This paper analyses the duration of housing project sales in the city of Beijing, China. In the housing market, new properties sometimes experience delays before they are sold. Such delays reflect the preferences of buyers with regard to the characteristics of the dwelling. Therefore, it is important for managerial purposes to identify the causes of delays in the sales of housing projects. A survival model with heterogeneity is adopted in the present research. The principal finding of this study is that delays are largely explained by the characteristics and the location of the housing project. Policy implications of the research findings, particularly those related to means of reducing the delays, are discussed.