A Nation of Builders


Every year the National Association of Home Builders conducts a member census to better understand the composition and characteristics of the people who belong to its organization. In 2018, 32 percent of NAHB’s members were builders—those whose primary business is single-family home building, multifamily building, residential or commercial remodeling, commercial building, land development, or manufacturing of modular/panelized/log homes. The remaining 68 percent were associate members—those involved in support industries and professions, such as trade contractors, manufacturers, retailers/distributors, designers, and architects.

Of the 38,233 builder members, 61 percent are single-family builders (spec/tract, custom, or general contracting), 22 percent are residential remodelers, 5 percent each are commercial and multifamily builders, and 4 percent are land developers. One percent each are commercial remodelers and manufacturers of modular/panelized log homes (Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1. Share of Builder Members by Primary Business Activity – 2018
(Percent of Respondents)

Company Details

NAHB’s builder members reported that they had a median of 5 employees on payroll in 2018. The plurality of builders – 32 percent – had 2 to 4 employees and about a quarter had 5 to 9. The median number of employees on payroll has been 5 since 2015.

In 2018, builder members started a median of 6 housing units, up from 5 in 2017. The plurality of builder members – 21 percent – started 2 or 3 units.

The median dollar volume of business among builder members was $2.7 million in 2018, unchanged from 2017. The median dollar volume of business essentially plateaued between 2008 and 2011, with levels ranging from $0.9 to $1 million dollars, then rose sharply between 2012 ($1.1 million) and 2015 ($2.5 million). It slipped to $2.4 million in 2016, and increased in 2017 and 2018 to reach its highest level since the inception of the Census ($2.7 million).

Builder Details

The median age of NAHB builder members was 57 in 2018, unchanged from 2017. Fifty-three percent of members have either a college or a graduate/professional degree.

For more details about NAHB builder members and a profile of each type of member, please visit housingeconomics.com or click here for the full article.

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