While the manufactured housing industry continues to recover, it still has a long way to go, according to Troy Hames of Hames Homes in Marion, Iowa. Noting the company has sold manufactured homes for 44 years in east central Iowa, Hames says new home sales in the state were 2,200 in 1996 but only 220 in 2012 and are expected to rise to 280 this year. The company also owns five manufactured home communities with a 90 percent occupancy rate, about 1,200 families, but 80 percent of sales are for previously-owned homes, thegazette informs MHProNews. Joe Kelly, executive vice president of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA), states financing has always been tough for manufactured home buyers, but the economic downturn combined with consumers taking advantage of low mortgage rates to buy site-built homes has made matters worse. Kelly says while there is pending legislation in Congress to ease lending for manufactured homes, he does not expect matters to change anytime soon.
(Photo credit: Adam Wesley/thegazette–Troy Hames entering a manufactured home)