state’s expensive real estate market gives it the 10th-highest average cost to build a home. In fact, Colorado is one of the few states where owning a home is more expensive than renting.

38. Rhode Island

Estimated cost to build a house: $207,351
Estimated hourly labor cost: $20.45

Relatively high labor costs make Rhode Island one of the more expensive places to build a home. High structure costs also contribute to the state’s overall high building costs.

37. Utah

Estimated cost to build a house: $214,376
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14.80

The average hourly wage for construction laborers is lower in Utah than in a majority of states. However, the average building cost is the 13th-highest in our rankings.

36. Nevada

Estimated cost to build a house: $200,411
Estimated hourly labor cost: $18.90

Higher building costs in Nevada’s three largest cities drag the state down in the rankings somewhat. If you want to build in Nevada, you might want to consider a city such as Boulder City — which GOBankingRates ranked as one of the best places to buy a home.

35. Maryland

Estimated cost to build a house: $206,687
Estimated hourly labor cost: $15.96

The average labor cost in Maryland is lower than in more than half of the states. But building costs are relatively high, which is why it’s one of the more expensive states in which to build a home.

34. Arizona

Estimated cost to build a house: $209,341
Estimated hourly labor cost: $15.84

The cost of construction labor is cheaper in Arizona than in a majority of states. It has the 14th-highest average cost to build a home.

33. Florida

Estimated cost to build a house: $208,825
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14

A relatively high average structure cost lands Florida among the most expensive places to build. Although it’s not one of the cheapest states to build a house, Florida is home to some of the best cities to own investment property, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

32. Pennsylvania

Estimated cost to build a house: $197,901
Estimated hourly labor cost: $18.61

A relatively high average labor cost makes Pennsylvania one of the more expensive states to build a home. The average structure cost also is higher than in a majority of states.

31. Idaho

Estimated cost to build a house: $205,489
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14.41

The cost of construction labor is cheaper in Idaho than in most states. But the average cost of building a home is relatively high, which is why the state ranks among the most expensive places to build.

30. Minnesota

Estimated cost to build a house: $181,873
Estimated hourly labor cost: $22.88

The average cost of building a home in Minnesota is lower than in a majority of states. However, it has the seventh-highest average labor cost in our rankings.

29. Wisconsin

Estimated cost to build a house: $190,294
Estimated hourly labor cost: $19.93

Like its neighbor Minnesota, Wisconsin has relatively high labor costs. That’s why it’s not one of the cheapest states to build a home.

28. Virginia

Estimated cost to build a house: $199,632
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14.31

The average cost of building a home in Virginia is higher than in more than half of the states. But the state’s labor cost is cheaper than in most states.

27. Montana

Estimated cost to build a house: $187,997
Estimated hourly labor cost: $18.06

Montana ranks near the middle of states for its estimated average building cost. But its labor cost is higher than in more than half of the states.

26. Vermont

Estimated cost to build a house: $185,910
Estimated hourly labor cost: $15.94

The cost of construction labor in Vermont is cheaper than in more than half of the states, as is its average building cost. But the average cost of building a home in Vermont’s three largest cities is the 13th-highest in our rankings.

25. Wyoming

Estimated cost to build a house: $186,615
Estimated hourly labor cost: $16.45

Although the average cost of building a home in Wyoming is lower than in some of the cheaper states to build, the average labor cost is slightly higher.

24. New Hampshire

Estimated cost to build a house: $179,442
Estimated hourly labor cost: $17.16

Relatively high labor costs prevent New Hampshire from doing better in our rankings. Its average building cost is actually lower than in a majority of states.

23. Maine

Estimated cost to build a house: $187,222
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14.93

Maine’s labor cost is lower than in a majority of states. Its average building cost, though, is higher than the cost in about half of the states.

22. South Carolina

Estimated cost to build a house: $183,264
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14.31

Relatively low building costs and an average labor cost that’s the 10th-lowest on our list help make South Carolina one of the cheaper states in which to build a home.

21. New Mexico

Estimated cost to build a house: $189,137
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14.30

New Mexico’s average structure cost is higher than in half of the states. But its cheap labor cost helps make the state one of the less expensive places to build a home.

20. Indiana

Estimated cost to build a house: $178,353
Estimated hourly labor cost: $18.57

If it weren’t for Indiana’s relatively high labor cost, the state would rank even better. That’s because its average building cost is the 18th-lowest.

19. Missouri

Estimated cost to build a house: $173,168
Estimated hourly labor cost: $20.51

Missouri’s average building cost is even lower than Indiana’s. Its high labor cost prevents it from ranking higher on our list, though.

18. North Carolina

Estimated cost to build a house: $185,788
Estimated hourly labor cost: $13.50

North Carolina’s cheap labor cost — the second-lowest in our rankings — helps make the state one of the less expensive places to build a home. In fact, some of the best cities for aspiring millennial homeowners are in North Carolina, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

17. Tennessee

Estimated cost to build a house: $184,355
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14.25

Although Tennessee’s labor cost is higher than North Carolina’s, the average cost of building a house is lower. That helps it claim the No. 17 spot in our rankings.

16. Texas

Estimated cost to build a house: $176,045
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14.62

Building a home in Texas is cheaper than in a majority of states, thanks to low structure and labor costs. In fact, there are several Texas cities where home prices have plummeted, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

15. Georgia

Estimated cost to build a house: $171,883
Estimated hourly labor cost: $15.69

The average cost of building a home in Georgia is lower than in most states. However, you’ll pay more in the state’s biggest cities. In fact, Atlanta is one of the cities where home prices are skyrocketing, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

14. Louisiana

Estimated cost to build a house: $171,955
Estimated hourly labor cost: $15.07

Expect to pay more to build a home in Louisiana’s biggest cities than the statewide average of $171,955. That said, even the average cost of building a home in those places is cheaper than in most states.

13. Kentucky

Estimated cost to build a house: $168,134
Estimated hourly labor cost: $15.97

Kentucky’s average building cost is the 12th-lowest in our rankings. However, it’s labor cost is the 22nd-lowest.

12. North Dakota

Estimated cost to build a house: $155,541
Estimated hourly labor cost: $19.10

Despite having the sixth-lowest average building cost, North Dakota doesn’t make it into the top 10 cheapest places to build a home. That’s because the average hourly cost of construction labor is higher here than in a majority of states.

11. Alabama

Estimated cost to build a house: $175,061
Estimated hourly labor cost: $13.74

Alabama has the third-lowest average construction labor cost in our study. However, its estimated building cost ranks 16th, which keeps it out of the top 10 cheapest places to build overall.

10. Ohio

Estimated cost to build a house: $160,212
Estimated hourly labor cost: $19.20

Ohio has the ninth-lowest average building cost in our rankings. However, the average hourly wage for construction labor is higher here than in a majority of states.

9. Kansas

Estimated cost to build a house: $160,726
Estimated hourly labor cost: $16.29

A low average cost to build a home statewide and in its three largest cities helps Kansas land the No. 9 spot in our rankings of the cheapest places to build a house.

8. Iowa

Estimated cost to build a house: $155,686
Estimated hourly labor cost: $17.23

If it weren’t for its relatively high labor cost, Iowa would have fared even better in the rankings. Its average cost to build a house is the seventh-lowest in our rankings.

7. South Dakota

Estimated cost to build a house: $157,110
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14.02

South Dakota has the eighth-lowest average cost to build a house. The state’s average labor cost is the sixth-lowest in our rankings.

6. West Virginia

Estimated cost to build a house: $154,157
Estimated hourly labor cost: $16.47

West Virginia has the fourth-lowest average cost to build a home. It doesn’t rank higher, however, because the average labor cost is higher than in about half of the states.

5. Michigan

Estimated cost to build a house: $150,310
Estimated hourly labor cost: $18.31

The average labor cost in Michigan is higher than in more than half of the states, but it has the second-lowest building cost. In fact, another GOBankingRates study found that Michigan is one of the best states for first-time homebuyers.

4. Arkansas

Estimated cost to build a house: $162,662
Estimated hourly labor cost: $12.38

Arkansas has the lowest construction labor cost in our rankings. It’s not the cheapest place to build a house because its average building cost is the 11th-lowest.

3. Nebraska

Estimated cost to build a house: $152,263
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14.50

Nebraska has the 13th-lowest labor cost. It lands in the No. 3 spot on our list because it has the third-lowest building cost.

2. Mississippi

Estimated cost to build a house: $155,215
Estimated hourly labor cost: $13.92

Mississippi has the fifth-lowest building cost in our rankings. But it claims the No. 2 spot among cheapest places to build a home because its three largest cities have the lowest average building cost on our list. Its average labor cost is the fourth lowest, as well.

1. Oklahoma

Estimated cost to build a house: $145,912
Estimated hourly labor cost: $14.19

Cheap labor and building costs help Oklahoma land in the No. 1 spot for the cheapest places to build a home. The average cost to build an 1,800-square-foot home here is the lowest in the U.S.

Do You Live in One of the Cheapest Places to Build a House?

No matter which state you live in, building a home is not cheap — but it’s certainly more affordable in some states compared to others. And if you live in a state with a high cost of living, you might face higher building costs as well.

The study found that there’s a correlation between states with a high cost of living and states where it’s more expensive to build a home. For example, Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, New York and Alaska have the highest cost of living in the U.S., according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. And all five of those states are among the six most expensive states to build a home.

Meanwhile, a few of the states with the lowest cost of living — Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas and Michigan, for example — are also among the cheapest states to build a home.

Learn more:

Methodology: To determine the least and most expensive states to build a home, GOBankingRates looked at three factors: 1) the average cost to build a new one-story, 1,800-square-foot home with a half-finished basement, sourced from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; 2) the average cost to build a house of all sizes in the three largest cities in each state, sourced from National Association of Home Builders and Sperling’s Best Places; and 3) the mean hourly wage for construction laborers, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Most and Least Expensive States to Build a Home