It’s a popular trend in modern America. Mobile home parks are on the increase as more and more Americans choose to simplify their lifestyles and live in mobile homes. Both homeowners and investors alike have been buying up mobile homes and parks, and the last decade has seen an upsurge in the number of mobile home parks being created.
Along with states like South Carolina, West Virginia and New Mexico, California is a very popular destination when it comes to mobile home living.
On the rise are senior mobile home parks, Los Angeles county, as well as parks aimed at young families and people in general right across the state.
There are a number of reasons why we’ve seen an escalation in the popularity of mobile home living, and we’ll go over some of those reasons after looking at a few stats.
Some Interesting Statistics Regarding the Mobile Home Industry
2018 saw an estimated 8.5 million manufactured homes in the United States, which comprises about 10% of the overall housing market. The manufactured home industry also reported an increase of almost 4% in manufacturing and orders in a 5 year period from 2014-2019.
There are claims that some 20 million Americans currently live in mobile homes located at various locations throughout the country, but on some sites those stats are dated as far back as 2013. Mobile home sales and dwelling have definitely increased further in the past six years, so that figure would be somewhat higher in 2019.
Estimates also put the number of mobile home parks across the United States at some 50,000, and roughly 1 in 5 of those parks is professionally managed. Many other parks are owned by mom and pop operators.
Currently in California there are 5257 active mobile home parks, containing a total of over 400,000 lots and housing in excess of 700,000 Californians. This information is according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).
Investors Have Shown a Keen Interest In Mobile Homes & Parks
Property investors and private investment groups have been keenly buying up mobile homes and mobile home parks in recent years because they are an investment that makes sound financial sense. They present a great opportunity to receive a regular return on investment through renting the homes and the park space, and when investors buy an entire home park, the risk is spread over hundreds of units, which makes mobile home parks a much safer investment.
To ensure parks remain full (or close to it), investors put more effort into marketing, effectively increasing the awareness of mobile homes as a good alternative housing option for lower income earners.
There has also been a push to show mobile home living in a positive light, eradicating past stigmas attached to what some refer to as “trailer parks”.
Other Reasons Why Mobile Homes Are So Popular
One of the main reasons homeowners are buying mobile homes is affordability. Whether they dwell in a mobile home park or on their own land, mobile homes are so much cheaper than a conventional house.
Many first home buyers are attracted to mobile homes, as obtaining finance is easier due to the lower price tag. First homeowners can start out with a mobile home and possibly scale up from there.
For those people who are looking to downsize, once again a mobile home is a great alternative to going the tiny house route. While still being extremely affordable, they offer way more space than a typical tiny house.
For homeowners that own their own home, or have paid off a considerable portion of their mortgage, selling up and downsizing to a mobile home may mean they have enough capital from the sale to purchase a mobile home outright. From there, the only main expense is leasing the lot where the mobile home sits inside a mobile home park.
Because mobile home living can vastly reduce financial stress, these housing alternatives have been growing in popularity year after year.
Another key reason mobile homes are popular is they are quick to clean and easy to maintain, meaning homeowners now have more cash and time to enjoy life, rather than being locked into an expensive mortgage and long hours spent at work.