The Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) just recently published its quarterly report on U.S. home prices and included data on manufactured houses for the first time. The report reveals manufactured homes may appreciate at the same levels as site-built homes. Although the new index is still in the experimental stage, prices of the manufactured homes purchased by government-sponsored entities, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, perform similarly and suggest the industry may need to reevaluate the previous presumption.

The FHFA calculates its price indexes using a repeat sales methodology, which notes the change in prices between repeat sales of the same property. The indexes are constructed on the state level and weighted to roll up to the national index. State-level indexes were not constructed for the MH indexes, as there are fewer transactions (the sample is limited to MH loans titled as real property and guaranteed by the GSEs); the national-level indexes were formed by pooling all transactions together.

The linked figure compares the FHFA’s national purchase index through time with the new MH index. Clearly, MH is more volatile than the national index for site-built homes—declining more between 2005 and 2012 and increasing more since then. And the MH index is usually slightly lower than the site-built index.

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