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Home > Affordable Housing, Analysis and Commentary, Association, housing, Manufactured Homes, News, Trends, Zoning > Census, HUD Official Residential Construction Report for April 2019, Dare to Compare to Manufactured Housing Data

Census, HUD Official Residential Construction Report for April 2019, Dare to Compare to Manufactured Housing Data

May 16th, 2019



Our publisher was laughing this morning after he read an email.  When asked what the joke was, he replied by showing a pro-Manufactured Housing Institute trade media outlet that was announcing their ‘State of the Industry’ upcoming report.  “The state of the industry can be summed up by statistics,” said L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, as the laughter faded, replaced by a sober look, “which reflects the dismal reality that during an affordable housing crisis, manufactured housing is selling fewer homes today than 15 years ago, when Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway entered the manufactured home industry by buying Clayton Homes.  Coincidence?


He added two question.  “Do you think that trade publisher will look at the underlying issues or evidence that have contributed to the industry’s decline?  Or do you think they will be doing more cheerleading, as more slow-motion consolidation takes place?”




Time will tell what the pro-MHI echo chamber might produce next. We’ll plan to report on what their latest spin on reality might be.

That said, HUD’s and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Residential Construction report for April, 2019 is out this morning.  Following their data-driven report, there will be a recap of HUD’s new manufactured home shipment data.




U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)               U.S. Census Bureau


May 16, 2019




WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for April 2019.



Building Permits


Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,296,000. This is 0.6 percent (±2.6 percent)* above the revised March rate of 1,288,000, but is 5.0 percent (±1.4 percent) below the April 2018 rate of 1,364,000.  Single‐family authorizations in April were at a rate of 782,000; this is 4.2 percent (±1.2 percent) below the revised March figure of 816,000.  Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 467,000 in



Housing Starts


Privately owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,235,000.  This is 5.7 percent (±13.0 percent)* above the revised March estimate of 1,168,000, but is 2.5 percent (±10.4 percent)* below the April 2018 rate of 1,267,000.  Single‐family housing starts in April were at a rate of 854,000; this is 6.2 percent (±13.7 percent)* above the revised March figure of 804,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 359,000.


Housing Completions


Privately owned housing completions in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,312,000.  This is 1.4 percent (±15.5 percent)* below the revised March estimate of 1,331,000, but is 5.5 percent (±11.9 percent)* above the April 2018 rate of 1,244,000.  Single‐family housing completions in April were at a rate of 918,000; this is 4.1 percent (±13.4 percent)* below the revised March rate of 957,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 381,000. The February report is scheduled for release on March 26, 2019.




In interpreting changes in the statistics in this release, note that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular. It may take three months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, six months for total starts, and six months for total completions. The statistics in this release are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimated relative standard errors of the most recent data are shown in the tables. Whenever a statement such as “2.5 percent (±3.2 percent) above” appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percentage change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given for percentage changes are 90 percent confidence intervals and account only for sampling variability. If a range does not contain zero, the change is statistically significant. If it does contain zero, the change is not statistically significant; that is, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease. The same policies apply to the confidence intervals for percentage changes shown in the tables. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised 3 percent or less.


* The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero. In such cases, there is insufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.




The data above sums up what MHI’s own flatly stated report, without presenting a solution to the problems that their own slogan indicates lies in their purvey.


MHARRR’s analysis of HUD Data revealed that 8 of the 10 of the top ten states in manufactured housing shipments are behind in year-over-year totals.



While MHI in their monthly shipment report doesn’t deny the decline, neither are they addressing the underlying causes, nor have they proposed a remedy via their messages to the industry. Why not?

But somehow, MHI managed to claim in their late 2018 self-promotional video that they had ‘momentum’ – which is true, if they meant reverse momentum. Or momentum in the sense that more consolidation is underway.


While MHARR’s mission is to represent producers in regulatory concerns at the federal level, due to the severity of the concerns, they’ve stepped up and are initiating projects aimed at addressing zoning, placement, and finance related challenges. See the related reports, further below the byline, offers, and notices.


That’s our second look today at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,© where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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