Manufactured Homes Gain Popularity Amid Pandemic Price Spikes

As housing prices remain high, more people are looking at manufactured homes. (Kenyon Jones/unsplash)

MOBILE, AL (Jan. 24, 2022) — Affordable housing is hard to come by these days due to supply chain issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic. So, more people are turning to manufactured homes to achieve the dream of homeownership.


Manufactured homes may look uniform like these, or they may come in styles similar to site-built homes. (Roger Starnes Sr./unsplash)

The Appeal of Manufactured Homes

As housing costs skyrocket due to lumber price spikes and concrete shortages, price is a huge factor for many homeowners favoring manufactured homes.

The average price of a new manufactured home is $81,900, according to 2020 data from the Manufactured Housing Institute, and the cost per square foot is $57, compared to a site-built home at $119.

A recent report from LendingTree found mobile homes cost about $190,000 less than site-built single-family homes.

You don’t have to sacrifice style for affordability. Manufactured homes come in a variety of architectural styles and exterior finishes that allow the home to blend seamlessly into almost any neighborhood.


Multiple Layout Styles

With different layouts and floorplan options, you can find a manufactured home to suit any style. For instance, the Alabama Manufactured Housing Association describes these four popular layouts:

Traditional ranch layouts have low-pitch rooflines and open floor plans. (suesmith2/Canva via Getty Images)

Traditional Ranch Layout

This standard layout features a single-story home with an open floor plan and the designs often feature long, low-pitch rooflines and large windows along the front of the house. 

Ranch-style house shapes can vary. Most are rectangular, but they can also be built in a “U” or “L” shape. Other common features include sliding doors, wide roof eaves and an attached garage.


Modern manufactured homes capitalize on space and have large windows. (riley/unsplash)

Modern Manufactured Home Layout

Modern manufactured homes mix style with function. They have rectangular exteriors, flat or slanted rooflines and angular points.

You can also expect to see metal, glass and steel on the exterior, along with a large expanse of glass windows or doors.

Open layouts are typical in these homes, so you can get the most use out of the space.


Farmhouse-style manufactured homes have similar features to traditional site-built structures. (Roger Starnes Sr./unsplash)

The Farmhouse Layout

The farmhouse manufactured house, like its site-built counterpart, features rustic simplicity.

You can expect a rectangular or square floor plan that is practical and timeless. Also common are a formal front room and living area with a large kitchen at the centerpiece of the main floor.

Light-colored exteriors with expansive or wraparound porches, overhead dormers and fireplaces or exterior chimneys are usually staples of such layouts. 


Manufactured log cabins are popular for small families or singles. (shonflare/pixabay)

The Cabin Home

Cabin floor plans emphasize casual indoor-outdoor living with spacious porches and open kitchens, and they’re customizable to suit any homeowner’s specific wants and needs.

Cabin floor plans are usually smaller and more compact in square footage by comparison, so they would likely be ideal for smaller families, couples or an individual.


Mass-produced mobile homes like these cost less than custom-designed manufactured homes or those that resemble site-built homes. (Laura Cleffmann/unsplash)

By the Numbers

Manufactured homes are generally less expensive than site-built homes, but they can still be pricey in some states.

States where mobile homes are the least expensive:

  • Nebraska
    Median mobile home value: $21,800
  • Iowa
    Median mobile home value: $23,300
  • Ohio
    Median mobile home value: $24,900

States where mobile homes are the most expensive

  • Washington
    Median mobile home value: $125,400
  • Oregon
    Median mobile home value: $93,500
  • California
    Median mobile home value: $91,400

Further Reading