RV Business Press Release
[The article below has to do with mobile home parks, but the info might be of interest to RVers.]
“The tough economy has spurred demand for lower-priced homes, which, in turn, is driving the large number of recent mobile home park deals, investors say.
This month, Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. bought the 63-acre Lake Village mobile home park at U.S. 41 and State Road 681 in Nokomis. The park with nearly 300 home sites was sold for $23.8 million by the owner, a subsidiary of Hometown America. In August, Equity LifeStyle paid $53.4 million for the 2,211-site Colony Cove mobile home park in Ellenton and $6 million for the 201-site Emerald Lake mobile home park in Punta Gorda. And last month, a unit of National RV Communities LLC of Scottsdale, Ariz., bought Saralake Estates off Bahia Vista Street for $10.55 million. Saralake has nearly 200 mobile home sites.
During the boom, mobile home parks were being bought by developers who planned to shut them down and redevelop the land on which they sat. Except for mobile home parks at key intersections, the flurry of purchases being made these days is driven by the attractiveness of investing in mobile home parks, said Charles Ellis, a principal and vice president for acquisitions at National RV. That company was formed in 2005 and now owns 58 mobile home properties, 80% of them in Florida. It is backed by financing from General Electric Capital Corp.
“From an investor standpoint, the revenue is very stabilized,” Ellis said. Once a mobile home is placed on a site and various improvements made, it becomes cost prohibitive to move, which translates into a stable stream of rents for investors.
National RV’s focus on Florida — most of its properties are in Manatee, Sarasota, Pinellas and Pasco counties — stems from a belief that middle-class retirees still want to retire to Florida but might not be able to afford a single-family home that costs well into the six figures. “They’re more likely to buy a $30,000 or $100,000 park model or manufactured home,” Ellis said.
A key part of the housing crisis has been the difficulty many would-be buyers have in qualifying for a mortgage from a bank. But part of the investment strategy for the buyers of mobile home parks is to provide financing to park residents.
“The park owner becomes the lender,” said Reynolds, whose company also operates industry websites, such as mobilehomeparkstore.com.