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Modular Homes – Uncertain Future


It’s hard to nail down the number of overall shipments on modular home units in the country. There is no one association or organization that monitors these statics. But based on interviews and research by well known author and modular home expert Randall Eaton, he estimates that modular home sales have tumbled about 20 percent for 2008.

“Builders and factories I talk to on a regular basis are just hanging on by their finger tips and many have gone out of business this year. The industry is really having a difficult time and one main problem that is plaguing the industry is stick-builders have lowered their prices to stay busy” according to Mr. Eaton.

Mr. Eaton says, “I received a call from a man a couple of months ago that was considering having a custom stick-built home constructed in North Carolina. In 2007 he was quoted $125 per square foot to have his custom home built. Because the price was so high he was considering a custom modular home, which was around $93 per square foot at the time. This person told me he was getting ready to sign a contract with the modular home company but his old contractor called him back and quoted him $80 per square foot, a 35 percent reduction. To make a long story short this person decided to go with the original stick-builder and the modular home company lost the deal”.

According to my research Mr. Eaton is correct; many stick builders have lowered their prices from a year ago (by 20 to 40 percent just to keep working). This has caused hardships for the modular housing industry, which used lower prices as a marketing strategy to stay competitive.

On the bright side Mr. Eaton says, “The modular home industry is starting to incorporate, “GREEN” technology and materials into their homes. Green is a big buzz word in the housing industry right now. I receive lots of emails and calls from home buyers considering modular housing but they want to know which companies are using, “green materials”. Many factories I talk to are moving in this direction and if the industry markets themselves as being, “GREEN” and using more recyclable materials it will attract a fair share of homebuyers in my opinion”.


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