While residential property is still trying to claw its way out of a slump, experts say the down cycle has given the manufactured home sector an advantage over the broader market. According to David Luther of Marcus and Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, manufactured housing has a pattern of outshining its stick-built counterparts in worsening market trends. "[Manufactured housing] does better in a down market," he says. "There's higher turnover and people have a tough time out buying a home, but the tougher the times, the better the product seems to perform." In Texas, for example, where there are 170 manufactured home communities, Jim Gaines of Texas A&M's Real Estate Center says fewer than a third of state households can afford a dwelling priced above $70,000. That fact bodes well for the manufactured housing business, Gaines notes, as there are many units that fall in -- or even below -- that price threshold, even as there are plenty » More that top $100,000. According to the Manufactured Housing Institute, the average price of a manufactured home is $46,000 compared to $162,300 for a site-built dwelling, not including land. Now particularly, with the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit, families that have been renting could own a manufactured home for not much difference each month. Despite the affordable pricing, industry insiders point out that manufactured housing is a quality product. "If we can get people in to see them, they just understand," says Shane Causey, president of the Metroplex Chapter of the Texas Association of Manufactured Homes. "There is a disposition when people first hear because they think of old mobile homes, but that's not what's being made today." Federal guidelines implemented in 1976 dictate standards for design and construction, strength and durability, energy efficiency, fire resistance, and » More.
From "A Housing Market That Isn't in Decline"
Fort Worth Business Press (11/09/09) Howe, Aleshia