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U.S. States Where Manufactured Housing Is on the Rise

After years of decline starting in the late 1990s, manufactured housing has been gaining in popularity over the past few years. Unlike site-built homes, which are directly constructed on a plot of land, manufactured homes are pre-assembled in factories and then transported to the location where they will be used. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently 6.8 million manufactured homes across the country.

The demand for manufactured housing has fluctuated over time, often coinciding with changes in borrowing requirements for mortgage applicants. For example, the number of manufactured housing shipments experienced a steep decline between 2000 and 2009, when home buyers had easier access to mortgage loans leading up to the subprime mortgage crisis. The share of new manufactured homes compared to all new single-family homes decreased from its peak of 25 percent in 1996 to only 7.8 percent in 2006. As of 2019, about 10 percent of new single-family homes are categorized as manufactured homes.  

Chart1 Manufactured home shipments over time scaled

One of the biggest advantages of manufactured homes is the price. Manufactured homes are far cheaper than site-built homes, even after excluding the price of land from a site-built home.   The average sales price of a new site-built home (excluding land) in 2019 was $297,747—about six times more expensive than a single manufactured home ($52,400) and three times as expensive as a double manufactured home ($99,500).

While the average site-built home is larger than the average manufactured home, the latter is still the more cost-effective option on a per square foot basis. The price per square foot for a manufactured home is about $50, compared to $114 for a site-built home (excluding land).

Chart2 Manufactured vs. site built home price scaled

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 7.5 percent of existing single-family homes nationwide are manufactured homes. However, the share of manufactured homes varies across states. Manufactured homes have historically been most popular in the South and West. For example, the share of manufactured homes in New Mexico, South Carolina, Mississippi, and West Virginia are more than twice the national average. On the other hand, less than 2 percent of homes in Northeast states like Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut are manufactured.

Chart3 Manufactured housing by state scaled

To find which states have seen the greatest increase in manufactured housing over the past five years, researchers at Construction Coverage, a review site for builders risk insurance and construction management software, analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Manufactured Housing Survey. For each state, Construction Coverage calculated the percentage change in annual manufactured housing shipments from 2014 to 2019, and how that number compares to the percentage change in single-family site-built homes during the same time frame. Here’s what they found:

States With the Largest Uptick in Manufactured Housing

Maine Cumberland JFFBBJ

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20. Maine

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 67.1%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 28.1%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 635 manufactured / 3,474 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 11.7%

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Ohio Columbus KH4JT5

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19. Ohio

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 70.8%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 28.3%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 1,828 manufactured / 16,078 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 4.2%
Oregon coast DC2690

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18. Oregon

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 76.6%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 35.1%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 1,566 manufactured / 11,586 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 10.7%
Iowa Des Moines Capitol PYPGR7

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17. Iowa

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 79.9%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 12.7%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 581 manufactured / 7,877 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 4.3%
Alabama FFM4T6

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16. Alabama

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 86.0%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 54.7%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 4,546 manufactured / 14,705 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 14.2%
Washington Bellevue KHM6E1

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15. Washington

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 87.7%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 30.1%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 1,331 manufactured / 23,300 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 8.6%
Michigan Lansing capitol J9HMN7

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14. Michigan

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 88.5%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 18.1%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 4,203 manufactured / 14,623 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 6.1%
Idaho Idaho Falls M58893

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13. Idaho

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 91.3%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 106.2%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 553 manufactured / 12,978 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 9.8%

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South Carolina Sullivans Island KGAYD8

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12. South Carolina

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 97.7%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 44.7%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 4,079 manufactured / 31,052 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 18.3%
Arizona Chandler JRRPKK

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11. Arizona

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 105.5%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 101.8%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 2,402 manufactured / 33,981 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 11.4%
Florida Cape Coral K2WJNN

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10. Florida

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 106.9%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 77.5%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 7,819 manufactured / 99,831 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 10.8%
Minnesota FA0MN5

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9. Minnesota

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 108.1%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 28.3%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 847 manufactured / 13,709 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 3.5%
North Carolina Durham FYE4P6

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8. North Carolina

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 108.8%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 47.3%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 4,871 manufactured / 51,642 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 14.5%
New Jersey C5CFJK

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7. New Jersey

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 109.9%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 4.6%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 596 manufactured / 11,526 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 1.3%
Nebraska capitol DHENDG

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6. Nebraska

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 113.9%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: -1.5%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 261 manufactured / 4,672 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 3.6%
Georgia Savannah EWNBTM

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5. Georgia

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 138.7%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 56.1%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 3,649 manufactured / 42,939 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 9.9%
Wisconsin H6H72B

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4. Wisconsin

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 152.7%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 31.6%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 657 manufactured / 11,298 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 3.8%
Kansas Topeka capitol F4CWFA

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3. Kansas

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 162.2%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 4.4%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 860 manufactured / 5,089 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 4.7%
Indiana J3G61R

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2. Indiana

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 164.9%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 34.3%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 2,180 manufactured / 16,308 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 5.5%
Nevada Reno J1G0DW

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1. Nevada

  • 5-year change in new manufactured homes: 301.0%
  • 5-year change in new single-family site-built homes: 47.3%
  • New single-family homes in 2019: 810 manufactured / 13,088 site-built
  • Share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured: 6.9%

Methodology & Detailed Findings

The list of states with the biggest increases in manufactured home shipments over the past five years includes both states where manufactured homes have historically been popular, such as South Carolina, as well as states with lower numbers of existing manufactured homes, such as Wisconsin, Nebraska, and New Jersey.

Manufactured housing is becoming an increasingly attractive option due to its affordability and improvements in quality, as well as the skyrocketing costs of site-built homes. In fact, much of the stigma previously associated with manufactured housing is disappearing due, in part, to a growing range of custom options similar to a site-built home, but at a much lower price point. Manufactured housing must also be built according to requirements from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, ensuring safety and durability.

As the U.S. enters a recession in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the demand for both site-built and manufactured housing is likely to undergo even more dramatic changes in the near future.

Statistics on new manufactured home shipments are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Manufactured Housing Survey. For each state, the five-year change in new manufactured homes was calculated as the percentage change in new manufactured home shipments comparing 2019 to 2014. States were ranked based on the resulting figures; however, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Alaska, and District of Columbia were excluded due to insufficient data on manufactured housing.

Statistics on new single-family site-built homes are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Building Permit Survey. Similarly, the five-year change in new single-family site-built homes was calculated comparing 2019 to 2014.

Additional statistics on existing single-family homes are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. For each state, the number of existing manufactured homes was divided by the state’s total number of single-unit dwellings (including manufactured homes) to derive the share of existing single-family homes that are manufactured.

The Census Bureau defines a manufactured (mobile) home as “a movable dwelling, 8 feet or more wide and 40 feet or more long, designed to be towed on its own chassis, with transportation gear integral to the unit when it leaves the factory, and without need of a permanent foundation.”

Single-family, site-built homes include fully-detached, semi-detached, row houses, townhouses, and attached units with separate HVAC systems that are separated by a ground-to-roof wall.

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