Small Companies Dominate NAHB Membership

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NAHB's recently published 2018 membership census reveals that the typical builder member today is a 57-year-old small business owner with a median number of five employees and a median six housing units started in 2018. More than six out of 10 NAHB builder members are single-family builders, according to the NAHB census. Of the 38,233 builder members, 61% are single-family builders (spec/tract, custom,or general contracting), 22% are residential remodelers, 5% each are commercial and multifamily builders, and 4% are land developers. One percent each are commercial remodelers and manufacturers of modular/panelized log homes.

Company Details

NAHB’s builder members reported that they had a median of five employees on payroll in 2018, which has remained unchanged since 2015. A further breakdown of the number of workers on payroll is as follows:
  • No employees: 3%
  • One employee: 13%
  • Two to four employees: 32%
  • Five to nine employees: 24%
  • 10 to 49 employees: 23%
  • 50 to 49 employees: 3%
  • 100 employees or more: 2%
In 2018, builder members started a median of six housing units, up from five in 2017. The plurality of builder members – 21% -- started two or three units, as shown in exhibit 3 below. The median dollar volume of builder members in 2018 was $2.7 million, unchanged from 2017 and the highest level since the inception of the NAHB census in 2008. The median dollar volume of business essentially plateaued between 2008 and 2011, with levels ranging from $900,000 to $1 million, then rose sharply between 2012 ($1.1 million) and 2015 ($2.5 million). It slipped to $2.4 million in 2016. NAHB economist Carmel Ford provides more details in this Eye on Housing blog post.

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