Apartment in Bucharest or a house near the city? You could pay the same price

Aurel Dragan 23/08/2018 | 12:37

Building a house is one of the things that many people in big cities, living in an apartment building, wish for. But the price of land plots inside the city is usually too high or the supply doesn’t exist, so the alternative is to find some land outside the city. The agency Welcome Home calculated how much a small house in these areas would cost, and found that the price for a 2-bedroom house (EUR 85,000) is similar to the price of an apartment in the city.

Here’s what the budget for the construction of a house from scratch looks like and what costs should be taken into account by those who want to move from an apartment to a house.


The land area should be at least twice as large as the ground footprint of the house and ideally, you should also consult an architect in the parcel selection process. If the owner of the land does not have a town planning certificate, you should request one yourself. It indicates the maximum value of the land occupation percentage (POT) and the land use coefficient (CUT), as well as the height of the construction.

Given that land prices in Bucharest are prohibitive for most of those who want to build a house, the demand moves to the localities of Ilfov County. Some of the most sought-after areas are Ştefăneşti, Pantelimon, Berceni, Domneşti, Chitila or Otopeni. The price per square meter differs depending on location and proximity to public transport and the presence of utilities. The report looked at the average prices for 400 square meter plots.

For a 400 square meter plot in Stefanesti (North-East of Bucharest) you will pay EUR 20,000, EUR 16,000 in Pantelimon (East), EUR 10,000 in Berceni (South), EUR 12,000 in Domnesti (West), EUR 22,000 in Chitila (North-West) and EUR 40,000 in Otopeni (North).


The design phase is one of the most important, although many only perceive it as aesthetic. The designer is tasked with developing the complete technical design, the execution details which are verified with a MLPAT verifier, the sanitary, thermal and electrical projects, the technical documentation for obtaining the construction permit and the estimates for the necessary quantity of materials provided in the technical project. An average cost for design services ranges between EUR 12-20 / sqm + VAT.

Customers can opt for a custom pre-set plan, or a 100 percent personalized plan according to their housing needs, stylistic preferences, land size and orientation, etc.


Although the least expensive parts in the entire construction budget, they are the ones that cause the biggest headaches, assuming many roads and time lost in queues at various authorities and institutions. The necessary documents for submitting the documentation for the construction authorization are those from the environment, electricity, gas, as well as the sanitary opinion. They cost between RON 150-250.

Depending on the positioning, you may also need advice from other institutions such as the Romanian Aviation Authority (if the land is near an airport), MapN (if the land is near a military objective), etc. For construction permits, a percentage of the building value of the house, as defined by the designer, is taken into account. It is paid in two installments of 0.1 percent and 0.8 percent respectively of the value of the house.


Collaboration with a construction company is preferable for quality control and obtaining a warranty certificate. Typically, 50-year terms for structure, 10 years for hidden vices and 2 years for labor are working. In the process of construction there are four parts that work together for the good work: the designer, the beneficiary, the contractor and the site engineer (obligatory, by legislation). After the contractor has been appointed, a business contract is signed between the two parties and, in general, the works are carried out in three stages:

Stage 1 – site organization, casting foundation and structure -prescribes payment of 30 percent of the value of the contract.

Stage 2 – Gray, semi-finished house: Finished interior and exterior joinery, carpentry, windows and exterior doors, screeds, electric, thermal and sanitary routes and the roof – requires 40 percent of the contract value.

Stage 3 – white house, completely finished in the interior: ceramic wall and floor tiles, parquet, sockets, switches, sanitary fixtures, radiators, interior doors – it requires payment of the remaining 20 percent ​​of the contract value.

Construction prices vary depending on the chosen building solution (brick / metal or wood structure), the contractor’s seniority and reputation as well as the quality of construction materials. For a house on brick structure, the stage in white, with standard finishes the prices differ between EUR 300-350 / sqm + VAT.


The connection to the electricity grid is made from the construction site and implies a provisional fee of about RON 1,500 as well as an annual subscription. The final connection costs about RON 3,500 – 4,000.

The price for water and sewerage is between EUR 2,500-3,000 and may increase depending on the distance to the sewerage network.

The connection to the gas network can be done after the reception of the house and it costs a cost of about RON 3,000 to the gate. Depending on the distance to the house, a supplement of 30-50 percent is added.


For this stage, some of the contractors offer interior design services for turnkey home delivery, or you can choose a separate designer. For a house P + 1 with a surface of 120 sqm (useful area of approximately 85 sqm), with kitchen, living and dining room, toilet, two bedrooms, dressing room and bathroom the cost can vary between EUR 8,000 – 10,000, VAT included, for medium quality furniture – IKEA or Mobexpert. This cost includes furniture for all rooms, home appliances (fridge, washing machine and dishwasher, hob and oven), carpets, lighting, curtains, curtains and various decorations.


The final stage, which is done simultaneously with the furniture side, involves the arrangement of the fence and courtyard with lawns and pavements to elaborate projects with complex vegetation – flowers, trees or ponds. A basic package for a yard of 300 sq m including fence, lawn and pavements can be between EUR 3,000 – 4,000 including VAT.


What is our final budget? Taking into account a 400 sq m land in Stefănesti, we reach a total budget of EUR 85,000, all taxes included for a turnkey house on a brick structure with a surface of 120 sqm (a usable area of ​​approximately 85 sqm). There are also cheaper alternatives with different construction solutions – either metal structure houses or pre-fabricated wooden houses (costs start here from EUR 200 + VAT / sqm). There are cases where some clients prefer not to work with companies and hire teams of workers to stop paying VAT, but quality control is precarious. In our calculation, we considered the preferred option for most of the people in Bucharest – the brick structure, for a middle-income family. These are the ones who usually choose between an apartment in a semi-central area or a house in the suburbs.

Welcome Home is the first real estate project management agency for individuals.

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