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As housing costs rise, more Washington buyers turn to manufactured homes

Manufactured home sales in Washington rose 47 percent this year

The Northwest Housing Association released announced that manufactured home sales in Washington rose 47 percent this year. That completes a huge turnaround during the last decade when demand dropped from 3,000 houses per year to less than 600.

According to Joan Brown, executive director for the Northwest Housing Association, 550 homes have already been shipped in 2016 and plants are currently staffing up to meet stronger demand. Reasons for the renewed interest in manufactured homes is credited to the improving economy, a growing need for affordable housing, and improved financing options coming out of the recession.

You might have a vision in your head of what a manufactured home looks like but they actually encompass a wide variety of styles. Modular homes, tiny homes, and even container homes all fit within the umbrella.

Last year some counties in Washington reported that manufactured housing accounted for roughly a third or more of all new housing permits issued in unincorporated areas. In 2015, almost one out of every 20 new home permits in Washington was for a manufactured home. Also, 15 Washington counties reported that 20 percent or more of new housing permits in unincorporated areas were for manufactured homes.

While Eastern Washington sees the largest percentage of manufactured homes amongst all new single-family housing, we’re seeing them show up in Western Washington as well. Two percent of King County’s 2015 single-family housing was manufactured. Meanwhile, it was four percent in Pierce County, six percent in Kitsap County, and 23 percent in Skagit County.