The 2016 Survey of Construction (SOC) from the Census Bureau shows that the average completion time of a single-family house is around 7.5 months, which usually includes almost a month from authorization to start and another 6.5 months to finish the construction. The timeline from authorization to completion, however, which is not consistent across the nation, depends on the housing category, the geographic location, and metropolitan status.
Among all the single-family houses completed in 2016, houses built for sale took the shortest time, 7 months to completion after obtaining building permits, while houses built by owners required the longest time, 13 months. Homes built for rent took 10 months from permit to completion, and those built by hired contractors normally needed around 9 months. A large proportion of single-family homes built for sale and custom homes built by contractors on owners’ land began construction within the same month after obtaining building authorizations. However, homes built for rent and custom homes built by owners serving as general contractors had a one-month lag between obtaining permits and construction start in 2016.