Manufactured Housing Appreciation: Stereotypes and Data
Consumers Union assessed the financial appreciation of manufactured- housing units, by examining the relative appreciation rates of manufactured housing and site-built housing, as well as the factors affecting the appreciation rate of manufactured housing. Our analysis includes an extensive literature review of previous work in the field, as well as primary research using data from the 1985–1999 American Housing Survey Panel and county appraisal data from several counties in Texas. The stereotypes of manufactured housing are built upon very real differences in appreciation experienced by the people who own them. The large proportion of manufactured homes in rental parks contributes greatly to the lower appreciation experienced by manufactured home owners as a whole, as land ownership is an important driver of appreciation. High variation in the individual appreciation rates of manufactured homes also causes a higher proportion of manufactured homes, even packaged with land, to lose value over time. Even so, average appreciation rates of manufactured homes packaged with owned land are statistically in line with the site built market, and there are few inherent reasons that a home built in a factory should perform differently than one built on site. Our analysis suggests that consumers can make decisions which can improve the appreciation of a manufactured home. Land ownership, location, purchase price and maintenance expenditures are among the factors that predict appreciation, and should be considered when attempting to increase appreciation in a particular unit.
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