Manufactured homes are now ‘Land Lease Communities’

In our travels, we meet a lot of village managers who have not experienced the new breed of manufactured homes. They are wondering what all the fuss is about.

Why are people thinking of them as a competitor to retirement villages? Aren’t the homes made in a factory and placed in a caravan park?

First up the modern ‘manufactured home park’ is now being called a ‘land lease community’.

In fact, in most states the legislation is adopting this title because it explains the contract better. (You own your home but lease the land it stands on – like a caravan).

The important thing for village managers to understand is that LLCs are doing two things.

The first is grabbing the traditional market for retirement villages, being ‘affordable housing’. Most retirement village homes are now $350,000 and more.

A new LLC home can be as low as $225,000 and older LLC homes are nearly always in the mid-$200K field or even lower.

The second is the homes are no longer always built in a factory. They can be built on site and still comply with regulations for being ‘removable’ if they can be split up and taken away.

We went to the launch of Ingenia’s Latitude One development in Port Stephens, north of Newcastle, last Saturday. See the photos.

They are big – up to 200 m². They are still reasonably affordable, ranging from around $350,000 to $550,000. And they are built on a slab – not raised on posts.

LLCs target a younger market than retirement villages, emphasising lifestyle. They have big community and support facilities. And most don’t have a DMF.

For operators, the resident owns her own home and are responsible for its maintenance. As a village manager, you will recognise this benefit.

It is still early days for LLCs. There are about 300 serious locations across the country with about 20 operators, compared to 2,000 retirement villages and 600+ operators.

But as a village manager, you will hear more about them, especially if you are in a regional location or on the outer Metro fringe.

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