Residential builders have found a new home: Amazon.
Prefabricated and modular housing — with homes prebuilt in factories — is having another moment. From 2013 to 2018, industry revenue grew an annualized 8.6% to nearly $10.5 billion, including growth of 4.1% in 2018 alone, according to research firm IBISWorld.
Previously associated with Dwell and other shelter magazines and websites, these often-tiny homes have now hit Amazon AMZN, -0.56% in a big way — and are apparently selling out there. Indeed, multiple news outlets, including real-estate sites Curbed and the Real Deal, reported that one 172-square-foot, $7,250 prefab cabin, which the manufacturer claims can be built in eight hours and ships free from Amazon, had sold out. (Reports that the home was back in stock followed, as did some consumer warnings and social snickering.)
And it’s not the only home for sale on the internet giant — and some can even become full-time residences. “I’m not surprised to see [homes for sale on Amazon],” says Trae Bodge, a shopping expert at TrueTrae.com, as “selling these homes online presents a new level of opportunity for the retailer to reach consumers who are outside of their local area.” Here are a few homes for sale on Amazon — ranging in price from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands.
The 292-square-foot Lillevilla Allwood Getaway Cabin, about $19,000
The company says that this 292-square-foot cabin (the square footage does not include its sleeping loft) “is large enough to function as a summer house, home office or even a stand-alone retail building” and that “by adding the utility hookups this cabin can be converted to a residence.” Of course, that will cost extra, and the company notes that if you live in a cooler climate you’ll need to add insulation. Two adults can assemble this home in two or three days, the company says.
The 1,000-square-foot Ecohousemart Timber Home, for about $40,000
This modern-style structure made of northern spruce was “designed as a lounge” that “can be used as a house with a lot of flexibility in terms of interior layout.” The company notes that an “experienced architect can turn this into a permanent facility.” That’s an additional cost, of course.
The 113-square-foot Lillevilla Escape, for about $5,000
The company says that this cabin is better suited as a structure for your “hobby, garden or pool tools and supplies” or as “simply a retreat in your backyard.” And like most of these homes, that low price (though, again, it does include free shipping) is just a starting point — should you want to add insulation, that will be extra, as will a foundation.