Zillow Home Buyer Trends Compared Conventional, Townhouse, Mobile or Manufactured Homes, Condos, and Duplexes

The data found below from the Zillow Group comes from their 2016 and 2018 research surveys of home buyer desires and actual purchases. By showing both sets of data, MHLivingNews readers will get a sense of the trends.


Properly understood, the Zillow data reveals, among other details, what people believe they wanted vs. what they in fact purchased.

Before diving into the facts, let’s preface it with some observations.

It is clear that millions of housing shoppers:

  • Never seriously consider a manufactured home
  • Which implies that they really don’t know much about manufactured homes
  • Why begs the question, why not?
  • Third party research data for years have reflected a high degree of satisfaction among modern manufactured homeowners.
  • Interviews with consumers who first owned a conventional house, and later purchased a manufactured home reflects the point that those buyers are overwhelmingly pleased with their factory-crafted home. Which again begs the question, why aren’t there more considering a manufactured home?

The simple reality is that most people clearly don’t know the reality of manufactured homes vs. the stereotypes or outdated realities.

For first time readers here, keep in mind that every person interviewed is who they say they are, they are not paid to make a statement, and they are routinely delighted to candidly share their experiences.  The video below are clips from longer interviews in 2015 that can be found elsewhere on this website. While prices are higher, the principles are much the same, or even better now.



The National Association of Realtors (NAR) performed tremendously insightful third-party research on manufactured homes in 2018.  That research debunked many of the concerns, outdated notions, and fears that consumers, housing advocates, and public officials have.


See her full report with an article found at this link here.


There is no need to accept someone’s sales pitch, because there are numbers of third-party nonprofit, university level, and federal research reports that have been done that come to surprising similar and positive conclusions.


Learn more at this link here.


If the 2018 NAR research found at this link – or other third-party research found at the link below – was better known, we believe far more would be considering a manufactured home.




That said, what could be is not what is.  Because only a small percentage consider a pre-HUD Code mobile home – housing built before June 15, 1976 – or a post HUD Code manufactured home built after that date, the total number of new manufactured home sales are relatively modest.

But if people realized that single family housing – the most sought after kind of housing – and manufactured homes are very similar in living while dramatically different in price, wouldn’t the number of buyers rise dramatically?

At the time that Harvard’s Eric Belsky, after leading research into the subject, he clearly believed in a bright future for manufactured homes.  He believed that manufactured housing would surpass conventional housing in popularity, because of the need for affordable housing and the strong value proposition.


Learn more about third party research by experts like Belsky at this link here.


Zillow Research Trends, 2016 and 2018

The first set of summarized data reflects research from 2016.





The next set of data is from their 2018 research.




We expect to report on their 2019 research in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.  Check out the mainstream news video with HUD Secretary Ben Carson talking about modern manufactured homes, which also shows some other kinds of prefab or factory-built housing.



Back to the Zillow research. On the one hand, a higher percentage of those who considered a manufactured home bought a manufactured home in 2018 than 2016.  That too is a strong statement that when someone looks for themselves, they are often sold by what they see, touch, feel and experience.

That said, there was a dip in the number percentage of people who considered a manufactured home.  Keep in mind that while there are ‘bad news’ reports on some manufactured home sellers, the same is true for other kinds of housing too.  So as with any product or service, you have to do your research about the seller before you buy.


A D.R. Horton model home, in MD. Compare the look of this kitchen with the far less costly manufactured home kitchen shown further below. But go beyond the looks, to the quality. See the report, linked here.


On MHLivingNews we don’t shy away from telling shoppers how to avoid purportedly problematic companies in manufactured housing.  One of several examples is linked below.  More are found at this link here. Our recommendation is simple.  Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. When you do your homework on anyone or any company before you buy, you can avoid the so-called black hat brands by sticking with those companies who wear white hats.




Those who do their homework on manufactured home companies before they buy routinely end up with high satisfaction.  See the report linked below for more details.


Learn more about third party consumer satisfaction survey on manufactured homes at this link here.


Our report on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and their purportedly inept and/or corrupt methods sheds light on that topic.




Learn more from related reports linked below the byline, or by surfing the MHLivingNews site.  Make sure you check out why millionaires, the rich and famous have owned and called a manufactured home, their home.

If the so-called leadership of the manufactured home industry were doing a better job, it would not be surprising to see a million or more new manufactured homes sold every year.  Until that happens, count on us to provide facts, evidence, reason and common sense for your insight and benefit. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Lifestyle news, analysis, and commentary.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNews106x150Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHLivingNews.com.

Soheyla is a managing member and cofounder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. Connect with us on LinkedIn here and here.




Related Reports:

Click the image/text box below to access relevant, related information.

Still from video posted further below. Text graphics by MHLivingNews. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/long-overdue-respect-authentic-manufactured-home-living-politicos-kid-rock-and-you/

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