Amanda Schatz at Sustainablekits.com, running an Indiegogo to fund it's house-in-a-box product, passed along some information on the Tiny House movement. She shared an infographic from thetinylife.com on trends in this market. Here's what she has to say:

There is a surge of interest in these projects, especially among millennials and younger Americans. Some say the small house movement has now gone mainstream with several TV shows featuring tiny house designs, do-it-yourself’ers, and the lifestyles of tiny house people , as they’re often called. The average standard-sized house in America costs approximately $272,000.

If you tack on all the interest that’s paid on a 30 year mortgage at 4.25%, the total paid for the house balloons to over $480,000. It makes sense that 68% of tiny house owners do not owe anything on their homes, versus only 29% of all US homeowners. 

Although more and more people are building tiny houses for their primary residence, many others are purchasing or building them for a backyard cottage, a lake cabin, an in-law suite, staff or mobile housing, an off-the-grid bunker, or a hunting or vacation getaway. Although US home construction stats show only around 1% of new projects in the last year were for homes 1,000 square feet or smaller, many tiny houses don’t have the same building permit requirements and may not be counted in official numbers.

It’s clear that the movement is no longer just a novelty. The primary reasons people want to own a small home are what will continue to drive the movement into the future. The main motivations for tiny house ownership seem to be (1) less costly to buy/build (2) less expensive to live in and maintain, and (3) to build a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle.