Academic Study Abstracts

Manufactured Housing Research Project
University of Michigan, 1993
Dr. Kate Warner and Dr. Robert Johnson

This study is divided into six sections dealing with various questions surrounding manufactured housing: Quality, Costs and Finance, Values, Impacts on Adjacent Property Values, Manufactured Housing and the Senior Population, and Alternative Ownership and Innovative uses. Findings included:

– Manufactured housing quality has become essentially equivalent to that of conventional housing
– Manufactured housing compares favorably with site-built housing as an affordable housing option
– Manufactured housing, like site-built housing, can be viewed as an investment with probabilities of appreciation and equity accumulation
– Manufactured housing has no impact on the appreciation rates of surrounding properties, putting to lie the myths of negative property value impacts.

The Future of Manufactured Housing
Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies, 1997
Kimberley Vermeer and Josephine Louis

The Harvard Joint Center report is essentially a survey of previous academic studies of manufactured housing. It draws from earlier Joint Center studies, particularly Residential Property Value and Mobile/Manufactured Homes: A Case Study of Belmont, New Hampshire,” which is Thomas Nutt-Powell’s 1986 examination of property value impacts of manufactured housing, as well as the Manufactured Housing Research Project abstracted above. The Future of Manufactured Housing points out some areas that the industry needs to address (many of them dealt with in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act, such as installation) and the conclusions that it draws are generally very favorable for the industry.

The Impact of Manufactured Housing on Adjacent Site-Built
Residential Properties in North Carolina
East Carolina University, 1997
Dr. Richard Stephenson and Dr. Guoqiang Shen.

The first examination of property value impacts of manufactured housing that draws on real-world spatial relationships via GIS data, The Impact of Manufactured Housing on Adjacent Site-Built Residential Properties in North Carolina dispels the twin myths that manufactured housing automatically depreciates and drags down surrounding property values. The most telling findings were:

– Manufactured homes with a fixed foundation or listed as real property appreciated at comparable rates to site-built residential properties
– There is no clear negative correlation between the overall appreciation rate of site-built residential properties and the presence of manufactured housing in close proximity

Manufactured Home Life, Existing Housing Stock Through 1997
Iowa State University, May 1998
Dr. Carol B. Meeks

An update to an earlier study conducted when Dr. Meeks was with the University of Georgia, this study takes a more comprehensive look at the manufactured housing stock to determine the life expectancy of manufactured homes. Manufactured Home Life, Existing Housing Stock Through 1997 finds that the life expectancy of manufactured homes is comparable to the life expectancy of new site-built homes.

Code Comparison Study – MHCSS vs. CABO One- and Two-Family
Dwelling and Model Energy Codes
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Architecture, January 1998
Jeffrey Gordon and William B. Rose

Compares the applicable requirements of standards for construction of a home built to the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (HUD Code) with the CABO One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code and Model Energy Code. The comparison concludes that while in some areas the HUD Code requirements are more restrictive, and in other areas the CABO code are, on balance the two codes are comparable, resulting in houses that perform similarly.

Identification and Measurement of Zoning Barriers Related to Manufactured Housing:
A Location and Accessibility Analysis East Carolina University, 1999
Dr. Richard Stephenson and Dr. Guoqiang Shen

The 1999 ECU Study examines what impact zoning has on manufactured housing placement and it’s proximity to “positive” versus “negative” public facilities. For the purposes of the study, “positive” facilities included environmental, health and emergency rescue services; cultural, recreational and education services; and auto, food, shopping and other business services. “Negative” facilities include landfill and solid waste sites and other similar uses. Findings include:

– Manufactured housing is located farther from “positive” community facilities, which is especially significant in the area of life safety services
– Manufactured housing is located closer to “negative” public facilities such as landfills and solid waste facilities
– Zoning districts where manufactured housing is a permitted use have a higher percentage likelihood of being located in flood zones
The general conclusion is that many of the negative perceptions of manufactured housing are in fact self-fulfilling prophecies perpetuated in part by the limited placement opportunities created through local government zoning actions.

The Impact of Manufactured Housing on Adjacent Site Built
Residential Properties in Two Alabama Counties
Auburn University – Montgomery, 2000
Charles E Hegji and Linda Mitchell

This study used property valuations from Montgomery and Lee Counties in Alabama to assess the impact of proximity to manufactured housing on site-built property value. Using a methodology similar to that use by East Carolina University in their earlier study, including a spatial analysis using GIS, the Auburn University – Montgomery study concluded that:

– The appreciation rates of individual manufactured homes in both counties were comparable to those of site-built properties
– Proximity to manufactured housing did not appear to be a significant determinant of property values of site-built residential housing