Recent data has challenged the age-old notion that mobile homes don’t increase in value, reports MarketWatch writer Jacob Passy.

A new report from the Urban Institute examined data released in August by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The home price index for mobile homes featured an average annual growth rate of 3.4%, versus 3.8% for traditional, site-built homes. In fact, home prices have actually risen at a faster clip for manufactured, or mobile, homes than they have for traditional properties in recent years.

But the market makes all the difference, Passy says:

For instance, California represents nearly 18% of the nation’s overall housing market, but it comprises just 4% of the manufactured housing market based on the number of units shipped.

Because manufactured homes generally aren’t highly concentrated in housing markets that have notably recovered from the crisis, it creates the impression that these homes’ values don’t appreciate at the same rate as traditional homes. In reality, this is more a reflection of where the homes are located than the types of homes.

Comparatively, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas represent 41% of the manufactured-housing market, but have experienced price appreciation below the national level.

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