An Unexpected Investment Gold Mine

March 2, 2020

Trailer parks have emerged as one of the top-performing real estate investments in the decade since the housing crash, The Wall Street Journal reports. Shares of stocks for major operators of mobile home parks, such as Sun Communities Inc., have climbed 4,137% since March 2009. “They’ve been rocket ships,” John Pawlowski, an analyst at real estate research firm Green Street Advisors, told the Journal. “It’s baffling how good a business it has been.”

Unlike other investments, such as hotels and apartment and office buildings, you don’t have to worry about capital expenditures and new supply with manufactured homes, says Alec Perkins, portfolio manager at Perkins Investment Management, a unit of Janus Henderson Group PLC. Trailer park companies usually own only the land where the manufactured homes are parked and are responsible for the upkeep of the land but not the homes. Also, trailer home owners tend to stay put, since it can be difficult and expensive to find space where they can relocate.

Demand for manufactured homes has been growing among retiring baby boomers and millennials who desire minimal living. Also, prices for single-family homes have risen, and the lower costs of manufactured homes are a draw for some buyers. The median price of a single-family home is $280,000, compared to the average sale of $53,000 for a single-width mobile home last year, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department.

This Stock Has Returned 4,100% Since the Housing Crash,” The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 25, 2020) [Log-in required.]