It now takes less time than ever to build a house

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Back in 2000, it took an average of nearly six months to build a house from the date construction was started to the completion date. As per the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, these times slowly rose until 2007, after which they began to fall rapidly. They reached an average of 4.5 months, a decrease of 25 percent, by 2010 and have remained relatively stable since. You can see the complete dynamics on the following chart:


One thing to note: the data suggests a further decrease in 2013, but this is likely due to some freshly-built houses not being registered in the survey yet.

Let’s go into some more details. What does the construction time depend on? Interestingly, houses with two bedrooms or less take the longest time to build — around 10 percent longer than houses with three to four bedrooms, and even longer than the largest houses, which have five or more bedrooms. This also appears to depend upon construction method; it will save you more than a month on average to opt for a modular construction. Also, despite being advertised as a compromise between modular and site-built houses in terms of construction times, panelized houses take nearly as much time as the latter, with the difference not being statistically significant.


We should also note that houses built for sale usually take less time to complete than those built by owners or contractors.

Last but not least, does location make a difference? It appears that it doesn’t really matter whether or not the construction site is located within a metropolitan area, but the region does matter. In fact, there’s a significant difference between both Northeast census divisions (from 5.9 to 6.3 months) and all other divisions, where the average construction time never reaches more than five months.


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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

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