December 27, 2012

Manufactured Housing Communities on the Upswing

ProSight Specialty Insurance, in partnership with Propel Insurance, offers coverage for a sector of the housing market that most insurers ignore: manufactured housing communities. But while this may be a somewhat esoteric area, the reality is that it is a segment that is experiencing significant growth – and is expected to continue to expand in the coming years.

A major reason why people are choosing to live in these communities is cost. According to the October 2012 Manufactured Homes Survey – which is conducted monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau – the average manufactured home in the United States cost is under $68,000, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) reports that these homes can be purchased for 10 to 20 percent less per square foot than conventional site-built homes. That appeal translates to lower costs for tenants, many of whom live in communities comprised entirely of rented manufactured homes.

Cost is definitely a key issue, but surprisingly the majority of residents are not younger people looking for “starter homes.” According to the MHI, the average age of residents in these homes is 49.9 years old, and a full 75% are over age 40. As one might expect, retirees are at the forefront of this trend:Commercial Investment Real Estate magazine notes that “retirement meccas, such as Florida and Arizona, characteristically feature spacious multisection homes with pitched, shingled roofs and lap siding.”

In uncertain economic times, having a low-cost alternative to living in a site-built home is an attractive proposition for older Americans trying to balance their budgets. In many parts of the country, manufactured housing communities are the best option – and we are there every step of the way to provide the right coverages to help the owners of these properties do what they do best.