Tiny house fever catches on with Millennials

Hey, hey, Millennials, this is for you:

Tiny homes are popular with millennials since their standard of living has collapsed. All thanks to insurmountable student loans, no savings, and gig-economy jobs that don’t pay the bills.

Wzhgroup, a Chinese builder of container homes, has recently become a merchant on Amazon where they can ship a tiny, expandable container home within 3 to 5 weeks for a low price of $23,800 plus $1,000 shipping.

Millennials will find this tiny house appealing; it has a post-industrial feel using an old shipping container, virtue signaling with solar panels and wind power systems, an eco-friendly bathroom, and a kitchen with everything needed to make avocado and toast.

The average tiny house can range between $30,000 to $40,000, but, in some cases, cost as high as $180,000 for about a 200-square-foot space.

Wzhgroup’s home is priced well below the US average tiny home price, and what makes it attractive to millennials: Amazon can have it delivered in a matter of weeks.

Amazon has recognized the hot market for tiny homes among young adults and has recently started selling DIY kits and completed tiny homes.

One of the first tiny homes on Amazon is a $7,250 kit that can be assembled in about eight hours.

A more luxurious tiny home on the e-commerce website is selling for $49,995 plus $1,745.49 for shipping. This one is certified by the RV Industry Association’s standards inspection program, which means millennials can travel from Seattle to San Diego in a nomadic fashion searching for gig-economy jobs.

One of the most expensive tiny homes on Amazon appears to be this 399-square-foot home, features a mono-sloped roof and open-concept floorplan. The tiny home is advertised as an “ultimate vacation home or a weekend getaway” for a retail price of $64,900 plus $4,800 shipping.

With almost two-thirds of millennials living paycheck to paycheck and less than half of them have $500 in savings, we’re sure this lost generation could afford at least one of these tiny homes with their Amazon credit card.

Nevertheless, the tiny home craze among millennials is more evidence that living standards are collapsing.

Make sure you mount it on a trailer. You want to be able to move quickly when the police evict your tiny house from the local car park.

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

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    • billygoatMEMBER

      Cabin Fever more like it.
      Media beat up or programming?
      FMD shipping container with toilet & shower and sink 23 THOUSAND dollars!!! People are are getting dumber by the day.

      • MountainGuinMEMBER

        23k for a shipping container is alot of cash. But in Australia the competition is from nicely located and slightly bigger high rise dog boxes that are likely poorly built and cost near a million bucks. A modern caravan does not sound so bad after all….

    • Sh*t, and I’m about to get a ‘deluxe’ (doors at both ends) 20ft container to store my hay, horse feed and other horses related business things out of the rain.

      Before I know it, I’ll be accused of contributing to the (tiny) housing shortage…

      • No. On the shortage-denier’s computer spreadsheet, your container would be entered as “1 dwelling”. Thereby your container reduces the overall average shortage of housing.

        Statistically, compared to 1900, there is actually an oversupply of dwellings.

  1. Wow, can you guys stop making me ever more depressed for the future of young people that seem to be happy to marching into this dystopia of paying everything upwards to our filthy fvcking selfish boomer generation. Kids looking forward to living in tiny homes whilst Trigoscum has a hectare property on the harbour is something to look forward to? What a weird world we live in.

    • That’s ok. Don’t forget that the younger generations will shortly be taking over the reins in Canberra and determining aged policy. It’s all good.

      • Aged policy, in general, or policy on parliamentary remuneration and retirement benefits?

        I think you’re being a tad optimistic here.

    • And soon, with the elimination of cash and negative interest rates, you won’t even be able to save a deposit towards taking a loan to buy your microhome.

      No, no, the Lords will not rest until all the Commoners are renting absolutely everything. Ownership is for the Lords and they must own you too.

  2. Those that wished for very low interest rates can see the problems with young people trying to save for a deposit.
    However, as we move into the realm of negative interest rates and no deposit required, the young will have their day.
    The boomers will suffer heavy losses in the collapse of property and sharemarkets.
    Every dog has its day.

    • +1
      It’ll be negative TD’s and house prices at least 50% lower will kill them
      I think stock market is going much higher, from lower first. I don’t think retirees in the most part are heavily invested in the sharemarket. There’s nowhere else longer term to hide, so higher sharemarket wont offset these other things

    • Yes. I think the fact that the younger generations have not been out protesting on the streets is a good indicator of the kind of ‘slow-burn’ rage and bitterness against inequality that lasts a lifetime (and influences future policy). We can see that older gens burning bras and having sex weekends *about freedom and mung beans* actually led them to believe they were Gods. Perhaps having no hope for decades of your formative life (feeling like no matter how hard you work, you can’t get ahead and that policies are stacked against you) changes a person’s ethics forever. I think things will look quite different 25 years from now. For a start, investor perks linked to essential things like *shelter* are likely to have somewhat diminished, and there will be some serious boosts to Newstart. Noone forgets being taken advantage of.

    • So negative interest rates mean banks will pay people to take out loans and depositors will pay banks to look after their money? Sounds great but there may be some issues with the depositors. Bank share holders may not be happy either.

    • Jumping jack flash

      The current conundrum that people will realise soon is that debt is now required but nobody is entitled to it yet.

      Soon we will be entitled to debt. What that looks like i dont know.

    • Being able to build up buffers / reservoirs / surplus / stores / stockpiles, etc, is a critical survival mechanism in any complex system. It prevents minor shortages from turning into total catastrophe as the stockpile can provide temporary supply. It would be a rather poor system design if one immediately died of starvation as soon as a meal was skipped…

      But our “geniuses”, trying to manage our financial / economic system, have decided that having such stockpiles in the system (savings) is a Very Silly Thing, to be eliminated. It’s an inevitable consequence of creating a monetary system in which almost all money is mirrored by debt (there is hardly any liability free / permanent money).

      Yes oh geniuses, you are so wise! Let’s wipe out every dollar in savings! Let’s force every single dollar to be a hot potato, to be immediately offloaded! Everyone will just love the wondrous AUD!

      What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

  3. The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

    I’m afraid I don’t know anything about tiny homes but I am part of the massive house movement. It’s very popular amongst my generation.

  4. two-thirds of millennials living paycheck to paycheck and less than half of them have $500 in savings

    And the Democrats want an open border with the third world. What a bunch of clowns.

  5. It needs to be pointed out every time the subject of “tiny homes” comes up, that in cities that don’t have a housing affordability problem anyway, McMansions are $250,000 and tiny homes are $40,000.

    When the pocket-hanky piece of dirt you are going to put the tiny house on, costs you $250,000 to start with, something is very rotten in the state of Australia.

    In fact under the prevailing economic distortions in urban land prices, the more that people can be crammed in, the more exponential the land price inflation. It is “elastic to allowed density”, and so elastic that the more crammed-in the population are, the HIGHER the per-unit housing price, not the lower.

    Utopian planning myths hold that intensification is the answer for housing affordability issues. This is a lie that is highly convenient to the land-rentier and finance sector rentier interests.

    The flipside of this dichotomy about urban land prices, is that freedom to sprawl is so effective at suppressing land rent, that there are US cities with 1/2-acre minimum lot size mandates for new subdivisional development, and the median multiple house price remains around “3”. The land price can vary, exponentially, in the “wrong” direction, by a factor of hundreds or even thousands. Even in third-world cities, the fact that the people are crammed in at 20,000 per square kilometer does not mean that “housing units” are affordable; it means the real land price is thousands of times higher than in a first-world median-multiple-3 city with 2,000 people per square kilometer.

    This is the reason that density is also strongly associated with the perpetuation of illegal housing conditions. Pre-sprawl, a high proportion of the population are little more than squatters, under a piece of corrugated iron propped up with a stick. In the case of post-sprawl regulatory rationing of land, the housing paradigm goes into reverse; in the UK (thanks to several decades more of this land-rationing utopianism), the authorities cannot control the extent of “illegal” letting of lofts, garden sheds, garages etc. There is massive pent-up pressure for squatting on the Green Belts, which could quickly resemble Mumbai and Sao Paulo if the authorities were not as draconian as they are, meeting any attempts at squatting on the Green Belt with immediate full-on “anti riot” measures, water cannon, tear gas, batons, handcuffs and Black Marias. And bulldozers for any temporary shelters that have been erected.

    But “legal” tiny homes are fine, just as long as you are feeding the land-rent monster with your tribute payment of several thousand dollars per square inch of land space you need.

    • Good points Phil.

      Also note that land in third world villages is cheap compared to land in third world cities – but people still move to third world cities because that is where the factories are.

      I watched a few documentaries on the textile factories in Bangladesh – and most of the textile factories are in the capital city.

      54 seconds into the video, you can see the distance between village huts: https://youtu.be/1C5J9T8t8Xc?t=54

      • Rural land is similarly cheap everywhere. One point worth noting is, that once the population have left the rural land as the economy “develops”, the powers that be introduce zoning to prevent them from going back there again….even right next to a city, within workable distance of their jobs.

  6. truthisfashionable

    My biggest issue with this is it solves a fake problem. Building in Australia is still relatively cheap, prices basically increased with inflation.

    But the land price bubble sure didn’t.
    So unless you find a tiny patch of cheap land near where you want to park your container, these are pointless.
    Unless the goal is to park it in the parents backyard so they can Lord it over you…

    • These containers ( sorry, homes) are stackable. So you can get your kool-aid friends together and start a commune high rise.

    • This, this and this. It’s a land bublle. It is like telling people to buy appliances with low electricity consumption when it is the cost of power that is the issue, not the appliance. To eat less when food is ridiculously overpriced. It is the cost of the land, not the sie of the house.
      The other downside to this is that the tiny house folk have more of their loan to bid up the price of land.
      There’s nothing wrong with people choosing to live in tiny houses. It is wrong to force people into them.

      • The current market is working exactly as it is designed to. There are a few minor bugs but once banks can lend freely again we will hopefully be back to normal. /Sarc off

  7. I quite like the look of these — they’ll be perfect to go on my hobby farm out in the countryside.

  8. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Where to put them is the question. I have two containers at my factory ( wholly within) car spaces and have been given no end of grief by the strata committee ie you have not been given permission and that;s an industrial site.

  9. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Shoulda whacked a couple into Martin Place for the homeless when they were still classed as simply annoying before they became scum of the earth and to be removed.

    Speaking of scum of the earth, plenty of lawns around Parliament House that would hold a few too.

  10. So the Chinese helped drive the property bubble in Australia and then they get to sell this shyte to the displaced Australians?

    Oi! Oi! Oi!