Construction cost in Tahiti and Bora Bora

How much more expensive is construction cost in Tahiti and Bora bora compared to USA or New Zealand? How transportation and tariff cost?
  How much is a 3 bedroom 2 stories is costed to construct?

Hi, I am a retired American engineer and I built a home in Papeari Tahiti adjacent to the water. The cost depends upon several factors. Actual size of the house in square meters, whether you use concrete blocks or wood, one or two stories, what quality of amenities you include, and how much of the house you build yourself or if you have someone else build it. Also, the cost of land must be considered - if it is near the water, it will cost much more. Bora Bora is much more expensive than the island of Tahiti. The cost is significantly more expensive than in USA for the same size house, so most people have a small home, no air conditioning, use solar panels for hot water. If you tell me more details, I may be able to give you an approximate cost. Where do you live now?
Steve,  (Manarii Tane, my Tahitian name)

Thank you for your reply.

We are wondering about the cost of building a house on our own land in Moorea . How much is the cost of house with standard Tahitian techniques compared to a 2-stories house that uses more expensive construction materials like those in the States?

Can you tell me how much does it cost to build yours? Amenities?

   Bora Bora is a dream for future. The cost is probably much more expensive due to transportation cost but do you know how much more?

My house is in the district of Papeari on the island of Tahiti adjacent to the water at PK52. It has 5 rooms, 2 bedrooms, one indoor bathroom, one kitchen, a total of about 1500 square feet (140 square meters. It is made of wood and fibrocement siding, steel roof, the standard building materials. The house is built on top of 3 feet (one meter) pilings.  I have a solar water heater to obtain free hot water. No air conditioning needed because I live on the water and there is always a breeze. My boat is in the backyard. I had the land for many years. The house cost me about $290,000 American dollars (27,000,000 CFP - tahitian currency), 3 years ago. You need a government permit to build and that costs about $2000 American dollars. You will need a deposit fee to hook up water line and electrical. The cost for Moorea is about the same as Tahiti. Bora Bora is about 5 to 10 times as much for the same size house, but most resident homes on Bora Bora are much smaller in size. If you have land in Bora Bora, you should sell it and build on Moorea. Do you have a permit to live in French Polynesia? You need to get this before you even consider building because they might not allow you stay for more than a few months each year. I hope this helps.

Hello Steve,

I am an American currently living with my French wife on Réunion island in the Indian Ocean.  Recently, we learned that we will be transferring to French Polynesia to teach on the island of Manihi.  I was wondering if you have any information about what paperwork that I need as an American to live in Polynesia.  I would only assume that there is a special process.  Any other general information about living there would also be greatly appreciated!


Robert and Daphne

Ia Orana Robert and Daphne,
Nice to meet you. Wow, Manihi in the Tuamotus? I have been their diving. That is very remote and I think  less than 1000 people live there. Do you already have a place to live or rent? One paperwork you will need is your marriage certificate as your wife is French so you won't have as much of an issue as I did. (I married a Tahitian girl after I moved here.) They will probably ask how you will support yourself as they don't want anyone to be a burden on their society, financially speaking. In my case, they wanted to see my bank statements and investments. If your teaching position will pay enough, that is usually good enough, as long as you already have been accepted for the position and you have their offer in writing. I hope this helps. Let me know if you need anything else.
Steve (Manarii Tane)

Hi Steve
How did they assess your new house for property tax? I think new construction is exempted for 5 years but I am curious how much would it be afterward?

The real estate tax is 10% of the home value, but the tax is levied on 75% of the home value. Some districts add 5%, like Punuaauia. Yes, new homes are exempt for 5 years. Hope this helps. Lots of other taxes, but at least there is no income tax!
Steve (Manarii Tane)

Does that mean the tax on a $300,000 house is $22,500 per year? I though there is a 4 percent rental value assessment so 22,500*4%=900?

I guess the 4% is the interest rate applied to get the rental value in situation that the house is not rent( hence no rental value obtained directly).

Btw, how much is the average yearly home insurance?

Say about 75 to 100 square meters.I am an engineer myself and will probably retire in Tahiti I would like to talk to you more about it.How long have you lived there?

Ia Orana,
I have lived here in Papeari, Tahiti for almost 10 years. I have a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and I am still registered in Florida. I owned a medical device company and sold it when I was made a nice offer.  I would be happy to answer any questions for you, if I can. Have you visited here before? What islands? Do you know French?

Steve (Manarii Tane)

Hi & Iorana!

First let me thank you in advance for taking the time and making the effort to provide me with any information.

I haven't yet been to French Polynesia, but since I have many relatives there who I plan to hopefully visit in approximately one year, I have been dreaming about relocating there if it lives up to my expectations and would be possible. I know the cost of living is relatively high in some ares such as food, housing, etc., but although I am not rich by any means, I would have a retirement pension that I think would be enough to live happily. I expect to be living as a single father with my two young sons who would be about 8 and 9 years old next year. None of speak any French unfortunately, but I do speak Spanish and think I could learn enough French within a year to make it comfortable. I have dual US and European citizenship through Ireland, so I can reside legally in France. I don't know if that would allow me to at the least get some sort of residency in French Polynesia when it is combined with a decent guaranteed income from my retirement pensions which I will have two next year.
I would be satisfied renting a small apartment or home within a reasonable walking distance of a grocery store and public bus transportation.
So, if there is any way to estimate how much a father and two young sons would have to spend each month to survive, I would love some estimates. I do not plan on having a boat nor an expensive car; I am not a fancy person who needs expensive clothes or jewelry. I would describe myself as spending about the same as the average person for most things. I would expect to have a car of course. I know health care can be a big variable, so of course I would expect to buy health insurance.
I know that's a lot of information I'm seeking, and I know there are many more questions still to be asked and answered, but at least I would like to get a start on knowing what is possible!
My ancestors settled in Tahiti many generations ago and have multiplied exponentially. I have been lucky enough to connect with many of them and maintain a mostly online relationship with them over the last 8 years; at least three of them have now visited my home and I really liked them very much - in fact, I liked so much about their culture that now I am seriously thinking of living my life time dream of living in the South Pacific. I have been to Hawaii and loved it very much; of course if my family was there I would probably relocate there, especially since I have some properties there, but I don't want to miss the opportunity to be near family so that it's easier to settle in, especially for my young children who are everything to me.

Okay, that's it for now and I hope somebody will respond and try to steer me in the right direction.

I thank you sincerely for any helpful information, and bless you!

Royal Blue

Did you get information about the visa you could get 1st of all?

Hi Daphne,
Great question, that would be wise to begin!  No, I haven't even started yet, therefore I will pose that question once I learn the best way to approach it, and who best to ask.
As of now, I have at least 5 more weeks to wait before I can make any permanent plans such as relocation.  I know I'm seeking some answers and that may be a little immature,  but any information would still be appreciated!

I don't know what  the odds of getting a residency visa are, but I'm hoping my stable financial status and regular guaranteed incomes may help me.

Thanks Da phone for responding!

Royal Blue

I'd say you need around 300 000xpf a month to live as renting and groceries are expensive.
My husband is American and I am French. The woman who is in charge of the foreigners' office at le Haut-Commissariat is called Mrs Dexter.
There's also an American consulate at Tamanu shopping mall in Tahiti.
Not easy here for foreigners to get visas and settle here, the policy is quite protectionist.

Has anyone ever built or know anything about building a home in French Polynesia ?
And buying land, is that possible for an outsider?

Bespoke development wrote:

Has anyone ever built or know anything about building a home in French Polynesia ?
And buying land, is that possible for an outsider?

It's possible but families here try to keep their land in the family. For instance, they have their ancestors'  graves in their yard,which makes it impossible for outsiders to buy the land.

wear can i find timber and builder supply in Tahiti

There are many building supply companies in Tahiti, such as ENTREPRISE PUGIBET, that sell everything you need for building a house.
Manarii Tane
Papeari, Tahiti

thanks for you reply do you now the cost of inported goods

No, I don't know the cost, but I do know that some imported goods have an import tax on them.


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Hi I am looking to buy a house in Moorea and need reliable professionals to conduct a building, land and pest inspection. Can anyone recommend a certified professional please.




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