Manufactured Housing May Be Viable Answer To High Real Estate Prices
Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes fell in July to the slowest pace since January as elevated mortgage rates and a stubbornly low inventory of homes on the market combined to discourage many would-be-homebuyers.
According to The Associated Press, sales slumped 16.6% compared with July last year. It was also the lowest home sales for the month of July since 2010.
Despite falling sales, competition for near-historic low level of homes on the market helped drive prices higher. The national median sales price rose to $406,700, marking the first annual increases in prices since January.
A new Housing Perspective Blog post by Chadwick Reed of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University discusses how homeownership is becoming increasingly inaccessible for low-and middle income households and what can be done to mitigate this emerging problem.
According to Reed, while land costs are a driving force in this trend, more to blame is the cost of construction –including labor– pre–and on-site manufactured housing offers a potential and more so reliable, solutions to rising construction costs as they offer significant price advantages on the housing side of things.
Given the benefits of manufactured housing, Reed and his colleagues suggest that policymakers from federal officials down to local housing and zoning boards , take steps to promote more widespread adoption of this type of housing as an affordable alternative to site-built housing for aspiring homebuyers.
“Our findings suggest that manufactured housing is a viable alternative to site-built housing which, in the face of increased barriers to homeownership nationwide, could be more widely utilized,” Reed continued. “Moving forward, policymakers, housing organizations, and industry stakeholders should consider the findings of this study to promote and support the expansion of manufactured homes as an affordable housing option.
“By addressing regulatory barriers, improving financing options, and increasing awareness about the cost advantage of manufactured homes, more homeownership opportunities can be created for low – and moderate – income households, ” Reed concluded in his post. “The potential benefits of manufactured housing should not be overlooked, and concerted efforts should be made to leverage this promising solution to address the affordable housing crisis in our communities.”