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Mobile Home Values Neck-and-Neck with Single-Family Homes

As the market begins to cool, home prices are starting to come down in some parts of the U.S., but buying a single-family house remains difficult for many. Because of this, some would-be homebuyers may consider cheaper alternatives to traditional single-family homes, like less expensive condos or townhouses, while others may lean toward mobile homes.

LendingTree analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey to compare the median value of mobile homes and single-family homes in all states excluding Hawaii. The recent study found that mobile homes are generally far less expensive than their single-family counterparts. Data also found that mobile home values nationwide appreciated in value almost as quickly as single-family homes over the five years from 2016 to 2021.

Key Findings:

  • The median value of a mobile home nationally is $61,400, $220,000 less than the median value of a single-family home. Though mobile homes remain considerably less expensive than single-family homes, median mobile home values across the nation increased by an average of 34.58% from 2016 to 2021 — nearly the same as the average increase of 35.44% for single-family homes.
  • Mobile homes cost the least in Kansas, Ohio, and Iowa. In these states, the median value of a mobile home is $29,000 or less. To put that into perspective, the median value of a single-family home in each of these states is at least $174,000.
  • Mobile homes cost the most in Washington, Nevada, Oregon, and California. The median values for mobile homes in these four states are $146,500, $114,000, $113,500 and $110,200, respectively. These are the only states where median mobile home values exceed $100,000.
  • The difference in price between mobile and single-family homes is the largest in California, Colorado, and Massachusetts. In these three states, median-priced mobile homes cost $537,900, $404,000 and $390,300 less, respectively, than median-priced single-family homes. On the other end of the spectrum, the differences in median prices in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Mississippi are all less than $105,000.
  • The median value of mobile homes rose most significantly over the five years between 2016 and 2021 in Rhode Island, Nebraska, and Idaho. In these states, median mobile home values have more than doubled, increasing by an average of 110.82% from 2016 to 2021. For comparison, median single-family home values across these states only appreciated by an average of 57.95% over the same period.
  • Median mobile home values increased the least in Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, and New Jersey. Respective increases of 2.28%, 4.13%, 7.33% and 9.11% make these the only states where median mobile home values increased by less than 10%.

States where mobile homes are the least expensive

No. 1: Kansas

  • Median value of a mobile home: $28,300
  • Median value of a single-family home: $183,800
  • Difference in median values of a mobile and single-family home: $155,500
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a single-family home: 11.42%
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a mobile home: 26.85%

No. 2: Ohio

  • Median value of a mobile home: $28,500
  • Median value of a single-family home: $180,200
  • Difference in median values of a mobile and single-family home: $151,700
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a single-family home: 25.55% 
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a mobile home: 28.62%

No. 3: Iowa

  • Median value of a mobile home: $29,000
  • Median value of a single-family home: $174,400
  • Difference in median values of a mobile and single-family home: $145,400
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a single-family home: 15.08%
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a mobile home: 22.56%

States where mobile homes are the most expensive

No. 1: Washington

  • Median value of a mobile home: $146,500
  • Median value of a single-family home: $485,700
  • Difference in median values of a mobile and single-family home: $339,200
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a single-family home: 67.05%
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a mobile home: 58.52%

No. 2: Nevada

  • Median value of a mobile home: $114,000
  • Median value of a single-family home: $373,000
  • Difference in median values of a mobile and single-family home: $259,000
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a single-family home: 69.14%
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a mobile home: 55.74%

No. 3: Oregon

  • Median value of a mobile home: $113,500
  • Median value of a single-family home: $422,700
  • Difference in median values of a mobile and single-family home: $309,200
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a single-family home: 58.30%
  • 5-year median value appreciation of a mobile home: 47.23%

What are the drawbacks of buying a mobile home?

Though the relatively low cost of a mobile home can make one appealing, buying and owning such a property isn’t without drawbacks. While the value of mobile homes appreciates over time, some owners may find that reselling can be difficult. Further, securing a loan for a mobile home can be challenging since many lenders view it as a riskier investment than a loan for another type of house. It can also be tricky and costly for borrowers with poor credit scores or those trying to buy a mobile home on land they don’t own.

These drawbacks — in addition to other downsides like needing to pay trailer park or land access fees — may be enough to discourage some buyers from considering a mobile home, even if they find the price appealing. However, a mobile home could be a good investment depending on who’s buying the property and their needs. As long as a buyer understands what they’re doing, a mobile home could provide a good blend of affordability, convenience, safety, and shelter.

To read the full report, including more charts and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years' writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News, the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is a jazz aesthete and loves to read. She can be reached at [email protected]
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