by Matt Zielenski
June 16, 2020
Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City won the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in 2017 for its stirring depiction of families seeking to find and maintain a place to live. Readers of the book – and scores of articles that followed in its aftermath – quickly learned that America faces an affordable housing crisis. In many parts of the US, people are unable to buy or rent homes while still being able to afford other necessities. This lack of housing – especially traditional site-built single-family residences – has boosted interest in less expensive prefabricated housing (e.g., manufactured housing, modular housing, precut housing, and panelized housing) as a way to ameliorate the nation’s housing shortage.
Manufactured housing – also known as mobile homes or park homes – has always played a role in the US housing market, but shipments of manufactured housing fell precipitously during the Great Recession. While shipments of manufactured housing recovered in the aftermath, the large number of foreclosed site-built residences provided consumers at that time with inexpensive alternatives. Going forward, shipments of manufactured housing are expected to rise at a rate above that of single-family housing completions as US consumers increasingly purchase these residences. Demand for manufacturing housing will be spurred by:
Modular housing – sections of a home that are shipped nearly complete from the factory to a lot where they are assembled into a residence – has traditionally accounted for a niche share of the US housing market. However, demand for modular homes in the US is anticipated to rise sharply going forward, supported in part by the increasing popularity of “tiny homes.” Also known as accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, these residences:
Tiny homes are much less expensive than site-built homes (sometimes just one-third of the cost) and appeal to a wide range of consumers, such as:
For more information about the size and growth of the US prefabricated housing market, check out The Freedonia Group’s new study, Prefabricated Housing.
About the Author:
Matt Zielenski is a Senior Analyst at The Freedonia Group, where he covers trends in the use of building materials and related construction products in the US market.
Provide the following details to subscribe.