With the economy going into the dumper and little being done to help distressed homeowners, I don't see retail as doing particularly well this year. Retail sales tanked over the holidays and, as long as consumers don't perceive any concrete results, I think retail is going to be hardhit.
Rentals, on the other hand, apartments or mobile home parks should do well, for precisely the same reasons. People who lost homes to foreclosure will need to rent. Mortgage money is available at historically low rates, but just last week rates started ticking up again, and many lenders have cut back on staff, so processing times are going up as applications pick up. Mobile home parks might be the better of the two, if you know how to buy and manage them right, they cash flow very well.
Where would come into play, I think, in the decision between MHP's and apartments. In that case demographics, and the type and availability of employment would factor in.
Jan 26, 2009