This market is getting so hot, people are turning to crime
I thought this story was funny. Basically a man stole a tiny house and drove it from Canberra to Queensland:
A 24-year-old man has been charged over the alleged theft of a tiny house taken from Canberra on Sunday and sighted in Queensland about 24 hours later.
Queensland police seized the prototype display model in Hervey Bay – 1,416 kilometres north of the capital.
The man, believed to be from Canberra, was charged with bringing stolen goods into the state.
It’s a cute story. Basically the owner posted the theft on social media, and then people on Facebook tracked the tiny-homes movement from Canberra to Hervey Bay.
What an age!
But to me it also says a lot about where the tiny home market is at.
Not that long ago literally no one had heard of tiny homes. They just weren’t a thing.
Sure we had caravans, but tiny homes are a lot more than caravans. They really are proper homes, only smaller.
But in a few short years, not only does everyone kind of know what we’re talking about when we’re talking about tiny homes, people now recognise their value.
They recognise their value and are willing to steal one if the opportunity presents itself.
So are tiny home the next hot property?
(‘Hot’ as in ‘booming’. Not ‘hot as in ‘stolen’.)
I actually do think we are on the cusp of a tiny house boom.
And look, a lot of people are going to tell you that people are choosing tiny homes because they like the zen, clutter-free living. Or because of their high-sustainability values. Or the site-flexibility they offer.
And look, all those reasons are valid. But I’m a show-me-the-money type guy.
And the biggest driver of the tiny-home segment is economic.
Housing affordability is a wicked problem. There’s no easy or even obvious solution. People are desperate for solutions – for an affordable way to put a secure roof over their heads.
This is the challenge and tiny homes answer the call.
It’s in the data too. A recent survey of tiny-home owners found that the economics was still the primary driver.
The most-common reasons for tiny-home living were: “Property is too expensive in preferred areas” followed by “I want to reduce debt”, then “I don’t want a mortgage”, then “I need to downsize”, and then “housing is too expensive in general”.
That is, economic reasons all the way down.
So when people tell you this is a cultural phenomenon, don’t believe the hype. Millennials aren’t suddenly embracing Zen en masse. It’s an economic thing.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s any less valid. That’s as good a reason as any to live in a tiny home.
And it doesn’t mean that the tiny-home segment doesn’t rest on solid foundations.
As long as housing affordability remains a wicked problem, there will be strong and growing demand for tiny homes.
That creates all sorts of opportunities.
Speaking of which, I’m currently looking to provide venture capital for a tiny-home security business. Hit me up. 😉