US prefabricated housing sector affected by its association with 'trailer park homes'

Press release   •   Apr 08, 2013 16:02 BST

Shipments within the US prefabricated housing market are projected to reach 112 thousand units by 2018, staging a comeback in tandem with the recovery in the global economy and the resurgence in housing and construction activity.

Prefabricated homes, often referred to as prefab homes, are specialist dwelling types of prefabricated building, which are manufactured off-site in advance, usually in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled. Some current prefab home designs include architectural details inspired by postmodernism or futurist architecture.

"Prefabricated" may refer to buildings built in components (e.g. panels), modules (modular homes) or transportable sections (manufactured homes), and may also be used to refer to mobile homes, i.e., houses on wheels. Although similar, the methods and design of the three vary wildly. There are two-level home plans, as well as custom home plans.

There are considerable differences in the construction types. Mobile and manufactured houses are constructed in accordance with the HUD building codes in the US while modular houses are constructed in accordance with the IBC (International Building Code).

The prefabricated housing sector took a major hit with the burst of the sub-prime crisis at the start of the 21st century and suffered further at the hands of the global economic recession and subsequent slump in the US housing industry.

However, the gradual recovery of the economy is creating fertile ground for revitalising demand for prefabricated housing in the North American market.

Manufactured housing is highly popular among the lower-income home purchasers, employed youth, newly-weds, and senior citizens. However, the lack of adequate financial support and incentives from the government continues to stall the recovery of the manufactured housing industry.

Despite the close resemblance of the modern prefabricated houses to site-built homes, growth of the market in the US has been largely tempered by consumers associating manufactured and mobile homes with the 'trailer park homes' of yesteryears that were largely owned by weaker sections of the society and transient residents.

For more information on the US prefabricated housing market, see the latest research: US Prefabricated Housing Market

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