Our house is 97 years old. It is but one of millions of examples of houses that outlive the persons who built them.
Of course, its good to have something durable. But my point is that such an extremely durable asset will use resources well beyond the construction phase -- effort will be needed to ensure that a house is adequately used.
Often the person building a house will build it to suit their purpose, but that person's life circumstances will change and it will be time to find another occupant for the house, get them financing, etc.
Economists often say that the value of a house is the present value of the flows of shelter, convenience, privacy, etc., that the house provides to its occupants. That is incorrect, because you have to subtract off the costs of finding the right occupants and putting them in place!
The pie graph below, from my "The Housing Cycle and Prospects for Technical Progress" (read a non-technical version here; the technical version is forthcoming) shows that the subtraction is not trivial. The owner of a house gets less than half of the flows of shelter, convenience, privacy, etc., that the house provides to its occupants.
This simple fact reveals an important factor driving the housing boom and bust of the 2000s.