THE STABILITY OF MANUFACTURED HOUSING
Written by: Russ Williamson
As a Vice President, Russ Williamson works with the Midwest Colliers Manufactured Housing and RV Group, which specializes in the acquisition and dispositions of Manufactured Housing and Recreational Vehicle assignments across the U.S. This includes strategic positioning of investment offerings, coordination of the financial and underwriting processes, and interaction with key decision makers within industry REITs, large institutional investment firms, family offices and owner operators. Keep reading to get Russ’ take on where the manufactured housing sector stands today.
How have you seen COVID-19 affect sales activity in manufactured housing?
There was a slight slow-down around March and April, but now buyer confidence has returned to pre-COVID levels.
Have you noticed the pandemic hitting some markets harder than others? If so, why do you think this is?
I haven’t seen Midwest markets that have been hit harder than others. However, I have been told that Las Vegas has been hit very hard as their local economy is tied directly to tourism.
Do you anticipate a more favorable buyers’ or seller’s market post-pandemic, and why?
If the economy continues to recover, it will continue to favor sellers over buyers. Liquidity is available and affordable, and valuations and demand for manufactured housing communities are very high.
Various articles have predicted a more positive outlook for manufactured housing than typical multifamily product moving forward. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
Yes, I agree. The Manufactured Housing industry has a reputation for being recession proof because we offer the most affordable housing options in the United States. If renters and homeowners choose or are forced to downsize, the easy choice would be to rent or own a manufactured home. However, many believe the negative stigma will need to be overcome before renters and owners flock to manufactured housing communities.
Do you anticipate a change in the occupancy of manufactured housing communities due to COVID-19?
Yes. It will increase as more renters and owners will hopefully view manufactured housing communities as a viable option. Additionally, many new owners are filling their communities with new homes and executing a rental model vs. a resident-owned model. Many believe they’re able to capture the multifamily renter by offering reduced rents and newer furnishings and by pushing the common marketing message “no shared walls/neighbors above, below or beside you”.