“It’s a huge business opportunity. With more than 600,000 new homes sold in the U.S. alone last year, there are billions of dollars to be made by anyone who can get a head start in dragging the industry into the tech age — something Amazon has accomplished in multiple businesses,” wrote the LA Times Aurora Percannella for the Herald Courier.
The niche that Plant Prefab is custom houses for the urban market. Amazon believes Alexa will be at home there.
The video interview and tour of the Plant Prefab production center reveals that they currently plan to target custom projects, as opposed to high volume building.
“Prefab is a form of technology used across the industry to some extent, and it’s increasingly looked at as we face affordability issues and labor shortages,” David Kaiserman, president of Lennar Ventures said.
Kaiserman noted that Lennar already prefabricates roof and wall components in the builders on-site construction. He also stated that Amazon approached Lennar about creating housing that work with Alexa seamless, without dead spots.
“The infrastructure is super-critical,” said Kaiserman, per Percannella, noting that the Lennar unit leader expressed no surprise over Amazon’s investment in Plant Prefab.
Earlier this year, the video page above noted that Amazon announced its first ever foray into the home-building industry with an investment in Plant Prefab. While that may be true in a strict sense, Amazon has been involved in selling container housing for at least a year, as the Daily Business News on MHProNews noted last year.
Plant Prefab is also targeting the ADU – Accessory Dwelling Unit, back yard housing – market. ICYMI, see that related report, linked below.
Those 400 square foot Plant Prefab ADU’s will go for about $160,000, with one bedroom, one bathroom. But the firm says on a larger home that a couple bought, they shaved months of their delivery time line, and saved $80,000 off the cost of conventional on-site building.
Real estate economist Gerd-Ulf Krueger states their business model is likely what attracted Amazon. “It’s a test to see if the model can actually bring down prices in cities with housing shortages,” Krueger said.
MHProNews will continue to monitor operations like Amazon, Katera and others that are expanding their reach in the potentially huge factory-built housing sector. That’s tonight’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
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