Manufactured Housing: 2019 in Review

Manufactured housing has come a long way in the past few decades, let alone the past few years. There have been so many advancements in both design and infrastructure, that there are (almost) seemingly no differences between manufactured homes and site-built homes – especially when it comes to quality!

As we prepare for a new year, a new decade, and the continuing evolution of manufactured housing, we at the Alabama Manufactured Housing Association wanted to take a look back on all of the strides made within the industry over the past year. Following, we take a look at 2019 in review for the industry.

Advancement in Legislation

In June of this year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development introduced the HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019, an action that further legitimizes manufactured housing throughout the nation.

The newly instated law requires HUD to issue guidelines for including manufactured housing in state and local governments’ consolidated plans – those that outline their housing and community development priorities – when applying for HUD funding. The legislation will ensure that manufactured housing, which is now recognized as a major source of affordable housing for a vast array of Americans (approximately 22 million), is considered when jurisdictions develop their housing plans. When introduced, manufactured housing was promoted as an integral part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis.

Throughout the year, laws have also changed and advanced at the state level. In May 2019 in Alabama, for example, HB 226 makes it easier for homeowners to get a replacement title for their home if they have lost their title. This is especially important for homeowners who want to sell or trade in their homes. As always, it is important to keep an eye on not only federal legislation governing manufactured housing, but those passed at the state and local level, as well. On the AMHA website, we provide a number of resources for keeping up to date with manufactured housing laws.

2019 by the Numbers

So, what’s the state of the manufactured housing industry? The numbers accumulated throughout 2019 point to a promising future — one that highlights the growth of the manufactured housing industry across the nation. Following, take a look at some of the numbers related to the top trends in manufactured housing. These numbers have been gathered from MH Insider Magazine’s July/August 2019 Manufactured Housing Industry Statistics and Trends infographic. All data is courtesy of the Manufactured Housing Institute.

  • The average price per square foot to build a manufactured home is $50. That number stands at $111 per square foot for site-built homes.
  • The nation boasts 2 million dedicated manufactured home communities. Thirty-two percent of all new manufactured homes are placed in these dedicated communities. Of course, home placement falls under the needs, desires and discretion of the homeowner, and a manufactured home retailer can work with the owner to determine a permanent location that will best suit their needs. Visit the AMHA website to discover the various manufactured home communities throughout the state of Alabama.
  • There are 22 million people living in manufactured homes across the nation.
  • 76% of new manufactured homes are titled as personal property (under chattel loans).
  • In 2018, 96,540 manufactured homes were produced by 34 corporations and 129 manufacturing plants across the United States.
  • New manufactured home shipments have increased by 49% over the past five years.
  • Birmingham is among the top 10 manufactured housing retail markets in the nation.
  • The national average new manufactured home selling price it $75,747 (up 4.09% year over year). The national average pre-owned manufactured home selling price is $46,173 (up 9.80% YOY).
  • 90% of manufactured homeowners are satisfied with their home.
  • The affordable housing crisis is a real concern. 71% of residents cite affordability as a key driver for choosing manufactured housing.
  • More than 60% of manufactured homeowners plan on living in their home for at least another 10 years.
  • 38% of manufactured homeowners plan on never selling their current home.

Manufactured Housing and the Future

Looking forward, the demand for manufactured homes should remain strong in coming years, with both demographic and economic factors serving as key drivers of market success. Strong employment growth and rising wages will continue to set the stage for growth in manufactured home buying across the country.

Rural areas have seen a greater relative improvement in their economies, as manufacturing has rebounded. Rural population growth turned positive for the first time this decade in 2017 and likely remained positive this past year. Given the affordability issues hampering the single-family market, manufactured housing should gain favor with homebuyers.

Retirees looking to downsize and/or relocate to parts of the country where manufactured housing communities are more popular are expected to produce a steady stream of buyers and renters. Moreover, manufactured housing is expected to greatly benefit from young, millennial buyers, many of which have set budgets, smaller families and prefer a smaller footprint. Looking for more information? Browse the AMHA resources now.