Unpacking “Manufactured Homes as an Investment” LendingTree “Mobile Home Values Are Rising Faster Than Single-Family Home Values”—When do Mobile and Manufactured Homes Appreciate or Depreciate?

“In short, depreciation in manufactured homes are neither inevitable nor is it necessarily a tragedy if it does occur. What’s needed are the facts and a good plan. With the right information, you can make a housing decision or investment that will yield a host of potential benefits, from lifestyle advantages to financial ones, less stress and beyond.” So said an EzineArticles report date June 26, 2008 linked here that explains the causes of appreciation and depreciation in manufactured homes. Fast-forward to an article on LendingTree by research/reporter Jacob Channel published on November 30th, 2021. Channel’s data demonstrated that “mobile homes” and manufactured homes in the last 5 years are appreciating faster than conventional “site built” single family housing. Channel said, “Not only did we find that mobile homes [and manufactured homes] are generally far less expensive than single-family homes, but the median value of mobile homes increased more quickly in 27 states than the median value of single-family homes over the same five-year period.”

LendingTree says, “Jacob Channel is the Senior Economic Analyst for LendingTree where he conducts studies on a wide variety of subjects related to the U.S. housing market…”

As MHLivingNews has said from early on in our publishing this information/educational resource site, examples of mobile and manufactured housing appreciating defy the stereotype that all such factory-built housing automatically drops in value. That common belief is disproven by years of well documented, third-party research. Sources for that research are found in the resource page linked below that includes free downloads for the public and others to examine as they please.


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


As a disclosure, this writer has some 30 years of manufactured home industry professional experience. There have also been some 3 years involved in the recreational vehicle (RV) industry, plus years in trade shows, writing and publishing. My family and I have also owned and lived in several manufactured homes. Only once did I ‘lose money’ selling a manufactured home, and it was a quick sale in a remote location under a time-pressure deadline. All of the other manufactured home sales were profitable. My wife and I know from first-hand experience that you cook, clean, eat, live, and love the same in a manufactured home as other kinds of single-family housing. Soheyla and I are in the planning stages for our next manufactured home.

I’ve also owned conventional housing in nice new and newer neighborhoods. Before we married, my wife Soheyla has lived in elite housing. So, my writing is not merely theoretical. It is informed by decades of personal experiences.

Additionally, several of the points made in EzineArticles’ “”Depreciation” and Manufactured Homes As an Investment” are reinforced by insights from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) researcher Dr. Ken Johnson, Ph.D.


Researchers Shake Up American Dream? Rent vs. Buy, Ken Johnson, Florida Atlantic University, Exclusive to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews


The video interview with Kim Capen, a manufactured homeowner, was published on 9.28.2015.

Kim Capen Medville ROC – MH Appreciation and the Senior Community Lifestyle



Manufactured housing has been a good value since it was ‘born’ on June 15, 1976. There were problematic ‘mobile homes’ built before that date. But the industry’s visionaries wanted federal regulation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and helped pass legislation that made construction, safety, energy and durability standards that benefit consumers in federal law. This is one of the reasons that manufactured housing facts, research and the history of the evolution from trailer houses to mobile homes to manufactured homes matters.


Historic Affordable Housing Event – How Trailer Houses, Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes Faired in America’s Affordable Home Efforts – June 15, 1976 to Today – Videos & Reports


There are some among the rich and famous have long chosen mobile and manufactured homes for a range of reasons, including just being frugal. These are individuals who could select other kinds of housing, but they made a conscious decision to buy a manufactured home instead.


Kid Rock, Famous Manufactured Homeowner and President Trump Supporter Rips “Far Left Socialist Liberals and Media”



From the report linked above are these pull quotes.

Per Jeanette Settembre for Realtor “Millennials Eye the Mobile Home Market Amid Record-High Housing Prices.”

“With home prices surging, many buyers, particularly millennial first-timers, are seeking out more affordable housing. And that means taking another look at alternatives like mobile homes [SIC].

Yes, mobile homes [SIC] often get a bad rap. But their values have been rising faster than single-family homes, according to a recent report from online financial services marketplace LendingTree. These [manufactured] homes have become even more appealing recently as they support the on-the-go, work-from-home lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic. …”

Terminology gaffs aside, Realtor’s Settembre has done affordable housing shoppers a favor.

Per LendingTree, the toplines of their research – which some other media outlets have also picked up on and reported – are as follows.

Key findings

  • Nationally, the median value of a mobile home is $53,300, nearly $190,000 less than the median value of a single-family home. Although they’re worth considerably less, the median value of mobile homes increased by 39% from 2014 to 2019, 6 percentage points more than the 33% increase in the median value of single-family homes in the same period.
  • Mobile homes cost the least in Nebraska, Iowa and Ohio. Across these states, the median value of a mobile home is less than $25,000. To put that into perspective, the median value of a single-family home in these states is more than $150,000.
  • Mobile homes cost the most in Washington, Oregon and California. Washington is the only state where the median value of a mobile home is higher than $100,000 ($125,400), though Oregon and California are also relatively pricey with median values of $93,500 and $91,400, respectively. Regardless, mobile homes in these states are still considerably less expensive than single-family homes.
  • The difference in price between a mobile and single-family home is the largest in California, Massachusetts and Colorado. In these three states, median-priced mobile homes cost $477,100, $343,300 and $337,800 less than median-priced single-family homes. On the other end of the spectrum, the differences in median prices in Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia and Oklahoma are less than $90,000.
  • The median value of mobile homes rose most significantly over the five years in Nevada, Oregon and California. In these states, median mobile home values increased by an average of 96% from 2014 to 2019. This increase is almost twice as much as the average appreciation of 50% seen in the median value of single-family homes in the same three states.
  • Though the median value of mobile homes increased from 2014 to 2019 in nearly every state, it fell in Delaware and Kansas. Respectively, median mobile home values fell by 11% and 7% in each state, while single-family home values increased by 14% and 24%.


Additional Ranking of Mobile Homes/Manufactured Homes by State, per LendingTree’s Channel’s Research.



Additional Information, More MHLivingNews Analysis and Commentary

Why is this information so little known? There are several reasons, but some regrettably begin inside of the manufactured housing industry. If someone looks carefully enough in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) website, they will find this Q&A.


“Will a manufactured home appreciate in value?

Generally, a home is a great investment. Appreciation on any home — either site-built or manufactured — is affected by the similar factors: the desirability and stability of the community, supply and demand for homes in the local market, location and maintenance and upkeep of the home. When properly installed and maintained, today’s manufactured homes can appreciate the same as surrounding site-built homes.”

While that statement by MHI lacks some key points made above – such as the importance of access to lending – it is accurate as far as it goes. One might add, for instance, the ‘curb appeal’ of a home as one of the factors that benefit conventional housing or a manufactured homes’ valuation.

But if MHI is serious about helping the industry’s growth during an affordable housing crisis – then it is odd at best, negligence or worse – that MHI has no mention of LendingTree’s research. Over a month since they posted their report, and a month since MHProNews published a report and analysis, MHI has nothing about Channel’s research article on LendingTree.


Note: depending on your browser or device, many images in this report can be clicked to expand. Click the image and follow the prompts. To return to this page, use your back key, escape or follow the prompts.






Additional evidence for the lack of engagement by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) on this topic is demonstrated below. As a researcher tip, when a search phrase is placed between quotation marks, it provides a more focused result in a given search engine. That said, there was the search phrase used below. “LendingTree” “manufactured home appreciation” “Manufactured Housing Institute” – and note that the second link below is from a dissertation that covered the period 1990-2000, which mentions MHI but is obviously not connected with the LendingTree November 2021 research.




The bottom line? If the public, media, and others are often ignorant of this topic, an evidence-based argument can be made that MHI is part of the problem, and not part of the solution.

This is not merely troubling. The case can be made that this is part of a broader pattern that benefits a few large players at MHI while harming millions of others. See that report below for more information.


Strommen “Felony” “Conspiracy” Case-“Monopolization” of Affordable Manufactured Housing and Manufactured Home Communities “Rube Goldberg Machine of Human Suffering” by Manufactured Housing Institute Firms – Knudson Law


More information on this appreciation/depreciation topic is planned. Stay tuned by checking back for that and more. Note too that other hot-button topics will be covered fresh research/reports here for 2022. Until then, the articles linked below will be a useful – and in several ways – timeless resources.


“All the Truth About Manufactured Homes” – Facts, Comparisons Between Trailer Houses, Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, and Conventional Housing

Saving Time, Money, Hassles – How Can You Buy a Manufactured Home Without Encountering Problems? Pissed Consumer Video Interview of L. A. “Tony” Kovach on Manufactured Housing


May of 2022 will mark one decade of publishing here on MHLivingNews. MHProNews.com has been in continuous publication since October 2009. Together, these two resources have been cited by mainstream media, members of Congress, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the National Association of Realtors, academics and others.
This graphic was created in 2012, and the pricing on conventional and manufactured homes have changed since then. But the ability to save serious cash by buying a manufactured home vs. a conventional single-family house remains. Indeed, in 2021, the surge of individuals who wanted to leave a city and buy a manufactured home increased. LendingTree’s Jacob Channel have recently documented (Nov 30, 2021) that mobile and manufactured homes are often appreciating faster in the last 5 years than conventional housing in dozens of states. NOTE: about 4 out of 5 such factory-built housing units are manufactured homes, so only about 1 in 5 are mobile homes.  To learn more about definitions and facts, see the linked and related reports below.


Mobile and Manufactured Home Living Revolution Revival – “You Can Live Better When Your Living Costs Less.”

Manufactured Home Living News, as well as our MHProNews sister site, are often at or near the top on numbers of manufactured housing industry focused topic. This is an example. MHLivingNews ranks higher on this speech by HUD Secretary Carson than it does on HUD’s own website that has the same speech. Note: depending on your browser or device, many images in this report can be clicked to expand. Click the image and follow the prompts. To return to this page, use your back key, escape or follow the prompts.



Why is Manufactured Housing Misunderstood? Follow the Money Report – Bill Gates, Warren Buffett Ally, Huge “Conflicts of Interest” Mammoth Funding Influencing Mainstream Media – Fresh Facts and Analysis



To get our free x2 weekly industry-leading emailed news headlines in seconds, click here or above.  http://eepurl.com/bl-9t5




We recommend that news tips NOT use company, nonprofit or organizational emails or cell phones. To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP or COMMENTS in the subject line.


We lay out the facts and insights that others can’t or won’t do. That’s what makes our sister site and this location the runaway leaders for authentic information about affordable housing in general, the politics behind the problems, and manufactured homes specifically. 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.)

All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested in the discussion of manufactured housing-related issues in our 12.3.2019 meetings. But Texas Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included a copy of the Constitution of the United States and other goodies. MHProNews has worked with people and politicos across the left-right divide.

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.





Check Also


October 2023 Ultimate Manufactured Housing and Mobile Home/Manufactured Home Research – Trends, Statistics, Expert Views, Fact Checks, and Insights

Objective research is an obvious way to establish the truth about a subject, including modern …