How Long Does It Take to Build Multifamily Housing?

The 2012 Survey of Construction (SOC) from the Census Bureau shows that on average it takes about 12.5 months from obtaining a building permit to completing construction of a multifamily building.

In a previous post, we examined the average time it takes to build a single-family home (7 months). In a question posed on NAHB’s Facebook page, a reader asked for the comparable data for multifamily construction.

MF build time_2012

The SOC data reveals that the average time for multifamily properties is 12.5 months, and it varies with the size of the building. For 2012, buildings with 2 to 4 units had an average of 11.2 months from time of authorization to completion. Buildings with 5 to 9 units had the highest average (14.5 months), while 10 to 19 unit properties came in at 11.9 months. The largest properties, those with 20 or more units, had an average of over a year, at 13.4 months.

regional MF build time_2013

Similar to the regional variation exhibited in the average duration of construction for single-family homes, there are significant geographic differences. The region with the longest average period of construction is the Northeast, following by the West. In general, the Midwest had the shortest recorded length of construction.

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