Fewer Custom Homes Built in 2017

December 14, 2018
House exterior
Photo: Unsplash/Mark Grandcourt

New analysis of construction data show that only 20 percent of single-family homes started in 2017 were custom, the lowest level since mid-2000.

The share of custom-built homes in the U.S. dropped one percent year-over-year for 2017, yet the number of custom homes being built grew by about 6.2 percent from 161,900 in 2016 to 171,900 in 2017, The National Association of Home Builders reports. The largest share of custom homes were located in New England and the East North Central Census divisions with a 40 percent share of housing starts. The South Atlantic and Mountain Census divisions had the lowest share, 14 percent.

Contractor-built or owner-built houses – that together make up the custom home market – are built one at a time for owner occupancy on owner’s land with either the owner or a builder acting as the general contractor. The alternative is spec homes built on builder’s land with the intention of selling the house and land in one transaction.

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