In the developing countries of the Asia/Pacific region, Africa/Mideast region, and Central and South America, advances in overall housing activity as well as increasing market penetration of prefabricated housing will drive gains going forward. In these regions, prefabricated housing will find applications both as low cost units to reduce housing shortages and as high quality houses for more affluent consumers. These and other trends are presented in World Prefabricated Housing, a new study from Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
The Asia/Pacific region, which accounts for the vast majority of prefabricated housing demand, is expected to post gains slightly below the global average through 2019. In the two largest global markets for prefabricated housing—China and India—demand is expected to slow through 2019.
“In China, temporary housing is widely used to house construction workers, but demand for this type of housing is forecast to decline as construction activity throughout the country decelerates,” says analyst Allison Blackburn. Slowing construction of new housing units will restrict demand gains for prefabricated housing in India going forward. Japan was a major market for prefabricated housing historically, but the country’s prefabricated housing market will grow at a pace below the global average through 2019 as the country’s overall residential construction market is not expected to perform well.  
Manufactured housing accounts for the majority of prefabricated housing demand in the United States, but demand for these homes has been declining since the late 1990s, when liberalized lending standards made conventional housing more affordable for lower-income home-buyers. Through 2019, continued growth in US housing demand will increase sales of prefabricated housing, but its share of new housing units will decline slightly.
Demand for prefabricated housing in the Africa/Mideast region is forecast to grow at the fastest rate of any region, but the level of activity will remain under 150,000 units in 2019. Site built homes are common throughout the region, particularly in the lower-income countries. Central and South America will also post above average gains in prefabricated housing demand through 2019, though it will continue to account for only a small share of the global market.