Big Equity LifeStyle Properties Market Move by Private Equity Giant Vanguard Which Increased Stake in ELS to Over $1.5 Billion Post-Antitrust Suits, More Facts and Analysis; plus MHVille Markets


“Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. by 1.9% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 24,909,450 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock after buying an additional 472,855 shares during the quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. owned 13.36% of Equity LifeStyle Properties worth $1,586,981,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.” So said the financial news site Defense World on 3.18.2024. MarketBeat said essentially the same thing in a report posted on their site on the same day. For those manufactured housing industry pros wondering how private equity giants like Vanguard may view the multiple national class action suits filed against Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) and other Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) consolidators, the sizable increase by Vanguard may provide a clear indicator. But as Part II will remind readers, there has been a recent counter move by another big firm that is pivoting away from the manufactured home community sector.  MHProNews will explore these events and others tied to it with additional facts and analysis in Part II.

According to the financial news site The Motley Fool, ADVRatings, and others, as of July 31, 2023, Vanguard had a whopping $8.2 trillion dollars in assets under management (AUM).  BlackRock has about 10 trillion in AUM, with State Street reportedly has about $4 trillion in AUM. When State Street “Together with BlackRock and Vanguard, these three firms control a significant portion of the global financial market, with a combined AUM of over 22 trillion U.S. dollars3Their influence is expected to continue growing, …” per a fact check with Bing’s AI powered Copilot on 3.21.2024. More on those three powerhouses further below.

But next, more on what the equity markets and analysts have said and done with respect to ELS, including but also beyond Vanguard’s recent move.

Part I

MarketBeat said: “Several other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Eagle Bay Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Equity LifeStyle Properties during the second quarter worth approximately $30,000. Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. purchased a new position in shares of Equity LifeStyle Properties in the first quarter valued at $59,000. Kelly Lawrence W & Associates Inc. CA purchased a new position in Equity LifeStyle Properties during the third quarter worth about $64,000. Second Half Financial Partners LLC bought a new stake in Equity LifeStyle Properties during the third quarter worth about $66,000. Finally, Huntington National Bank lifted its stake in Equity LifeStyle Properties by 73.4% during the second quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,370 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $92,000 after purchasing an additional 580 shares during the last quarter. 98.55% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.”

Here is how Defense World phrased a parallel paragraph.

QuoteMarksLeftSideSeveral other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in ELS. Chai Trust Co. LLC raised its stake in Equity LifeStyle Properties by 158.9% during the 2nd quarter. Chai Trust Co. LLC now owns 8,952,989 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $598,865,000 after buying an additional 5,495,164 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Equity LifeStyle Properties during the 4th quarter worth $229,283,000. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in Equity LifeStyle Properties by 30.3% during the 4th quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 7,735,330 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $499,702,000 after buying an additional 1,798,649 shares during the period. Aristotle Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Equity LifeStyle Properties by 17.1% during the 3rd quarter. Aristotle Capital Management LLC now owns 11,536,605 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $734,997,000 after purchasing an additional 1,681,198 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. increased its holdings in Equity LifeStyle Properties by 147.1% during the 1st quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 2,541,777 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $194,396,000 after purchasing an additional 1,512,944 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.55% of the company’s stock.”

Defense World went onto say the following.

QuoteMarksLeftSideAnalyst Upgrades and Downgrades

A number of research firms have issued reports on ELS. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “sector perform” rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Equity LifeStyle Properties in a report on Wednesday, January 31st. Truist Financial lowered their target price on Equity LifeStyle Properties from $73.00 to $72.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Wolfe Research upgraded Equity LifeStyle Properties from a “peer perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $75.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday, February 9th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft started coverage on Equity LifeStyle Properties in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. They set a “hold” rating and a $64.00 target price for the company. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. According to data from, the company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.15. … ##


Part II – Additional Information with More MHProNews Analysis and Commentary

1) Absent from the Defense World or MarketBeat reports are insights on the following.



Note: to expand this image below to a larger or full size, see the instructions

below the graphic below or click the image and follow the prompts.

So-called “enhanced preemption” and the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 insights are linked as shown. Note: depending on your browser or device, many images in this report and others on MHProNews can be clicked to expand. Click the image and follow the prompts. For example, in some browsers/devices you click the image and select ‘open in a new window.’ After clicking that selection, you click the image in the open window to expand the image to a larger size. To return to this page, use your back key, escape or follow the prompts.




ManufacturedHousingInstituteHitByAntitrustAllegationsInOpEd_MHI-AttorneyDavidGochMollyBoyleAskedRespondEvidenceBasedConcernsCopilot-AiFac CheckRefersToMHIsOrwellianApproachMHProNews




2) That noted, it is likely that the portfolio manager(s) at Vanguard is quite aware of the events above, prior to increasing their stake in ELS. It would be the job of a portfolio manager and supervisors further up their food chain to know the landscape before making this sizable move to increase Vanguard’s stake in ELS.

That could be interpreted as a kind of vote of confidence that ELS will either prevail, or successfully manage the litigation, as they have in the past. Even when ELS lost a big suit involving residents before, they have apparently adapted and kept moving ahead with their consolidation focused business model and all which that entails and implies. More insights and details on that are found in the reports linked above.

3) While much of private equity may be moving in a similar direction, some details in reports above from Defense World and MarketBeat indicate that there are those moving away from ELS, while others are embracing it.  To grasp the way that ELS’ late leader, Sam Zell, pithily painted the picture himself, he said that ELS liked the oligopoly nature of the manufactured home industry.




4) The following Q&A with left-leaning Bing’s AI powered Copilot may be useful to some.

What relationship, if any, can there be between oligopoly and what has been described as a rise in the U.S. of oligarchs and plutocrats? That leaked letter from Citigroup and comments by Warren Buffett, among others, might lead someone to think that there is a relationship. Thoughts and links on how this might be a topic of interest with respect to manufactured housing industry underperformance in the 21st century?

BingCopilotAI-Screen1.3.2024MHLivingNewsThe relationship between oligopoly and the rise of oligarchs and plutocrats in the U.S. is a complex and multifaceted topic. Let’s break it down:

  1. Oligopoly:
    • An oligopoly refers to a market structure where a small number of large firms dominate an industry. These firms have significant market power and can influence prices, production, and other aspects of the market.
    • In an oligopoly, competition is limited due to barriers to entry, collusion among firms, and interdependence between competitors.
    • Oligopolies can lead to higher prices for consumers, reduced innovation, and concentration of wealth.
  2. Oligarchs and Plutocrats:
    • Oligarchs are individuals who hold significant economic and political power due to their control over key industries or resources. They often accumulate wealth through business ownership, political connections, or inheritance.
    • Plutocrats are extremely wealthy individuals who exert influence over economic and political systems. Their wealth allows them to shape policies, regulations, and public discourse.
  3. Possible Connections:
    • Wealth Concentration: Oligopolies can contribute to wealth concentration by enabling a few powerful firms to accumulate substantial profits. These profits can then be channeled into personal wealth, creating oligarchs and plutocrats.
    • Lobbying and Political Influence: Oligarchs and plutocrats often use their economic power to influence government policies, regulations, and tax laws. They may lobby for favorable treatment, leading to further wealth accumulation.
    • Financialization and Speculation: The financialization of the economy (where financial markets play a dominant role) can benefit oligarchs and plutocrats. Speculative activities, such as stock trading and hedge funds, can generate immense wealth for a select few.
    • Manufactured Housing Industry Underperformance:
      • The decline in manufactured housing production in the 21st century is concerning. Factors contributing to this underperformance include:
        • Affordability Challenges: Despite being a cost-effective housing solution, manufactured homes face financing challenges and zoning restrictions.
        • Lack of Investment: Oligopolistic dynamics within the housing industry may limit investment in manufactured housing. Large players may prioritize other segments.
        • Regulatory Barriers: Regulatory hurdles can hinder the growth of the manufactured housing sector.
      • Addressing these issues requires effective and aggressive efforts from industry associations, policymakers, and stakeholders. Oligarchs and plutocrats could play a role in advocating for policy changes that promote affordable housing and support the industry.
  4. Conclusion:
    • The relationship between oligopoly, wealth concentration, and the rise of oligarchs and plutocrats is intertwined. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for addressing economic inequality and ensuring a more equitable society.

For more information, you can refer to the following sources:

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