How Long Does it Take to Build a Single-Family Home?

Filed in Economics by on August 19, 2015 18 Comments

In the recent Eye on Housing blog post “How Long Does it Take to Build a Single-Family Home,” NAHB Economist Na Zhao analyzes how much time from start to finish builders need in different parts of the country to complete a house.

How does this analysis compare to how things work where you live? This infographic lets you compare: Hover over the maps to see how many months a build usually takes, and move your cursor over the bar graph to see all the data.



Comments (18)

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  1. Robert Shapiro says:

    It would be useful to know how long it take to get a permit from permit application to permit in different parts of the county.


  2. Brad says:

    I think the analysis is pretty accurate. We average 6-8 months on our custom homes in North Carolina. Nice to know we’re around the average.

  3. Jack Baker says:

    What is the average value of the home used to come up with construction time?

    • NAHB Now says:

      The Survey of Construction shows the average sales price of newly started single-family home was $337,493. It does not have data on the value of custom-built homes. But the average value of this type of homes is expected to be higher than the homes built for sale.

  4. Ken Ward says:

    It would be interesting to see some seasonal data as well as perhaps some track spec home vs. semi-custom or larger homes. When I first saw this article I thought this might be something informative to link from our website which is visited by builders but also by our homeowners and potential homeowners of our builder clients. However, I am hesitant to put something like this out there because inevitably someone will complain about their home taking too long to build and then a builder will get made at us. Don’t want that.

  5. Greg Boyer says:

    A “single family home” is a broad definition. In my area that could mean a 1500sf production home or an 11,000sf custom. Build times could be 4 months or 18 months. Nevertheless it’s always nice to see new data. Thanks for the info.

  6. Duane says:

    It would be useful to know how long from initial contact to permit application too. Pretty accurate on build time, etc. here in Oregon. I’m currently in process of building two custom homes and I first met the customer in November 2014. They selected us as their builder in February 2015. Started the design review process (received payment) in April and just submitted permits to the city. This phase seems to take the longest time to get financing and final design completed. We’re waiting for final financing to be completed so we can start getting paid so it’s a waiting game now.


  7. What is the difference between Non-MSA & MSA?

    • NAHB Now says:

      MSA stands for Metropolitan Statistical Area and Non-MSA is a non Metropolitan Statistical Area. An MSA is a geographic region in the country with relatively high population density and economic ties throughout the area. For example, Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland would be an MSA around Washington, D.C.

  8. Ken Semler says:

    It would be interesting to see the comparison by the NAHB to show the time reduction using modular construction versus the stats provided in the infographic for onsite/outdoor construction. Modern modular construction’s ability to provide a high quality product without the long term outdoor exposure to the elements could help illustrate just one more advantage to modular construction. Are those statistics tracked?

    • NAHB Now says:

      Ken, we don’t have any real-time data tracked for comparing modular construction to stick-built. However, many builders and manufacturers have quoted time savings of 25 – 50% along with cost savings.

  9. Joe says:

    Great article. Anyone who has dealt with the permitting process knows that an estimate on that time frame is merely a guess. It is way to subjective to even begin to try to quantify. Even if you managed to establish an average, it would be worthless. I suppose a definition of a typical single family home would’ve been helpful, but common sense should tell you it’s about a 3bed/2bath, +\-1600sq/ft., w/garage, spec built structure.

    So I would say this is very helpful, thanks.

  10. Ken Semler says:

    I am sorry. I didn’t realize modular comments were being deleted from this stream. How can we get modular construction data?

    • NAHB Now says:

      We don’t have hard data right now on modular construction however, you can learn more about it here. We will pass this along to our economics team to see if we can collect some data for you.


  11. Great infographic here! Informative indeed! Usually, with sales, they tell you it will be completed in the months that you required it to be completed, but upon seeing the builder’s contract, it will range to 1-2 years, which worry clients for the most part, but this is only a leeway builders give themselves. Usually, it only takes a year for them to complete.

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