If Manufactured Housing Estates and Caravan Parks were combined to create a town, it would be the 25th biggest in Australia.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia and the Residential Land Lease Alliance (RLLA) have officially released ‘Long Term Residents in Caravan Parks and Manufactured Housing Estates: A Census 2016 Social Trends Report’.
The report shows that more than 70,000 Australians lived in MHEs and Caravan parks, and that this living arrangement is a vital aspect of affordable housing from both the supply and demand side.
These long-term residential communities have evolved from caravan parks which traditionally catered for short term visitors seeking longer term tenancies for holiday homes, which in turn led to people leasing the land as a long-term living arrangement.
Over the past thirty years, communities have evolved as technology and the ability to provide homes that more resemble their brick and mortar counterparts, have improved with lower costs and increased scalability of production.
The research demonstrated that 37% of residents in MHEs and caravan parks live alone – highlighting the important social benefits of living in land-lease communities which are increasingly providing facilities to encourage interactions between residents.
The report also revealed that approximately 2% of Australians aged over 65 live in MHEs or caravan parks, with the sector undergoing a large shift in the past decade.
MHEs provide an affordable downsizing option for the baby-boomer generation who tend to have much equity tied up in their property, especially households with mid-lower income brackets. This downsizing also frees up housing supply in with ageing demographics.
The trend of retirees and empty nesters who seek to downsize their homes to move into caravan parks and MHEs, along with the need to free up housing stock and improve affordability for families to enter the housing market, has led to increased investment.
While some of the trends in MHEs and Caravan Parks highlight the challenges of an ageing population, this information also provides immense opportunity to connect to new markets along with providing new products and services.