A little-publicized fact about the current housing boom is that about a third of all sales are of manufactured homes. According to figures from the Manufactured Housing Institute, shipments climbed by almost 10% in the 12 months through August.

Supporting the rapid growth is a strong secondary market for securities backed by loans on prefab homes. "Securitization has expanded to become not quite a commodity product, but one that's recognized by investors," said Gary Busch, a managing director of Access Financial, a new participant in the market.

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