Is Amazon Tiptoeing Into Home Selling?

June 11, 2019

Amazon has been offering entire house kits on its site—free shipping included—and they’re getting snatched up quickly. This has prompted questions about Amazon venturing into real estate.

The online retail giant has tiny-home offerings, prefabricated and modular housing that are built in factories. The homes have been priced from $5,000 to $65,000 and sometimes sell out in hours.

For example, a 172-square-foot, $7,250 prefab cabin that went viral sold out soon after it was listed on Amazon. The house ships for free and is touted as being able to be built in just eight hours. It’s being promoted as an “ideal home office or guest house.”

Other homes are for sale on Amazon too—some of which can serve as full-time residences, MarketWatch reports.

“I’m not surprised to see [homes for sale on Amazon], as selling these homes online presents a new level of opportunity for the retailer to reach consumers who are outside of their local area,” Trae Bodge, a shopping expert at TrueTrae.com, told MarketWatch.

The prefab and modular housing industry is growing too. Revenue in the sector has risen 8.6% from 2013 to 2018, according to IBISWorld. In 2018 alone, the industry posted a 4.1% increase.

“Whether it’s prefab or some other solution, there is a huge appetite for alternatives to traditional housing,” Chris Schapdick, author of The Joy of Tiny House Living, told HousingWire. “This trend is driven by a number of factors, including affordability and a general frustration with traditional pathways to creating extra or primary living space. The innovation and array of options is only going to increase since more people are exploring ways to live that don’t cost as much as what the housing market has on offer.”

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