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Champion Names Jack Lawless CEO

February 2nd, 2011 Comments off
championChampion Enterprises Holdings, LLC, announced Tuesday that John N. Lawless, III has been named its President and Chief Executive Officer. Since 2007, Lawless has been the President of Headwaters Construction Materials, Inc., a manufacturer of building products based in Wixom, MI. Prior to that, Mr. Lawless was President and Chief Executive Officer of Tapco International Corporation. Lawless received his B.S. degree in Economics from Kalamazoo College in 1983 and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame in 1985. Chairman of the Board Timothy J. Bernlohr expressed his appreciation to CFO Phyllis Knight for her service as Interim CEO during the past eight months, noting her contributions during this transition were outstanding and the Board looks forward to continuing to work with her in her ongoing role as the Company’s CFO. The Champion family of builders produces manufactured and modular homes, as well as modular buildings for government and commercial applications.

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Illinois Community Takes Up MH Permitting

February 2nd, 2011 Comments off

From Illinois, the Commercial News reports the Danville Area Planning and Zoning Commission will consider approving a special-use permit request by Sandra and Connie Reynolds for a manufactured home in a rural residential zoning district. The residents want to replace a home destroyed by fire with a manufactured home. The article notes there are manufactured homes across the street, but outside of the town limits.

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Drew Acquires RV Furniture Maker

February 2nd, 2011 Comments off
Drew Industries Incorporated, a leading supplier of components for recreational vehicles and manufactured homes, reported this week that its wholly-owned subsidiary Lippert Components, Inc., acquired the assets and business of Nampa, Idaho-based Home-Style Industries, and its affiliated companies. The purchase price of $7.25 million was paid from available cash, and Drew expects the acquisition of Home-Style to be immediately accretive to earnings. Home-Style manufactures a full line of upholstered furniture and mattresses, primarily for tow-able recreational vehicles, in the Northwest market. Home-Style’s sales for 2010 were approximately $12 million. Lippert Components currently manufactures RV furniture and mattresses in Indiana through its Seating Technology division, which it acquired in July 2008, but does not serve the Northwest RV market, making Home-Style a strong strategic complement to Seating Technology.

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Residents of Barefoot Say No Thanks to Incorporation

February 2nd, 2011 Comments off
From Florida, TCPalm.com reports that residents of Barefoot Bay have voted against becoming Brevard County’s 17th municipality. Straw poll results show 63 households want a committee to continue studying incorporation of the sprawling manufactured housing community, but 620 households voted to drop the campaign. Developed during the 1970s as Florida’s largest manufactured housing park, officials estimate as many as 9,000 snowbirds and permanent residents live within the 4,905 lot community.

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Most MH Stocks Higher Tuesday

February 1st, 2011 Comments off

Stocks recouped value from their plunge January 28, closing above 12,000. Two stocks on our watch list, Skyline Corp and Global Diversified Industries, closed lower Tuesday, but they were the exception. Universal Forest Products closed up more than four percent, Barnes Group closed up more than three percent and Drew Industries was up nearly as much.  Cavco was up 1.4 percent. The Manufactured Housing Composite Value managed to close down one tenth of one percent.

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Palm Harbor Reports December Loss

February 1st, 2011 Comments off
Bloomberg News reported that Palm Harbor Homes filed an operating report showing a $5.3 million net loss on revenue of $12.7 million for December. Palm Harbor is to auction most of the business on March 1.  Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., a venture between Cavco Industries Inc. and a fund advised by Third Avenue Management LLC, has submitted an opening bid. The Dallas-based company filed under Chapter 11 in late November.

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MHI Welcomes Lisa Quinn Brechtel as National Communities Council Exec

February 1st, 2011 Comments off

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has hired Lisa Quinn Brechtel for the position of Vice-President/Executive Director of MHI’s National Communities Council. She will be dedicated to landlease community issues and programming. Ms. Brechtel comes to MHI from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), where she served as a Senior Policy Analyst for more than 50,000 commercial and multifamily practitioners.

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Construction Spending Unexpectedly Falls

February 1st, 2011 Comments off

US Department of Commerce

Bloomberg News cited Commerce Department figures Tuesday indicating construction spending in the U.S. unexpectedly fell 2.5 percent in December to the lowest level in a decade. Bloomberg reports its estimate of surveyed economists called for a 0.1 percent gain. Construction spending decreased 10 percent in 2010, after dropping 15 percent the prior year.

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Home Prices Begin Stabilizing

February 1st, 2011 Comments off

Fiserv, Inc. released an analysis of home price trends in more than 375 U.S. markets based on the Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes. The company finds that in the third quarter of 2010, U.S. single-family home prices saw an average decrease of just 1.5 percent over the year-ago quarter, as a growing number of metro area housing markets begin to stabilize after five years of record home price declines. Fiserv and Moody’s Analytics report that home prices have already leveled out in one out of four metro areas. They estimate that price stability will characterize 75 percent of U.S. metro markets by the end of this year and 100 percent of markets by the end of 2012. Even as metro markets stabilize, the Fiserv Case-Shiller data analysis indicates a slow recovery in home prices with many false starts, especially in markets with large amounts of foreclosed properties. “Large supplies of foreclosed properties will continue to be the biggest downside risk for home prices and metro area housing markets,” says David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv. “Foreclosure activity declined at the end of 2010, but sales activity of bank-owned homes increased. In bubble and crash markets, the uncertain timing and volume of bank liquidated properties will cause home prices to bounce around their lows for many years.”

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MHARR Hits HUD Hard With Executive Order, MHI Cautions Approach

February 1st, 2011 Comments off
Depending on which association you ask, a recent executive order on over-regulation is either a mandate for change or a simple political maneuvering. The White House issued an Executive Order earlier this month similar to one issued by President Clinton in 1993 to improve regulation and regulatory review. Following the release, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) sent off a letter to HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing David H. Stevens and circulated a document titled President Obama’s Regulatory Executive Order Puts HUD Regulators on the Spot. Signed by association president Danny D. Ghorbani, the letter acted to press HUD officials to fully comply with this order as it relates to all aspects of the federal manufactured housing program including, most importantly, its ongoing rapid expansion of in-plant regulation. MHI Executive Vice President Thayer Long did have a directed response to the strongly-worded MHARR letter, which he is careful to distinguish from any official MHI position. Read the full Industry InFocus report: http://mhmsm.com/11/110

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Categories: News Item, news-at-noon, regulation Tags: ,