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Is Demand for Land Lease Communities Heating Up?

Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP has entered the manufactured housing community (MHC) business in acquiring two communities in Florida from Shamrock Holdings LLC of Arizona for $30.8 million. While this is the company’s first foray into the MH industry, analysts say investors are betting this aspect of the housing market will expand as an affordable dwelling for seniors, especially as alternatives become too expensive. Village of Ponce de Leon in Melbourne Beach and Sun Valley Estates in Tarpon Springs, both cater to those 55 and older. As wsj.com reports, communities geared toward retirees were 92 percent full in October, according to research firm JLT & Associates. Occupancy is 89 percent at Sun Valley and 82 percent at Ponce de Leon, MHProNews has learned. As demand rises, prices per homesites rise: Hometown America recently paid $121,000 per site for a community in Arizona, the highest ever paid in the state, according to Evan C. Barry of Marcus & Millichap. UMH Properties’ CEO Sam Landy says he expects to pay $40,000 per homesite this year, an increase from $26,000 just two years ago.

(Photo credit: thinkstock–manufactured housing community)

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