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C. Oregon sees high demand in manufactured homes this year

(Update: Adding video, comments from home dealer and inspector)

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Manufactured home dealers in Central Oregon said Wednesday they have seen a higher demand for their homes this year.

J & M Homes in Redmond said he has seen a record year in sales of manufactured homes.

Manager Mike Swantko said he has been selling manufactured homes in Central Oregon for two decades.

“Once people got used to staying at home in March and April, we’ve had a rush of people coming in,” Swantko said.

He said there is a high demand for manufactured homes this year due to their affordability.

“You’re looking at something that averages between $60 and $80 a square foot, as opposed to what you run into with a site-built home,” Swantko said.

He said a manufactured home also takes less time to build than a site-built home.

“We can generally get a home project going between 90 to 120 days,” Swantko said.

One of J & M Homes' projects is Cascade Village, which is a manufactured housing neighborhood in northeast Bend. Swantko said it is an ideal neighborhood for people who want affordable housing in Bend.

Although building time had to be extended and there were some supply shortages due to COVID-19, he said Clayton, the parent company of two of their factories, was prepared to handle business during the pandemic.

David Brehm, the owner of Brickkicker Inspection Services, said the real estate market this year has kept him busy.

“Oh, it’s been wild!” he said. “Again, in all these years, this is probably the busiest time I’ve ever had.”

He said with his crew of three, including himself, the company has been inspecting up to 100 homes a month.

"The interest rates are really low, and because of that, people with expendable incomes who have been cooped up in the cities are just now flying in," Brehm said.

Brehm said he has also noticed a low inventory in building supplies, possibly due to COVID-19.

“Workers being sick or that state where the factory is in is shut down, they may have a spike in COVID,” Brehm said. “So where do you get your paint? Your caulking? Your screws? Your wood?”

He said in his nearly 20 years of work, he has never seen the supply chain for building materials disrupted like it has been this year.

“Not only manufactured homes, but homes and building materials for homes,” Brehm said. “I mean everything. The whole economy is affected.”

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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.

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