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How affordable is a Nabr home?

We have been speaking about Nabr and the productization of housing for the last year (and, more broadly, about prefabricated housing for probably as long as this blog has existed). And now it is possible to go on to Nabr’s website and reserve a new home in their San Jose project. Here’s what that looks like:

What is immediately clear is that this is an obvious improvement over the way that new homes are typically purchased. The pricing is transparent. You can easily see the floor plan and features of each home. And if you’d like to reserve one, you can go ahead and do that right away for $1,000:

You can also specify whether or not you’re interested in Nabr’s lease-to-purchase program (known as LEAP). More information on that can be found, over here.

But the exciting question remains whether thinking about and executing on this new housing as a product, rather than as an individual project, will ultimately bring greater cost efficiencies and savings. In other words: can it make housing more affordable?

Today, the base pricing for SoFA One looks something like this:

  • Home 1002: $1,415,000, ~1080 sf (excluding exterior space), $1,310 psf
  • Home 1003: $2,144,000, ~1547 sf (excluding exterior space), $1,386 psf
  • Home 1108: $938,000, ~795 sf (excluding exterior space), $1,180 psf

These are just the first 3 homes that showed up for me when I opened the website. And while I’m not intimately familiar with the San Jose housing market, Realtor tells me that the median sold price is $1.2 million and that the median list price per square foot is about $766.

Though not really an apples-to-apples comparison, this suggests to me that the above pricing may not be as affordable as some people were hoping for. However, it is more or less where I figured pricing would need to be in order to make a high-rise project like this pencil.

Does this change over time with more product scale? I think it could.

1 Comment so far

  1. Jakob P

    There’s also the other possibility of course, which is that as they scale up, costs go down and the product continues to be sold at the highest price that the market will bear. After all, as long as there isn’t any competition for this sort of product, why would the company bring prices down and reduce their margins if they can sell the same for more?

    I’d love to be wrong but for the most part, that’s all I ever see new “disrupters” do. Offer a better product, charge the same at minimum, rather than offer a similar product, charge less.


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