Mobile Home Park Mastery: Episode 223

Hot Markets In The Hard Infrastructure Bill

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The “hard infrastructure bill” has now been signed into law. This bill is very geographic-specific, and many people have not through who the winners and losers actually. Some may be surprised at the new hot markets created by this democratic initiative. In this Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast we’re going to take a look at who the big beneficiaries are of this bill and why this does a lot to bring new luster to the “rust belt” and “flyover” states.

Episode 223: Hot Markets In The Hard Infrastructure Bill Transcript

Hot markets in the hard infrastructure bill. This is Frank Rolfe for Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast. We're gonna focus on the impact of the new hard infrastructure bill that has passed Congress and been signed into law. What markets will that affect, and how will that affect the mobile home park industry? What is the hard infrastructure bill? Well, I think we all know what's in it. There's a 173,000 miles of highway in the United States and 45,000 bridges, and they estimate about 20% of those need to be redone. So right off the bat, a lot of the money goes towards roads and bridges, but there's also going to be a lot of work done to railroads and water and sewer production. And we're gonna add in a lot of broadband. We're gonna redo some airports or runways, ports, all kinds of things. And this was something that was passed with bipartisan support.

It's a lot of money being spent, and at least you see something tangible, hopefully for your money. But when I was reading the whole bill, it got me thinking, "Now, wait a minute? What is the real impact on this on the mobile home park industry?" Well, let's start off by looking where the money is going by state. We're just gonna look at the top 10 to save time 'cause you'll see the general theme. The state that gets the most money out of hard infrastructure at 44.5 billion is the State of California. The second state, Texas at 35.4 billion, New York at 26.9 billion and Florida at 19 billion. What's interesting here, of those four states, three of those contain the largest number of mobile home parks in the US. Texas has the most parks, is getting the second-largest amount from infrastructure. California has probably the second number of parks, and it's got the first-largest portion of infrastructure. And Florida's got the third-most and it's got the fourth-most infrastructure.

So right off the bat, the states that are the largest in mobile home parks are also getting the bulk of infrastructure, but then it gets more interesting. After that you got Illinois at 17 billion, Pennsylvania, 17 billion, New Jersey at 13 billion, Ohio at 12 billion, Georgia at 12 billion and Michigan at 10 billion. All but one of those states, New Jersey, are also very, very large in mobile home park numbers. So it's kind of unusual that of the top-10 markets, eight of those 10 are in states which rank among the top largest as far as containing mobile home parks. The other thing I think people aren't really thinking about with this bill is where the people are going to live who do these jobs. Because when you go out and you try and spend $35 billion on construction projects in Texas, you know there will be people who migrate from other parts of the nation to do that. These jobs are supposed to be high-paying. I don't know. I haven't seen what they're gonna pay, but I imagine if you're paying people who mess around with concrete, are up in the air with metal and welding and riveting, they probably are fairly well paid.

And a lot of people are gonna migrate to those states, and where are those people going to stay? Well, you probably guessed it. Yes, they're going to probably stay in mobile home parks. That's always been how it's been as long as I have been in the business for 25 years now. Whenever you have a big construction project in the market, your mobile home park goes off the grid with demand because every worker is either going to live in his RV while he works on that project or wants to live in a mobile home. Many of them will be there for years and years. Some of these projects are so large, I imagine they may take a decade. So it's gonna do great things for those states where they get the money because our end users of mobile home parks and RV parks will be among the most employed and our properties will be the most in-demand. When someone is gonna go to Texas to work on a water plant, they're not gonna buy a brick custom home. A, they can't afford it, and B, that's not something you would do if you're there for not a lifetime, but they sure are going to look at mobile home parks and RV parks. You better believe they are.

So a lot of the money is going to go not only towards this infrastructure stuff, but you have to look at the impact on employment and who benefits from all those people. And I think our industry is very safe to say, we'll be benefiting from those people more than about anybody else. The other thing you have to look at is where do all the tools come to make these infrastructure projects a reality? Where does the heavy equipment come from? Well, good question. Here's the answer. John Deere, it's headquartered in Illinois. Caterpillar, it's headquartered in Illinois. Look at where all of the companies that build big equipment, all the companies that build steel, where do they all come from? They all come from the Midwest and the Rust Belt. So all of these materials that will be used to do all these big projects, they're going to, again, foster employment and more economic strength in those flyover states, Great Plains, Midwest and Rust Belt.

That's where it's all going. It's not going out to those Western states. I don't know how they got conned into approving this thing to be quite honest with you. If you look at the impact of this bill on states like Arizona and Nevada, it's not much. That's because they're newer, so they don't have a lot of the old roads and bridges and old water pipes to replace. They got all new stuff. And the cities and the states with all the new stuff or cities that have been grown out of the last few decades, they benefit very, very little. And even then, they don't have any materials that are produced in those states that will be used as tools in doing any of this. So the bottom line of it is that mobile home park states are huge winners here, absolutely huge. Now, what else does it all mean? Well, I think it means going forward, when you go in and you replace all this stuff in the old flyover states and the old Rust Belt areas, it's gonna tend to bring those areas back to life.

So I think they're also gonna be fostering kind of a redevelopment boom in these parts of the nation, and once again, that's a great thing for mobile home parks in these areas. If you take and you overlay where the money is going from this hard infrastructure bill onto the states that have the largest numbers of mobile home parks, they almost match identically. It's really amazing. It looks as though, perhaps, the mobile home park industry had to be the ones that created this bill to begin with. I doubt they did, but it certainly would have that appearance. The bottom line to it all, one more mega trend I'm happy to be in the mobile home park to enjoy. I don't think you're going to see such a boom as this since the whole idea of the Opportunity Zone, and it somewhat fizzled. Opportunity Zone got derailed by people starting to lose confidence the program would continue on.

In this case, to my knowledge, these funds are pretty much guaranteed. I'm not sure this is a program that you can stop at this point. I think that train just keeps running down the tracks, so you're gonna be dumping huge amounts of money overnight into areas and regions that haven't seen a whole lot of money in a long, long time. You're gonna be rebuilding these old Midwest, Great Plains, Rust Belt markets, into just like new. In fact, they'll be newer than any other city and states out there. You're gonna be offering massive numbers of jobs to mobile home park and RV park residents. Those are the people who do those types of jobs. You're gonna be spurring on a huge amount of new manufacturing of all the tools that go into these things, such as from Caterpillar and John Deere, and again, all those jobs come from the Midwest.

And in so doing you're gonna be putting a giant injection of money and jobs and future into markets that are very, very important to the mobile home park industry. The bottom line to it all, the hard infrastructure bill, really good news once again for the mobile home park industry. It's an industry that just can't ever seem these days to ever be on the wrong side of the mega trends. Whether it's the Great Migration, the Great Resignation, it doesn't matter. We win every time. So good news for all those who understood all along that mobile home parks were the ultimate contrarian hedge, the glimmer of the future, the bastion of affordable housing, best real estate sector in the United States by far. This is Frank Rolfe for Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast. I hope you enjoyed this. Talk to you again soon.