Manufactured housing is beginning to look like a viable alternative to traditional senior living options for the 55-and-older age group, according to JLL’s recently published Manufactured Housing Report.

Affordability is a prime concern for middle-income seniors, which is “a segment that is expected to double in size by 2029,” the report authors wrote. They predict that by 2029, more than half of that demographic will not be able to afford traditional senior housing options, and manufactured housing communities will become prevalent.

“The shortage of affordable housing is one of the largest unresolved issues in commercial real estate — and our society — today,” said Geraldine Guichardo, director, Americas Living Research. 

“Some renters struggle to find an affordable place to live, and the problem isn’t improving. Since the growing demand for affordable housing presents an opportunity for unconventional solutions, the manufactured housing industry may be well-positioned to reap the benefits of that pent-up demand,” she added.

Investors are homing in on this untapped opportunity, according to JLL.

“Due to its attractiveness, the last 12 months saw a flurry of institutional investment activity in the manufactured housing sector, resulting in increased demand, as investors sought to place capital in more recession-resilient sectors,” JLL reported.

“Increased investor and occupant demand, limited supply and consolidation of single assets and smaller portfolios all contributed to valuations reaching an all-time high,” said Scott Belsky, JLL valuation advisory national practice lead in manufactured housing.