According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this most recent data set was last revised on July 12, 2022. As it reflects information from the year 2021, the facts should be accurate. The information displayed in this article will cover the years 2016 to 2021 so that affordable housing shoppers, advocates, researchers, and others will also see the trends in size, price, and placements. Following the official facts will be additional information with more MHLivingNews analysis and commentary in brief.
Note that the photos and video herein are not part of the original Census Bureau data and related report. Note too that many of the mistaken notions about manufactured housing are clarified or outright debunked in research reports that are found linked further below.
Cost & Size Comparisons:
New Manufactured Homes and New Single-Family Site-Built Homes
|New Manufactured Homes|
|Avg. Sales Price||$ 108,100||$ 87,000||$ 81,900||$ 78,500||$ 71,900||$ 70,600|
|Avg. Square Feet||1,497||1,471||1,448||1,438||1,426||1,446|
|Avg. Cost per Sq. Ft.||$ 72.21||$ 59.14||$ 56.56||$ 54.59||$ 50.42||$ 48.82|
|Avg. Sales Price||$ 72,600||$ 57,300||$ 53,200||$ 52,400||$ 48,300||$ 46,700|
|Avg. Square Feet||1,084||1,085||1,072||1,072||1,087||1,075|
|Avg. Cost per Sq. Ft.||$ 66.97||$ 52.81||$ 49.63||$ 48.88||$ 44.43||$ 43.44|
|Avg. Sales Price||$ 132,000||$ 108,500||$ 104,000||$ 99,500||$ 92,800||$ 89,500|
|Avg. Square Feet||1,794||1,760||1,747||1,747||1,733||1,746|
|Avg. Cost per Sq. Ft.||$ 73.58||$ 61.65||$ 59.53||$ 51.26||$ 53.55||$ 51.26|
|Housing Starts vs. MH Shipments|
|(Thousands of Units)|
|New Single Family|
|Percent of Total||91%||91%||90%||90%||90%||91%|
|Manufactured Home Shipments|
|Percent of Total||9%||9%||10%||10%||10%||9%|
|Site-Built Homes Sold|
|(Home and Land Sold as Package)|
|Avg. Sales Price||$ 464,200||$ 391,900||$ 383,900||$ 385,000||$ 384,900||$ 360,900|
|Derived Average Land Price||$ 98,296||$ 83,303||$ 84,485||$ 87,253||$ 91,173||$ 82,491|
|Price of Structure|
|Avg. Square Feet||2,544||2,527||2,518||2,602||2,645||2,650|
|Avg. Price per Sq Ft. (excl. land)||$ 143.83||$ 122.12||$ 118.91||$ 114.43||$ 111.05||$ 105.06|
|Manufactured Home Shipments|
|New Manufactured Homes Placed|
|(For Residential Use)|
|Located in Communities||51%||27%||31%||37%||32%||34%|
|Located on Private Property||49%||73%||69%||63%||68%||66%|
|Titled as Personal Property||77%||78%||76%||77%||76%||77%|
|Titled as Real Estate||19%||19%||19%||17%||17%||17%|
|1 Includes manufactured homes with more than two sections.|
Other disclosures from the Census Bureau report are found further below.
Additional Information with More MHLivingNews Analysis and Commentary
Per Fixr on March 2, 2022, “your costs range from $150 a square foot for modular to $250 a square foot for stick-built.” The Bob Villa site posted a report on 8.12.2022 that noted the average conventional house cost was about $200 per square foot for construction cost, meaning, these are figures without land cost. Bob Villa also noted that adding a basement can add $100 per square foot to the cost of a house. That obviously applies only to those areas were basements are built, because not all parts of the country have conditions that allow for a basement.
To give a more ‘apples to apples’ comparison, the average cost per square foot for a multi-sectional manufactured home in 2021 was $73.58. The average cost that same year, both per the U.S. Census Bureau, for a conventional house was $143.83.
The typical multi-sectional in 2021 was 1,794 square feet. Conventional housing, to achieve that $143.83 per square foot cost, that house average was about 2,544 square feet. One might presume that a manufactured home that would be closer in size to that 2544 square foot size the cost per square foot would typically drop somewhat, because kitchen, HVAC, electrical, and wet areas of a home are among the higher cost items. Typically, the larger the home when other factors are equal, the lower the cost per square foot.
The illustrations reveal that modern manufactured homes are not the same as trailer houses or mobile homes. While recreational vehicles (RVs) that are towable ‘travel trailers’ are still built, there have been no mobile homes built in the U.S.A. since June 15, 1976. That was the date when HUD Code manufactured homes were officially ‘born.’
Despite the dramatic difference in cost per square foot, during an affordable housing crisis, manufactured housing is underperforming in historic terms. The percentage or market share of new single family housing construction in America for manufactured housing has dropped. The graphics and linked reports explore why that is so.
For those shopping for a manufactured home, the videos and articles linked below are meant to give shopping tips that are timeless. To maximize your joy, invest in some reading. ##
‘Half Priced New Homes’ — Tampa Free Press-MHLivingNews Reveals Federally Certified, 3rd Party Inspected New Affordable Homes, Facts, Video, Analysis Solutions to Festering Affordable Housing Crisis Problems
Research-Data-Stats – Media & Investigator Resources – Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, Manufactured Housing Research – HUD, Univ-Studies, CFPB, Nonprofits, GAO, NFPA – Exec Summary, Definitions, Facts, Trends, More
Footnotes: additional information from the U.S. Census Bureau disclosures and sources are as follows.
|Note: The Census Bureau has reviewed this data product for unauthorized disclosure of confidential information and has approved|
|the disclosure avoidance practices applied. (Approval ID: CBDRB-FY22-278)|
|Source: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Survey of Construction, https://www.census.gov/construction/chars/; https://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/xls/starts_cust.xls.|
|Source: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Manufactured Housing Survey.|
That’s a wrap on this installment of “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Recent and Related Reports:
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.