In its latest Housing Insights report, Fannie Mae notes that while overall home construction fell by 70 percent between 2006 and 2011, manufactured housing (MH) began declining in 1998, falling nearly 90 percent. In 2012 MH accounted for 7.4 percent of total home construction, a substantial drop from 20.2 percent in 1998. The report says, “Given manufactured housing’s modest share of the total housing stock, the decline in manufactured home production might not seem important. However, manufactured homes account for an outsized share of low-cost housing, particularly among owner-occupants. Whereas manufactured homes account for approximately 7 percent of all owner-occupied homes, they represent 16 percent of owner-occupied units with monthly housing costs of less than $500.” As inman.com informs MHProNews, the average price per square foot for a manufactured home in 2012 was $42, less than half the square foot cost of a new site-built, single-family home. The report cites several barriers the industry must overcome, including limited conventional financing options due to titling of most manufactured homes as personal property, an underdeveloped secondary market for manufactured home loans, and pending financial regulations that could further curtail manufactured home lending.
(Photo credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters–Fannie Mae headquarters)