Nearly half of builders continue to use aerial drones, according to a March survey conducted by NAHB.
Overall, 44% of builders reported using drones in 2019 — down just slightly from the 46% in 2018, but considerably higher than the 22% who reported using drones in 2016, the first time NAHB included the survey question.
So how are these eyes in the skies being used? By far, the most common purpose is aerial photographs for promotional materials. A whopping 84% reported this is the primary reason for their use of drones, compared to under 30% who cited other motives such as tracking progress during development of the site or seeking preliminary surveillance before starting the project.
Drone use steadily rises in tandem with the number of homes started. The NAHB survey shows the portions of builders using drones in 2018 included:
- 31% of those with fewer than six starts
- 40% of those with six to 24 starts
- 55% of those with 25 to 99 starts
- 75% of those with 100 or more starts
NAHB Senior Economist Paul Emrath provides more details in this Eye on Housing blog post