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Manufactured Home Sales Rise

August 11th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

Coming up – Manufactured Home Sales Rise

We begin with these stories:

IF YOU’RE CONCERNED your carbon footprint is too big, Clayton Homes has an answer. Popular Mechanics recently ran a feature on Clayton homes I-House. I-House is an innovative prefab home that can be powered for a dollar a day, thanks to Low-E windows, solar augmentation, high-efficiency appliances and superior insulation. It’s not a net-zero home, but the solar panels do cut energy consumption in half. The home features a tankless water heater and a cistern collects rainwater from the roof for use in the garden. Clayton hopes to deliver the 992-square-foot home for about $100,000. The company is exploring a partnership with Ikea that would feature display models at stores and even allow people to design and order their own I-Houses from the Ikea Web site. The furniture retailer isn’t new to the home industry. Ikea stores in several European countries currently offer two-story kit homes.

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MANUFACTURED HOMES IN THE NEWS…

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS gave a wider audience to a Sun Herald story this week about new modular concrete homes coming to Gulfport, Mississippi. The homes will be built by Royal Concrete Concepts in Okeechobee [oh-kih-CHO-bee], Florida and will make up a new subdivision called Turtle Creek. Built in Southwestern Adobe style, the houses will range in price from $140,000 to $170,000. Funding for the project was provided by a Hurricane Katrina Community Development Block Grant.

IF A REPORT FROM AMARILLO, TEXAS is correct, manufactured home retailers should be having a good summer. NewsChannel 10 interviewed several of the region’s retailers and found sales up as much as 25 percent.  While manufactured home sales are up, traditional home sales in Amarillo are slow.  The reason may be explained by area agents who find a lot of customers are looking to scale down and spend less money for the space.

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“Up next, Market News”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: MHMSM.com/solutions.

Do you have vacant homes or sites? Does your financing, market, sales or management need a boost? From high Return on Investment online marketing, to public relations, sales, lead and management systems and more, make us your Solutions Resource. When you are ready for the answers to your needs, visit MHMSM.com/solutions.

___________________________________________________________

IN MARKET NEWS…

THE FEDERAL RESERVE has concluded the economic recovery is losing its steam. The official statement was: “the pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated,” and the report concludes household spending is increasing gradually, but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Business spending on equipment and software is rising; however, investment in nonresidential structures continues to be weak and employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls. Housing starts remain at a depressed level. Bank lending has continued to contract. Nonetheless, the Committee anticipates a gradual return to higher levels of resource utilization in a context of price stability, although the pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated. The Fed took fresh steps to lower borrowing costs, announcing it would use proceeds from its maturing mortgage bonds to buy more government debt. Analysts said the move represents a significant policy shift. In a report issued Monday, the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco indicated another recession is a “significant possibility” by 2011 or 2012.

FREDDIE MAC REPORTED MONDAY it had a net loss of $4.7 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2010, compared to a net loss of $6.7 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2010. The company had a net worth deficit of $1.7 billion at June 30, 2010, compared to a net worth deficit of $10.5 billion at March 31, 2010. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, as Conservator, will submit a request on the company’s behalf to Treasury for a draw of $1.8 billion under the Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement. Freddie Mac CEO Charles Haldeman, Jr. said in a statement that the company has helped more than 150,000 struggling borrowers avoid foreclosure and provided funding that enabled more than 865,000 American families to buy or rent a home in the first half of 2010 – during which the GSEs again supplied the majority of all the liquidity to the U.S. mortgage market.

PALM HARBOR HOMES recently topped a list by the web site SmarTrend or companies in the homebuilding industry as measured by the price to sales per share ratio. The site says often companies with the lowest ratio present the greatest value to investors. Palm Harbor Homes has a price/sales ratio of 0.16x based on a current price of $2.15 and trailing 12-month sales per share of $13.1. Also listed by the site were site builders Beazer Homes, Hovnanian Enterprises, M/I Homes and Standard Pacific

THE DOW CLOSED DOWN half a percent or 54 points and the manufactured housing composite value was down nearly two and a half percent. Leading the declines for the trading day were Cavco Industries and Meritage Homes, both off yesterday’s close by more than three percent. Palm harbor Homes and Skyline were both off more than two percent. UMH Properties was the exception today, up .35 percent from yesterday’s close.

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On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
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MANUFACTURED HOMES IN THE NEWS

August 10th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla

We begin with these stories:

AN ALABAMA ARCHITECT hopes to win a quarter-million dollars from the “Pepsi Do Good for the Gulf Project” to help property owners rebuild an Orange Beach condominium complex destroyed by Hurricane Ivan, reports the Mobile Press Register. It’s one of a thousand proposals in a contest sponsored by Pepsi to positively impact the gulf coast, which is suffering from the recent BP oil spill. The idea proposed by Phillips Owens of Coast Architects is for an affordable, multi-family housing concept that can be used by numerous Gulf Coast condo associations whose complexes were destroyed by recent hurricanes. Steel from shipping containers would be used for the modular residential housing units. The most popular ideas according to votes will receive grants of $250,000.  Owens encouraged daily votes in support of the project. Other proposals include a Seafood Cooking Classes for the GulfDisplaced Worker Retraining, and Mental Health Services for Gulf Victims. Should the Owens project win, the money would be used to design, engineer and build a prototype of a unit; seek local building code approvals and educate consumers on the product. If you’d like to vote on these crowd-sourced projects, visit http://www.refresheverything.com/gulf.

MANUFACTURED HOMES IN THE NEWS

THE CLEARWATER TIMES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA recently made note of manufactured-home Park owner Keith Hanna’s effort to provide concrete foundations for the homes in Thompson Crossing’s manufactured home park. Hanna notes in the article that putting a concrete footing plus treated wood foundation under a manufactured home gives a more solid structure plus better insurance rates. Hanna also points out that many older people want a home that is wheelchair accessible and it is more difficult to construct a wheelchair ramp for a home that is on blocks than for one with a solid foundation. Up until this point, the standard practice in the district where the homes are located has been to require manufactured homes being rented in a manufactured home park to be mounted on concrete blocks so that they meet the definition of a mobile home.

THE WEB SITE PRITECHO.COM recently ran a feature on the importance of naming a manufactured home community, lamenting names with potentially negative connotations such as “Mobile Heaven.” Imagine receiving a letter with that name on your address! The author writes: “If it is not bad enough that the industry is constantly battling the stigma of being lesser-quality housing, let’s just beat our customers over the head with their shame by giving their community a name that screams ‘substandard humans found here.’” The author calls the name a community’s greatest asset. He suggests using the word “estates” and points out that the costs of a name change are low and the potential benefits substantial.

“Up next, The Market News”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

CommunityDASHinvestor.com.

Tap into Excellence, your ONE-STOP Resource for the Manufactured Housing Industry, the Leader in Land Lease Communities information!

Tap into Excellence – on the Web at CommunityDASHinvestor.com or call 317-346-7156.

IN MARKET NEWS

Bloomberg and Businessweek reported a gauge of 12 homebuilders in S&P indexes rose 2.5 percent after D.R. Horton Inc., Meritage Homes Corp. and Ryland Group Inc. were raised to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank AG.

More than 20 percent of the nation’s mortgage borrowers owe more than their homes are worth. So reports the real estate web site Zillow.com. The news isn’t as bad as it may seem; the number represents an improvement over the previous quarter when 23.3 percent owed more than their home was worth.

T.J.T., Inc., a major supplier of axles, tires, and set-up supplies to the manufactured housing industry, announced a net loss of $299,000 for its third quarter of fiscal 2010. The company reports net sales decreased 17 percent in the three and nine month periods ending June 30, 2010, as compared to the same periods a year ago. Net sales of axles and tires decreased 27 percent quarter over quarter, and 20 percent in the first nine months of 2010 compared to 2009. The Company’s net loss for the third quarter of 2010 was $299,000 compared to a net loss of $261,000 in the same 2009 quarter. The net loss for the first nine months of 2010 was $1,031,000 compared to a net loss of $868,000 in 2009. The net loss in both periods is primarily due to lower sales volumes associated with the deteriorating market conditions.

Manufactured housing stocks generally had a good day on Wall Street with the composite value rising nearly seven percent. It was a particularly good day for Skyline Corp., up more than eleven percent; Meritage Homes, up nearly seven percent as well as CAVCO and Palm Harbor, both up almost five percent. UMH Properties and NVR Inc. were both down for the day. The Dow closed up 45 points to end at 10,698.

TODAY ON MHMSM.COM, be sure to catch Part Three of our interview with former MHI Interim-President Dick Ernst. The costs of implementing the SAFE Act, positioning manufactured housing for the current economic environment and whether or not subsidies would be good for the manufactured housing industry.

{Insert clip three}

Visit mhmsm.com/eric-miller/Ernst-interview3 to read the third and final segment and get all the insight on the industry.

“On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. G’day!”

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


The annual growth rates in 15 of the 20 MSAs and the 10- and 20-City Composites improved in May compared to those reported for April 2010

August 9th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

Coming up – The annual growth rates in 15 of the 20 MSAs and the 10- and 20-City Composites improved in May compared to those reported for April 2010

But first…these stories:

The Knoxville News reports that Clayton Homes Inc. is partnering with the Clinton Foundation to provide low-cost modular classrooms to Haiti as part of the effort to rebuild the country following the recent devastating earthquake. The newspaper reports Clayton Homes, the largest U.S. maker of modular and manufactured houses, has reduced the cost of the classrooms and modular homes and wants the project to be a model for assisting other countries with housing and school building needs. According to the report Clayton Homes contacted the Clinton Foundation with an offer to assist after the former president was named to head the Haiti relief effort.

The Tulsa World recently ran a feature on Oklahoma retailer Doug Gorman. Gorman owns Home-Mart, which he established in 1988 and has long been an advocate for the industry. In an opportunity to highlight the benefits of manufactured housing to the general public that’s too infrequent, Gorman pointed out that the average lifespan of a manufactured home is more than fifty years, a number on par with a stick-built house. Gorman told the paper his own decision to purchase a manufactured home was primarily influenced by a wish for amenities that were not available when renting. That home held its value, selling for the same amount it was purchased for three years later. In the interview Gorman also pointed to a recent boost in sales from the Homebuyer Tax Credit saying about 30 percent of our buyers at the time were driven by that particular motivation.

“Up next, The annual growth rates in 15 of the 20 MSAs and the 10- and 20-City Composites improved in May compared to those reported for April 2010”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

Precision Capital Funding, on the Web at CaptiveFinance.net. Precision Capital Funding earned the MHI 2010 Service Supplier of the Year Award.

For more information, email Kenneth Rishel at kennethrishel@captivefinance.net or call 217-971-3968.

Now back to our stories.

________________________________________________________________

DATA THROUGH MAY 2010, released recently by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that the annual growth rates in 15 of the 20 MSAs and the 10- and 20-City Composites improved in May compared to those reported for April 2010. The 10-City Composite is up 5.4 percent and the 20-City Composite is up 4.6 percent from where they were in May 2009. While 19 MSAs and both Composites reported positive monthly changes in May over April, only 12 of the MSAs and the two Composites saw better month-over-month growth rates in May than those reported in April.

“While May’s report on its own looks somewhat positive, a broader look at home price levels over the past year still do not indicate that the housing market is in any form of sustained recovery,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “Since reaching its recent trough in April 2009, the housing market has really only stabilized at this lower level. The two Composites have improved between 5 and 6 percent since then, but this is no better than the improvement they had registered as of October 2009. The last seven months have basically been flat.”

According to the report, as of May 2010, average home prices across the United States are back to the levels where they were in the autumn of 2003. Measured from June/July 2006 through May 2010, the peak-to-date figures for the 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite are -29.6 percent and -29.1 percent, respectively.

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IN FINANCIAL NEWS, Sun Communities announced last week that it has obtained a committed equity financing facility under which it may sell up to $100 million of  its registered common stock to REIT Opportunity, Ltd. over a 24-month period.  Sun  is  not  obligated  to  utilize  any of the $100 million facility  and remains free  to enter into  and consummate other  equity and debt financing  transactions. Sun says it did not pay a commitment fee or issue any warrants to secure the facility.

Stocks were down nearly 150 points Friday but recovered late afternoon to close down just 21 points at 10,653. For the week, the Dow was up 187.62 points, or 1.8 percent, representing three consecutive weeks of gains. UMH Properties moved up nearly four percent to close at $11.83 per share, but others in the manufactured housing industry closed down including Cavco, Palm Harbor and Skyline Corp. Friday’s Manufactrured Housing Composit Value was down three percent. ____________________________________________________________________

INDUSTRY CONSULTANT DICK ERNST says he can’t speak for the site builders, but the manufactured housing industry has definitely learned its lesson from the easy-credit, no money down fiasco in the 1990s.

INSERT AUDIO CLIP

Read discussion of this topic, plus a return of private financing and the future of Fannie and Freddie in the second part of MHMSM.com’s exclusive interview at MHMSM.com/eric-miller/Ernst-interview2.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here


To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
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High School students’ green house may be golden

August 8th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

Coming up – High School students’ green house may be golden

But first…these stories:

IMHA Replies to Charges against Colorado Community Owner

The Register has recently published numerous articles and editorials on conditions in Iowa mobile home rental properties owned by the Churchill Group of Carbondale, Colo. The Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) will not defend Churchill.
They, and others who operate in the same fashion, have no defense. And if you’re expecting IMHA to bash the Register, forget about it. Register reporter Lee Rood was doing her job. We’re hopeful the light being shone on our industry’s problems will assist in finding a solution.

Would we have been happier if significant space had been given to highlight the outstanding manufactured housing communities we have in Iowa? Of course we would.

Do other housing sectors have problems? Yes, they do. But complaining about these omissions could be viewed as trying to duck the real issue at hand.

The manufactured housing industry cannot afford to dismiss the reality that there are some owners of mobile home communities in this state who aren’t maintaining their properties and aren’t treating their residents properly. We understand all too well there are situations in our communities that result in residents being evicted. In some instances, rent isn’t paid. There are residents not abiding by the rental contracts they signed upon taking residence in the community.

However, residents don’t deserve the highest rent in the county, while receiving the worst services and facing conditions potentially harmful to their health and safety.

Aside from ethical and moral implications about how people are to be treated, it is simply poor business for our industry to allow some mobile home community owners to give all a bad name. Most businesses are fearful of regulation because it often turns into overregulation. However, continued lack of adequate regulation is only going to feed an atmosphere that will result in potential customers choosing not to purchase manufactured homes.

IMHA is going to request legislation in the 2011 session that is resident-friendly, no matter which political party is in control and no matter who is elected governor. Others will have legislative ideas. The Register’s position is that a system is needed to mass produce affordable houses. The manufactured housing industry has been doing this for six decades. The industry already has a 43 percent market share of all houses built in the United States, excluding land, sold for under $150,000. Our building cost is about $40 per square foot. If Iowa State University – as suggested by the Register – or others can help us become more efficient, we’re ready to learn.

IN MARKET NEWS: The remodeling market slid backward during the second quarter, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeling Market Index, or RMI. The RMI sunk to 40.7 from 43.8 in the first quarter. Current market conditions slid back to 42.6 from 44.5 in the previous quarter. The group also says future indicators of remodeling business declined to 38.9 from 43.1 in the last quarter. The index measures market demand for current and future residential remodeling projects based on remodelers’ perceptions and indicators of future activity like calls for bids. Any number below 50 indicates that more remodelers say market conditions are getting worse than report improving conditions. The RMI has been running below 50 since the final quarter of 2005.

Last week the investing site Smart Trend provided its list of the top five companies in the Homebuilding industry as measured by the price to cash flow ratio. The site says companies with the lowest ratio often present the greatest value to investors. Those companies include Hovnanian Enterprises, Beazer Homes, Pulte Homes, Brookfield Homes and Standard Pacific.

Stocks rebounded from a steep drop early Friday to move into positive territory, but no sooner did the “stocks gain” articles appear online then the index dropped to close a little more than a point below the open. We’ll call it flat.

A slump in consumer sentiment was offset by the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer which exceeded forecasts by economists.

Manufactured Housing composites were up .53 Friday. Meritage Homes had the highest percentage gain at 2.56, closing at $17.61 per share. Of the stocks on our watch list, only Global Diversified Industries, Sun Communities and Skyline homes ended down, and those only modestly.

“Up next, High School students’ green house may be golden”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: LifeStylist.com – Lifestyle Driven Designs by Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber. Furniture, Decors and Model Homes designed for your budgets and your customers’ lifestyles.

Contact them on the Web at answers@lifestylist.com or LifeStylist.com or call 214-941-8341.

High School students’ green house may be golden

Dennis Hockman, Chesapeake Home

The recent “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” trip to Baltimore drew attention from every major news outlet in town. As the cameras rolled, hip celebrity carpenters and throngs of local volunteers showed up to work long hours in the Maryland heat. At the end of the week, a great charity received a truly needed new space to help further its mission. And in just a few months, the weeklong ordeal will be broadcast for the nation to see.

Squeezing a months-long project into a week makes for great television, and when a prime-time TV show comes to town, that’s news. The recent coverage reminded me of a similar, but comparatively invisible program in Harford County, (Maryland).

For the past five years, the students of Harford Technical High School have been teaming up with Harford Habitat for Humanity to develop a building program of their own.

Quietly, beyond the public eye, a small group of students, their teachers, Harford Habitat for Humanity and local volunteers are doing something extraordinary – by all accounts, something that has never been done. They’re building a modular Habitat for Humanity house that receives the highest certification from LEED, a building certification system for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to establish a common standard of measuring green buildings on such criteria as site sustainability, healthfulness of the interior and energy efficiency.

“Last year, the students built their first green house, and it achieved a LEED for Homes Certification, and was the first and only modular, green-certified house built by students in the country,” says Mike Svezzese [seh-VEE-zee], an instructor at Harford Tech and a pioneer of the school’s modular homes program.

In an effort to one-up themselves year after year, the Harford students set a 2010 goal to achieve LEED Gold Certification, but with continued support and funding from Bank of America and the donation of solar panels and other materials, it’s likely the house might receive a Platinum Certification, LEED’s highest honor. If so, this program will have achieved something never done before: a Habitat for Humanity, LEED Platinum-Certified modular house built by high school students.

Harford Tech Principal Chas Hagan is proud of the work his students do to make each house better than the last.

“Each time, we take another step in making the program more important for the students. What they are learning about green building is real world, even a step past the real world,” Hagan said. “Our students are learning things that even builders in the field are not doing. They are one up on many professionals in the industry.”

Still, because the complicated LEED ratings and certification process can be difficult for even seasoned professionals to navigate, the school and Harford Habitat consulted with Chuck Cooper and others at Frederick Ward Associates Inc., an architectural and engineering firm, who also donated many hours to make sure the house would be as green as possible.

Dave Guttman, construction manager with Harford Habitat for Humanity, was only recently introduced to green building through the Harford Tech program.

“When you’re caught up managing the project, you don’t see what really goes into it until the very end. When I went back and reviewed everything we have done, it was great to see how much detail went into every facet of the design and construction,” says Guttman. “Looking back at all the little things that add up to such a great, big thing, you realize it is a huge accomplishment.”

Prime-time reality show it’s not. But maybe it should be.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
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Area sales up sharply as more people turn to manufactured housing

August 6th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

Coming up – 5,430 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in June 2010, up 21.8 Percent from June 2009

But first…these stories:

Area sales up sharply as more people turn to manufactured housing

theDestinLog.com

Destin, Florida

Overall home sales have taken a hard hit in our region, much like the rest of America. But not at Clayton Home Sales Centers, including the stores serving Santa Rosa Beach. Clayton’s numbers for the first half of 2010 are in, and the company’s sales are up 22 percent from this time last year.

Clayton Homes’ results are astonishing considering the challenges homebuilders face. The nation’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of new single-family house sales in May 2010 was 300,000. That’s down almost 33 percent from the month before, which was down 18 percent from the month before that according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In fact, new home sales in May 2010 were a record low.

But Clayton customers, both here and elsewhere, are keeping the numbers from going even lower. According to The New York Times, nationally, manufactured homes made up nearly a quarter of all new homes sold for less than $200,000 in 2009. Manufactured homes are a major factor in the affordable-housing sector.

So why is manufactured housing bouncing back when traditional site built homes are still fatigued? Essentially, purchasing a manufactured home gives buyers more “bang for their buck.” Clayton Homes offers amenities like flexible floor plans, a size that suits their family and more style choices than ever before.

“A Clayton home buyer will ultimately receive more amenities than someone who buys a traditional site-developed home,” said Bobby Alberts, zone vice president, Clayton Homes. “Prices of residences that are built on-site are soaring, and if you find one that is affordably priced, it probably doesn’t have many features or luxurious amenities like a manufactured home can offer.”

“Home construction and sales are important economic drivers,” said Kevin Clayton, president and CEO of the company. “We hope the trend we’re seeing is part of an economic turnaround for all industries.”

IN MARKET NEWS

Thursday Cavco Industries announced financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2011 ended June 30, 2010 revealing a turnaround. Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 totaled $47,505,000, up 249 percent from $13,595,000 for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010. The first quarter 2011 results include the Fleetwood Homes operations which, as previously reported, were acquired during the second quarter of fiscal year 2010. Net income attributable to Cavco stockholders for the fiscal 2011 first quarter was $518,000 compared to net loss of $1,449,000 reported in the same quarter one year ago.

Cavco’s senior management will hold a conference call to review these results today, August 6, at 12:00 noon (Eastern Time). Interested parties can access a live webcast of the conference call on the Internet at cavco.com under the Investor Relations link. An archive of the webcast and presentation will be available for 90 days at cavco.com under the Investor Relations link.

The news at UMH Properties wasn’t a rosy. UMH released operating results this week. Total income at UMH decreased by approximately 3 percent from $8,118,648 for the quarter ended June 30 to $7,862,640 for the quarter ended June 30, 2010. Total income increased by approximately 2 percent from $15,760,947 for the six months ended June 30, 2009 to $16,023,912 for the six months ended June 30, 2010. These variances were primarily due to an increase in rental and related income, but a decrease in sales of manufactured homes. Income at the company primarily consists of rental and related income from the operation of its manufactured home communities. Income also includes sales of manufactured homes. Sales of manufactured homes amounted to $1,091,480 and $2,548,431 for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2010, as compared to the $1,494,118 and $2,579,918 for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2009. The company says sales have continued to be disappointing due to weaknesses in the overall economy.

Stocks ended modestly lower Thursday on disappointing employment news. Stocks were down 5 points to close at 10,674. Big movers among manufactured home stocks included Skyline Corp, off more than ten percent to close at $19.35 per share. Meritage Homes was off two and a half percent to close at $16.98 per share. The manufacture home composite value was off more than four percent.

Dick Ernst Discusses Progress Made at Elkhart, MHI Summer Meeting in Part One of Our Exclusive Interview

MH Industry InFocus Reporter Eric Miller, joined by MHMSM.com Publisher ‘Tony’ Kovach, spoke Wednesday with industry consultant and once interim-president of MHI, Dick Ernst. The conversation produced some perceptive insights into some of the most pressing issues in the manufactured housing industry today. Ernst shared his view with MHMSM.com that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are using their conservatorship as an excuse not to serve the manufactured housing industry as mandated by Congress.

Be ready to read Part Two of the InFocus interview with Dick Ernst Monday at MHMSM.com.

“Up next, 5,430 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in June 2010, up 21.8 Percent from June 2009”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: LifeStylist.com – Lifestyle Driven Designs by Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber. Furniture, Decors and Model Homes designed for your budgets and your customers’ lifestyles.

Contact them on the Web at answers@lifestylist.com or LifeStylist.com or call 214-941-8341.

__________________________________________________________________

5,430 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in June 2010, up 21.8 Percent from June 2009

MHI’s Monthly Economic Report© for June 2010 is now available.

The Manufactured Housing Institute’s actual shipments report indicates that 5,430 new HUD Code homes were shipped in June 2010, up 21.8 percent from June 2009. Increases were across the board with both single-section and multi-section home shipments up, compared with the same month last year.

In comparison with the first half of 2009, 2010 started off with a decline in January (down 17.4 percent); shipments in February were essentially flat, followed by consistent gains in March through June. In net, industry shipments for the first six months of this year stands at 26,402 homes compared with 24,395 homes in 2009, a year-to-date increase of 8.2 percent.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 59,235 in June, up by 6.3 percent from the rate of 55,703 posted in May. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations in shipments and projects an annual shipments pace based on the current monthly total.

Total floors shipped in June 2010 were 8,789, up 19.2 percent from the same month in 2009. The number of plants reporting production in June was 133, and the number of reporting corporations was 57, both reduced from the prior month.

If you are an MHI member, you can also access the complete report on MHI’s website at manufacturedhousing.org.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


8,300 hazard alert radios available to needy Hoosiers

August 5th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

Coming up – Manufactured Home Sales Rise

But first…these stories:

8,300 hazard alert radios available to needy Hoosiers

Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday it has partnered with local emergency management agencies to distribute more than 8,300 all-hazards alert radios to at-risk Hoosiers.

“All-hazards alert radios are one of the best early-warning tools available,” agency Executive Director Joe Wainscott said. “Where funds permit, we hope to continue partnering with local emergency management agencies to provide additional radios to Hoosiers who might not otherwise be able to afford them.”

The radios have been divided among the counties and delivered to each county emergency management agency for distribution. In most counties, emergency management agencies are coordinating distribution with local community service organizations or more localized government entities to target, among others, residents of the thousands of manufactured homes in Indiana.

The state’s homeland security agency encourages all-hazards alert radio purchases for Hoosiers who can afford them. They sell for about $30 or $40 online and at many retail outlets.

All-hazards alert radios broadcast more than 60 emergency alerts such as hazardous weather and local area warnings, including up-to-date weather information broadcast directly by the National Weather Service. In the event of a power outage or an evacuation, the radios have backup battery power.

IN MARKET NEWS: Meritage Homes has filed its Quarterly Report for the period ended June 30, 2010. Meritage Homes Corp. has a market cap of $553.1 million; its shares were traded at around $17.24. Total home closing revenue was $291.4 million and $492.0 million for the three and six months ended June 30, increasing 32.2 percent and 9.0 percent from the same periods last year. The company reports it generated net income of $4.2 million and $6.8 million for the three- and six-month periods ended June 30 as compared to loss of $(73.6) and $(92.0) million for the same periods in 2009.

U.S. stocks rose as stronger-than-estimated growth in American service industries and private payrolls gave support to the notion that economic growth would continue. The manufactured housing composite went up .99 Wednesday and top performers included Skyline Homes and Cavco, although most manufactured housing stocks remained little-changed from Tuesday’s close. In contrast, residential construction composites were down modestly Wednesday. NVR and Sun Communities experienced moderate stock price declines Wednesday.

The Dow closed up 44 points to 10,680.

Dick Ernst Discusses Progress Made at Elkart, MHI Summer Meeting in

Part One Of Our Exclusive Interview

MH Industry InFocus Reporter Eric Miller, joined by MHMSM.com Publisher ‘Tony’ Kovach, spoke with industry consultant and once interim-president of MHI, Dick Ernst. The conversation produced some perceptive insights into some of the most pressing issues in the manufactured housing industry today. Ernst shared his view with MHMSM.com that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are using their conservatorship as an excuse not to serve the manufactured housing industry as mandated by Congress.

{INSERT AUDIO CLIP}

Be sure to read Part One of the InFocus interview with Dick Ernst today at MHMSM.com/eric-miller/Ernst-interview

“Up next, Manufactured Home Sales Rise”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: MHMSM.com/solutions.

Do you have vacant homes or sites? Does your financing, market, sales or management need a boost? From high Return on Investment online marketing, to public relations, sales, lead and management systems and more, make us your Solutions Resource. When you are ready for the answers to your needs, visit MHMSM.com/solutions.

Manufactured Home Sales Rise

Elise Preston
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TX. In light of a tight economy, more local families are choosing to buy manufactured homes.

Manufactured home sales have boosted dramatically in our area. Some companies tell us in the last 6 months…their sales have gone up by nearly a quarter. While these home sales may be up, traditional home sales in our area are slow. Agents aren’t sure if it’s a sign of a good or bad economy. The majority of their customers are looking to downsize and spend less money for the same amount of space.

“We have a lot of blended families, who have yours, mine, and ours children. They need a lot of bedrooms, but they can’t afford that in the site-built homes. So, they choose manufactured housing and our financing is very low right now; it’s a good buy for large families particularly.” said Claudia Harris, of Harris Custom Homes.

According to sellers, manufactured homes will go for about one third of a traditional home price.

In the last two years, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has raised the standards of the already-made homes.

They do urge manufactured homeowners to report any construction and safety mishaps.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Finding Your Way Home through Technology

August 4th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

Coming up – Finding Your Way Home through Technology

But first…these stories:

Arizona Startup Introduces $100-Per-Square-Foot ASUL Modular Housing Concept

Other construction options could push pricing as low as $25 per foot.

By Nigel F. Maynard, BuilderOnline.com

Architects, designers, and entrepreneurs who believe in the potential of modular housing to transform the home building industry continue to work on developing a viable model that’s affordable and good-looking, and now the latest iteration has arrived: ASUL, Adaptable System for Universal Living.

A Phoenix-based startup recently unveiled its ASUL modular housing system with the promise that homes will start at $100 per square foot. “It’s actually not a line of pre-designed homes,” says Tim Russell, founder and CEO of the company. “Instead, it’s a system allowing one to custom-design homes at a more affordable price point. In essence, it’s an entirely new paradigm in designing and constructing a home. As far as we know, it’s the first system of its kind.”

According to Russell, American consumers and design industry professionals are ready for a straightforward, modern prefab concept whose pricing is immediate and transparent. Each home is custom-designed via a collaborative design process between the client and ASUL architects, which means the final plan responds to the site and the region where the home is to be located.

“We believe the market wants customization, affordability, and predictability from a modern, prefab company,” Russell says. “Most companies offer static designs that are really expensive and built in a factory, which is hard for the stakeholders to accept.”

“We are able to hit these prices because we have created and engineered a system,” the company says. “The byproduct of any system is more affordability and predictability. An Adaptable System allows customization: Those are the three variables missing from every other pre-fab company and what we believe the market has been told was the promise of pre-fab.”

IN MARKET NEWS: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that pending home sales edged down with near-term sales expected to be notably lower in contrast to the spring surge when buyers rushed to take advantage of the home buyer tax credit. The organizations Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, declined 2.6 percent to 75.7 based on contracts signed in June from an upwardly revised level of 77.7 in May, and is 18.6 percent below June, 2009 when it was 93.0. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, said lower home sales are expected in the short term. The index fell in three of four regions compared to the prior month. Contracts rose 3.7 percent in the South, the country’s largest region, but dropped by 0.2 percent in the West, by 12.2 percent in the Northeast and by 9.5 percent in the Midwest.

How low can they go? Bankrate has been collecting mortgage rate data for nearly 25 years, and this is the lowest it has ever been. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 3 points this week, to 4.71 percent, according to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders. Bankrate says one year ago, the mortgage index was 5.56 percent; four weeks ago, it was 4.75 percent. The previous record of 4.74 percent was set July 7 and again July 21.

The stock market took a breather on Tuesday following Monday’s big run up on disappointing earnings at Proctor and Gamble and Dow Chemical, plus negative news on consumer spending and incomes reminded investors of clouds still hanging over the economy. Manufactured home stocks performed better with the industry composite up more than three percent. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 38, or 0.4 percent, to 10,636. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 5, or 0.5 percent, to 1,120.  The biggest movers were Nobility homes, which gained more than ten percent to close at $9.96 per share and Cavco, up more than four percent at $36.84 a share. Meritage Homes and Palm Harbor Homes both declined more than four percent.

Cavco announced the company will release earnings for the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 on Thursday, August 5 after the close of market. Senior Management will discuss the first quarter results in a live webcast the following day, Friday, August 6 at 12:00 noon Eastern Time. You can tune in on the internet at cavco.com.

Floor plan program attracts Auto, RV and Marine dealers,
Manufactured Housing Retail Flooring also available

As mentioned yesterday, a pilot floor plan financing program offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration is still available to the manufactured housing industry until September 30, 2010. Automobile dealers, along with marine and recreational vehicle businesses have already taken advantage of the program. Gain important information about what the program is, how to access it, and why this would be advantageous to your business as manufactured home retailers.

Grady Hedgespeth, director of financial assistance at the SBA, explains the program [insert audio clip]

Read the full story today at MHMSM.com/eric-miller/floor-plan

“Up next, Finding Your Way Home through Technology”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: Tap into Excellence, your ONE-STOP Resource for the Manufactured Housing Industry, the Leader in Land Lease Communities information!

Tap into Excellence – on the Web at CommunityDASHinvestor.com or call 317-346-7156.

Finding Your Way Home through Technology

Residential builders are committed to the technology investment, despite tough economic conditions.

For residential builders today, one thing seems to be ringing clear—every step you take, every dollar you spend, all needs to result in saving the company either time or money.

Technology can be a great way to save money and improve processes.

The main crux of technology implementation today becomes finding how to do more with less and finding the right tools to supplement the current strategy in place.

The first step becomes looking at processes and identifying how they can be improved. Next is identifying the technology that can play an enabling role; and those applications being used by builders these days aren’t your conventional systems and solutions.

The Importance of Process

While new technologies can promise to save time by reducing the amount of administrative work in the back office or save money by providing more visibility into overhead numbers, one of the most important steps when implementing new technologies is supporting the process. Kathi Cruz of David Weekley Homes has been looking at building information modeling (BIM) in the past year with plans to truly evaluate these systems throughout the course of the next 12 months.

At its core, BIM is a change in process where project members can gather detailed data from intelligent models. While there are a number of enabling software packages that can help builders get a big-picture view of the project, as well as answer the detailed questions of design, documentation, and construction, builders need to recognize that a change in process needs to occur.

A number of other areas, from estimating to accounting, also need to be addressed. Solutions that can improve target processes, as well as address secondary areas are ideal.

Another primary area of focus is selling more homes. There has been a great focus in recent months on improving builder/client relationships through the use of technology.

Technology built for a homebuilding environment…. helps focus in on the items most important to the process including, automated management of leads, sales orders, and customer emails; analysis tools for customer feedback and marketing campaigns; and the ability to create custom reports.

The Next Big Technology

What new or emerging technology will have the greatest impact on the construction industry in the next five years? According to a (recent) survey, one of the biggest trends in the industry today is going mobile. Software providers in the construction space are creating mobile versions of their applications for builders in the field. Taking it a step further, providers are additionally creating apps that can run on Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices.

Also high on the list of hot/emerging technology … are social-networking technologies, which have garnered a lot of attention in the residential industry during in the past year. These technologies might be just the solution to help builders improve process efficiencies and sell more homes.

Another area is technology that has that ‘green appeal.’ Green homes have been the center of much of the news in the past year, with many builders working to make their homes more energy efficient.

The key to green, says the National Association of Home Builders, is to make sure the customer understands the value of green upgrades and how cost-effective a sustainable home can be for them in the long run.

How do you successfully position yourself in the down economy? While there is no easy answer, there are multiple avenues to explore. Without a doubt, technology continues to make a difference for builders in a numbers of areas.

The solutions aren’t always the most conventional, i.e., social networking and green technologies. But current economic conditions call for builders to think outside the box.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Starkey Mortgage/Phoenix Housing to pay North Carolinians $4.4M

August 3rd, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

Coming up – Floor plan program attracts Auto, RV and Marine dealers,
Manufactured Housing Retail Flooring also available

But first…these stories:

Starkey Mortgage/Phoenix Housing to pay North Carolinians $4.4M

by Lee Weisbecker – Triangle Business Journal

Plano, Texas-based WR Starkey Mortgage LLP, has agreed to pay $4.4 million to 171 North Carolina homeowners in connection with the sale and financing of overpriced manufactured and modular homes, state regulators say.

The company has 10 branch offices in North Carolina [NC], including one in Raleigh.

The homes were sold by Phoenix Housing Group Inc., according to the North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks and the NC Attorney General’s office.

In addition to the homeowner refunds, Starkey has agreed to major changes in its management and operations, provided nearly $300,000 in additional refunds to other borrowers and has made a $361,000 contribution to the state’s foreclosure prevention program.

“This settlement shows that lenders supporting and benefiting from fraud will pay a steep price,” said Mark Pearce, chief deputy Commissioner of Banks.

Investigators allege that Starkey collaborated with PHG to provide financing for consumers purchasing inflated manufactured and modular homes through PHG employees without proper mortgage licenses. They also say Starkey employees or agents placed inaccurate, positive rental histories on consumers’ credit reports to boost the consumers’ credit worthiness to qualify for loans, and extended credit to consumers without due regard for their ability to repay the loans.

Among the corporate changes announced in this agreement, regulators say, the CEO of Starkey has resigned and that the company has removed its president and hired outside counsel to serve as a compliance watchdog for the firm.

Recovery does not affect all industries or workers equally

Morton Marcus, Evansville Courier and Press

“The economy is terrible and it’s getting worse,” Simon Schlep insists as he buries a pierogi [peer-OH-ghee] in ketchup.

“No!” I shout, too late. “No one puts ketchup on a pierogi; not here in Whiting, not anywhere that civilization thrives.”

Simon looks around before asserting, “Who says? There aren’t any rules for this festival. I like ketchup, I eat ketchup.”

“Let’s sit over here,” I say, pointing to one of the few open benches. After I devour my stuffed cabbage, but before I attack the sauerkraut and sausage, I ask, “What’s this about the economy?”

“It’s horrible. Too many people unemployed for too long. No jobs. Nothing happening,” Simon says.

“You’re right, but you’re wrong,” I say. “The economy is growing again; slowly, yes, but growing. Indiana’s unemployment rate is down from 10.8 percent a year ago to 10.1 percent; the number of persons unemployed in the state is down by 8.6 percent.

“The simple fact is that we are having a recession on top of the continuing restructuring of the economy that has been going on since the 1980s. In the past 10 years we’ve added the equivalent of 10 million full-time jobs while losing 4 million in manufacturing.

“The financial boom/bust has devastated one of Indiana’s signature industries,” I add.

“Hmm?” Simon says.

“Manufactured housing,” I say, savoring a cheese pierogi. “Everyone points to the auto and RV industries, but manufactured housing has been particularly hard hit over a long period of time. When the financial markets decided to support almost any kind of housing mortgage, they didn’t include manufactured housing. It was the conventional site-built home that got all the money. Manufactured housing units produced in the U.S. fell from 373,000 in 1998 to 147,000 in 2005. Then, once the conventional housing market failed, manufactured housing fell to fewer than 50,000 units last year.

“Indiana’s production in 2009,” I continue, “was down to 8 percent of what it was in ’98 when we accounted for 10 percent of all the U.S. production. Recently, we’ve been only 6 percent of a severely shrunken U.S. output.”

“But it will all bounce back, according to your rosy view of the economy,” Simon snarls.

“Maybe and maybe not,” I say with certainty. “There are so many homes on the market at very favorable prices that manufactured housing is not as competitive as previously. “Plus, lenders are still reluctant to put money into the market for any loan that doesn’t appear to be a sure thing. Yet …”

“Ah, here comes the famous other hand,” Simon says.

“Precisely,” I say. “Hard times may push more people toward manufactured housing, but it’s a difficult call. There’s been a major decrease in plants producing manufactured housing, but that does not mean only the least efficient have been eliminated from the market.”

“And it all means what?” Simon asks.

“Continued confusion,” I say. “Parts of the economy will pull out ahead leaving others in the dust. Consumers are ready to spend; just look at this eager crowd. But a recovery does not put you back where you were. Just as not all firms or industries are restored to some former glory, not all pierogis are created equal. Let’s go find some more.”

IN MARKET NEWS: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday the economy is improving, but high unemployment and a weak housing market are still weighing on consumers. His words didn’t seem to stop investors from giving Wall Street a jolt into August. Stocks increased more than 200 points Monday as strong earnings reports, growth in manufacturing increases and additional spending on construction reassured investors. Contrary to the expected .5 percent decline, construction spending grew 0.1 percent in June, according to Commerce Department data.

Also Monday, the Institute for Supply Management reported its manufacturing index slipped to 55.5 in July from 56.2 in June. That marked the third straight month of declines. Still, a reading above 50 indicates growth and the index has been above that level for the past year.

The Manufactured housing composite gained just under one percent for the day. Most manufactured home stocks on our watch list moved ahead with the markets. Equity Lifestyle Properties was up more than three percent to close at $54.86 per share. Meritage Homes, Skyline Homes and Sun Communities were all up more than two percent. Palm Harbor Homes was an exception, down more than two percent to $2.20 per share.

Composites for companies in building materials were up more than two percent. Lumber and wood production was up 3.6 percent and residential construction was up more than 2.5 percent.

“Up next, Floor plan program attracts Auto, RV and Marine dealers,
Manufactured Housing Retail Flooring also available”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: Precision Capital Funding, on the Web at CaptiveFinance.net. Precision Capital Funding earned the MHI 2010 Service Supplier of the Year Award.

For more information, email Kenneth Rishel at kennethrishel@captivefinance.net or call 217-971-3968.

Floor plan program attracts Auto, RV and Marine dealers,
Manufactured Housing Retail Flooring also available

A pilot floor plan financing program offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration is still available to the manufactured housing industry until September 30, 2010. Automobile dealers, along with marine and recreational vehicle businesses have already taken advantage of the program. Gain important information about what the program is, how to access it, and why this would be advantageous to your business as manufactured home retailers.

Grady Hedgespeth, director of financial assistance at the SBA, explains the program [insert audio clip]

Read the full story Wednesday on MHMSM.com.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Leading NY Home Manufacturer Offers Solution to Housing Crunch

July 30th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

Coming up – Manufactured Homes See Increase in Sales

But first…these stories:

Arizona Association Membership on the Rise, Members Look to Return of Financing

The manufactured housing industry as a whole may be in a valley, but that hasn’t kept membership at the Arizona Housing Association (AHA) from increasing. The association reported a ten percent increase in membership over a seven-month period from the convention in 2009 until May.

Organization President Ken Anderson says new members are facing a difficult climate and looking to the organization for help. The biggest issues continue to be employment and financing, both of which can be solved if banks would begin to lend again.

{ INSERT KEN ANDERSON CLIP HERE }

Look for Eric Miller’s InFocus Report from Arizona, today at MHMSM.com/ericdashmiller/aha

Leading NY Home Manufacturer Offers Solution to Housing Crunch

Westchester Modular Homes, Inc., a leading manufacturer of energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly [factory-built] homes, announced [Wednesday] the launch of its new American Eagle Series, a product line of five newly-designed homes competitively priced to meet the needs of today’s home buyers.

The goal in introducing the American Eagle Series… is to offer a smaller home to fill a market need. In response to a growing need in the Northeast for vacation and second homes, the new models are well suited as starter and empty-nester homes. These homes can be built in a relatively short time span during the summer months.

According to John Colucci, Westchester’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Westchester developed the American Eagle Series to make the American Dream of home ownership possible for many families who have found it difficult to afford a new home. “These homes were designed to address a specific need in the marketplace. We were able to accomplish this by taking into account production efficiencies, along with cost-saving features, in order to provide a more cost-efficient product for new home buyers.”

Westchester Modular Homes recently became the first plant in the Northeast to be Energy Star certified, adding to its credentials as a “green,” environmentally friendly manufacturer.

IN MARKET NEWS: The Obama Administration announced Tuesday the expanded opportunities for public engagement on the future of our nation’s housing finance system, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These events are designed to help provide critical public input as the Administration continues its work developing a comprehensive housing finance reform proposal for delivery to Congress by January, 2011. On August 17, the administration will host a Conference on the Future of Housing Finance in Washington at the Treasury Department.

A new Beige Book survey released by the Federal Reserve Wednesday found the U.S. economy growing this summer. Manufacturing activity in most Districts continued to move up since the last report, although the pace of activity slowed or activity leveled off in the New York, Cleveland, Kansas City, Chicago, Atlanta, and Richmond Districts. Richmond, Chicago, and Dallas reported that firms in construction-related manufacturing experienced weak demand; construction supplies sales were flat in Kansas City, and Minneapolis reported that a firm in the sector was increasing production. Nearly all Districts reported sluggish housing markets in the months since the homebuyer tax credit expired on April 30. While some Districts reported an increase in May and June home sales on a year-over-year basis, some contacts noted that these sales may reflect closings of homes under contract by the April tax credit deadline. Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Kansas City reported that home sales are expected to weaken going forward. Residential construction remained limited in several Districts. In Atlanta, residential construction activity softened from already weak levels. Homebuilders in Cleveland do not expect a turnaround in new home construction any time this year. Builders in Chicago are not introducing new inventory without a signed contract on a home. Housing starts were expected to decline for the second half of the year in Dallas and to increase slightly over the next three months in Kansas City.

RealtyTrac reports that Foreclosure filings climbed in three-quarters of U.S. metropolitan areas as high unemployment left many homeowners unable to pay their mortgages. The number of properties receiving a filing more than doubled from a year earlier in Baltimore, Oklahoma City and Albuquerque, New Mexico according to the mortgage-data company. Notices of default, auction or bank seizure rose more than 50 percent in areas including Salt Lake City; Savannah, Georgia; and Atlantic City, New Jersey. In a statement, RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio said that continued weakness in employment and efforts to prevent foreclosure may “delay the inevitable” and weigh on home prices.

Meritage Homes Corp. reported Tuesday it reversed a year-ago loss in the second quarter as the homebuilder booked smaller charges on land and other assets and home closing revenue jumped 32 percent. Still, Meritage Chairman and CEO Steven J. Hilton said the builder’s new home orders fell more sharply than anticipated after a federal homebuyer tax credit expired in April. Net income at Meritage was $4.2 million, or 13 cents a share, in the three months ended in June. That compares with a loss of $73.6 million, or $2.37 a share, during the same period last year.

NVR announced Thursday that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of $300 million of its outstanding common stock. The purchases will occur from time to time in the open market and in privately negotiated transactions as market conditions permit. The Company indicates that the authorization is a continuation of the stock repurchase program that began in 1994 and is consistent with NVR’s strategy of maximizing shareholder value.

Stocks dropped in early trading Thursday, but later pared losses to close down just under 31 points to close at 10,467.16. The manufactured housing composite was up .94 for the day. On a percentage basis, Palm Harbor Homes was the day’s best performer, up 2.43 percent. Meritage Homes performed nearly as well, up 1.96. Equity Lifestyle Properties and Sun Communities experienced small share price declines.

“Up next, Manufactured Homes See Increase in Sales”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: MHMSM.com/solutions.

Do you have vacant homes or sites? Does your financing, market, sales or management need a boost? From high Return on Investment online marketing, to public relations, sales, lead and management systems and more, make us your Solutions Resource. When you are ready for the answers to your needs, visit MHMSM.com/solutions.

Manufactured Homes See Increase in Sales

Reporter: McKinsey Harris for WHSV

A certain type of home is seeing a dramatic increase in sales, while much of the housing market is just starting to recover.

Clayton Homes has seen a 22-percent increase in sales from this time last year, and it’s a trend the company is seeing both on a national scale, and in the Valley.

Chris Nicely, a zone manager with Clayton Homes, says that the number of homes they build, which will be around 30,000 this year, allows them to offer more “bang for the buck.”

“So the result is, we’re able to deliver more amenities in the same square footage or more square footage for a lower cost dollar to the consumer,” says Nicely.

He says, as confidence grows with the economy and people begin looking at homes, affordable housing is an area that’s seen some growth in recent months. “The process can be faster. It can be less expensive, and certainly with an eye on the environment, it’s done in a green process.”

The home builders say manufactured homes also create much less waste, just two trash cans for each home built, due to the use of recyclable materials.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Clayton Home Sales Centers sales up this year

July 29th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

Coming up – Could “Granny Flats” Be a Sandwich Generation Solution?

But first…these stories:

Clayton Home Sales Centers sales up this year

South Carolina Now

The numbers for Clayton Home Sales Centers (a Berkshire-Hathaway Company) for the first half of 2010 are in and the company’s sales are up 22 percent from this time last year.

According to The New York Times, nationally, manufactured homes made up nearly a quarter of all new homes sold for less than $200,000 in 2009.

Sales are expected to remain strong for the next few months as area Clayton dealerships participate in the National Open House program, designed to get people inside homes and considering purchases.

W.Va. launches new 3.5 percent mortgage program

The West Virginia Housing Development Fund announced Tuesday a new mortgage program where 280 families can qualify for the fund’s lowest interest rate in its history:  3.5 percent.

The program also includes a 30-year fixed-rate loan with zero percent down-payment. The program also offers closing cost assistance loans, said Gov. Joe Manchin and fund Executive Director Joe Hatfield.

Financing for the program comes from the sale of $35 million in bonds and a special bond refunding.

Hatfield called the program a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for first-time home buyers living in the fund’s 20 non-targeted counties. A first-time buyer is someone who hasn’t lived in an owner-occupied house for the past three years.

The counties are Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Greenbrier, Hancock, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Mercer, Monongalia, Morgan, Ohio, Putnam, Raleigh and Wood.

The program covers new or existing houses, duplexes, townhouses and new manufactured homes. It does not cover new or used single-section and multi-section homes.

Applications will be taken at banks, mortgage brokers and credit unions.

{ Market Report }

“Up next, Could “Granny Flats” Be a Sandwich Generation Solution?”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: Tap into Excellence, your ONE-STOP Resource for the Manufactured Housing Industry, the Leader in Land Lease Communities information!

Tap into Excellence – on the Web at CommunityDASHinvestor.com or call 317-346-7156.

And now, back to the news…”

Could “Granny Flats” Be a Sandwich Generation Solution?

Michelle V. Rafter – SecondAct.com Blog

A Virginia company is making news with a high-tech mini-modular home that families can set up in the backyard for grandma or grandpa as an alternative to a nursing home.

The 12-foot-by-24-foot MED Cottage from Salem, Virginia-based N2Care has a bedroom, sitting area, kitchenette and wheelchair-accessible bathroom. The unit also has floor-mounted webcams linked to the internet so a family member can check to see whether an elderly relative has fallen.

N2Care finished a prototype Med Cottage last month and doesn’t expect full-scale production to start until next year. However, media outlets including CBS Evening NewsThe Washington Post and local Virginia papers are already jumping on the story, dubbing the unit “the backyard nursing home.”

In interviews, the company’s CEO, Rev. Ken Dupin, a local pastor, said he was inspired to create the cottage after taking part in overseas missionary trips to countries where it’s the norm for generations to live together.

The pods are a prefab twist on the traditional mother-in-law unit and are designed to address an issue many people over 40 in the Sandwich Generation are facing: how to assist aging parents who can’t or don’t want to stay in their homes, and want an alternative to the hospital-like environment of care facilities.

Like any housing addition, these new units raise zoning questions.

In the Portland area, a decades-old urban growth boundary has caused a dramatic increase in in-fill residential development. Local zoning ordinances passed this year take this one step further, allowing what’s called accessory dwelling units to be erected on the same property as a main home. According to this article from the Portland Tribune, local builders predict the change could pave the way for backyard granny flats of all kinds, including the types of units N2Care is making. Cities such as Los Angeles, Denver and Seattle have similar laws on the books.

Other areas still are working on regulations. Virginia state lawmakers recently passed legislation superseding local zoning laws to allow families to install modulars–including N2Care’s units–based on a doctor’s orders. Skeptics, however, worry that people will take advantage of the law and move teenagers or other relatives into vacated units.

N2Care isn’t the only company betting medical modulars will go big. Seattle-based FabCab, short for “fabulous cabins,” launched a line of environmentally friendly prefab and wooden kit homes earlier this year that the company says are suitable for use as in-law quarters. Another company, Larson + Shores Architects Inc., of Oakland, Ca., plans to roll out its own eco-friendly one-bedroom modular called the Inspired In-Law this fall.

Have you added a granny flat or secondary structure to your property for a parent or older relative? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

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