Manufactured Home Community sales heat up in Southwest Florida

Lake_Village_Manufactured_Home_Community_purchased_by_Equity_Lifestyle_Properties,_credit_HeraldTribuneHeraldTribune reports that the the market for acquiring manufactured home communities in Florida has heated up. While the economic downturn has driven conventional housing prices down, making them more affordable, incomes are also down. This makes manufactured home communities more appealing. Recently, Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) bought the nearly 300 home site 63-acre Lake Village ‘mobile home park’ in Nokomis for $23.8 million from a subsidiary of Hometown America. Equity LifeStyle paid $53.4 million for the 2,211-site Colony Cove manufactured home community in Ellenton. ELS paid $6 million for the 201-site Emerald Lake mobile home park in Punta Gorda. National RV Communities LLC of Scottsdale, AZ., bought the nearly 200 home site Saralake Estates off Bahia Vista Street for $10.55 million. During the boom, manufactured home land lease communities were being purchased by developers who planned to shut them down in favor of redeveloping, said Charles Ellis, a principal and vice president for acquisitions at National RV. The recent flurry of purchases is driven by the attractiveness of investing in MHCs. National was formed in 2005 and now owns 58 mobile home properties, 80 percent of them in Florida, many backed by financing from General Electric Capital Corp. “From an investor standpoint, the revenue is very stabilized,” Ellis said. Retirees and others may opt to pass higher priced conventional houses. “They’re more likely to buy a $30,000 or $100,000 park model or manufactured home,” Ellis said.

(Photo credit: HeraldTribune)

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