In 2016, 22 percent of single-family builders said they had used aerial drones at least once. In March 2018, the share of drone use increased to 46 percent, according to NAHB data.
The National Association of Home Builders recently reevaluated single-family home builders' drone usage, finding that it was most common among larger builders. Their data show that in 2016, 43 percent of builders who started 100 homes a year or more reported using drones, versus the 12 percent share for builders with fewer than 6 starts. Yet, drone usage in 2018 is up among all four builder size categories. The smallest builder categories experienced the greatest growth: builders with between six and 24 starts per year doubled their drone use from 23 percent to 46 percent, and builders with fewer than six starts increased from 12 to 38 percent over the two years measured.
When asked to rate the likelihood on a scale of 1 to 5 (where 1=not at all likely; 5=very likely) the average rating among all single-family builders climbed from 2.9 in 2016 to 3.2 in 2018. Again, the pro-drone tendencies were stronger among larger builders. And again, a rising trend was evident across builders of all size categories—except among builders with 25 to 99 starts, where the average likelihood of using drones over the next three years was roughly the same in 2016 and 2018.