Posts Tagged ‘$5 million’

Battle Rages over Value of Manufactured Housing Communities

September 25th, 2013 Comments off

Following up on a post MHProNews last reported Sept. 3, 2013 regarding Equity LifeStyle Properties’ (NYSE:ELS) successful appeal of a sharp rise in taxes on two manufactured housing communities (MHCs) in Florida, over $200,000 in property taxes are once again at stake. Sarasota County Property Appraiser Bill Furst contends the value of Bay Indies in Venice has increased 23 percent over last year’s valuation to $47.3 million, while the value of Lake Village in Nokomis, FL rose 72 percent to $19.5 million. These are the same exact numbers he used last year that were denied. ELS has filed an appeal with the Value Adjustment Board, the same as last year. Tax increases are passed on to residents of the communities, resulting in the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) questioning the formula Furst used. According to, he is using the same methodology as before, sparking the same appeal from ELS. In April he sued ELS trying to force them to produce financial records for the two communities, but statutory law does not require it. In any case, residents will have to pay more if Furst succeeds in increasing the valuation.

(Photo credit: Equity LifeStyle Properties–Lake Haven MHC, Clearwater, FL)

BBC Checks Out Manufactured Homes in U. S.

September 24th, 2013 Comments off

Following on the heels of Miss South Carolina’s line in the Miss America Beauty Pageant about factory-built homes in her home state, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) asks rather rhetorically why so many Americans live in these dwellings. Based on U. S. Census figures, 20 million Americans occupy 8.5 million manufactured homes, 57 percent of which have a full time employed head of household, and 23 percent are retired. As MHProNews knows, seventy percent of all new homes sold priced under $125,000 are manufactured homes. Household income of MH residents is roughly half the national average, and the top five states with the most factory-built housing are South Carolina, New Mexico, West Virginia, Mississippi and Alabama. Mississippi is the only one of the five that is also among the poorest states. While the stigma of manufactured homes persists in much of the country, elaborate homes in some Florida retirement communities and along the southern California coast certainly defy that image.

(Photo credit: Freehold Real Estate Management)

Private/Public Collaboration Issues Flatpack Modular Shelter

September 12th, 2013 Comments off

Swedish retailer Ikea has partnered with the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) to develop a shelter now being used in Syrian refugee camps. The modular flatpack shelters, constructed to house up to five people, are made of insulated plastic panels that snap into a metal frame. The units also have solar panels and USB ports for electricity, and a shading sheet that reflects heat during the day but traps warmth at night. Unlike tents, which last only about six months, these modular structures are built to last three years. As informs MHProNews, there are 3.5 million refugees around the globe living in tents and shelters, with the average stay in a camp of 12 years. 50 prototypes were sent to the camps in Syria. The Ikea Foundation has invested $4.8 million to develop the unit.

(Image credit:

Australian Firm Focusing Exclusively on Manufactured Housing Communities

September 11th, 2013 Comments off

Updating a story we last posted Sept. 4, 2013 about the acquisition of two manufactured housing community (MHCs) properties by Ingenia Communities in Australia, MHProNews has learned the company has raised $61.5 million to fund the acquisition of eight additional MHCs. Although contracts have been exchanged on only the Drifters Holiday Village at Kingscliff on the north coast of New South Wales (NSW), the company will announce the purchase of the remaining seven properties when the deals are finalized. Chief Executive Simon Owen states the company intends to focus solely on MHCs. “We spent two years researching this market before we made our first acquisition,” he said. All eight properties are in NSW, close to urban areas, or in Sydney. “We want to build a dominant footprint in the NSW market before we look to expanding into Queensland and Western Australia,” Mr. Owen said, as reported by

(Photo credit:

Lot Shortage Sidetracks New Home Construction

September 5th, 2013 Comments off

A National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey reveals a shortage of buildable lots is contributing to the lack of a more robust housing market recovery. “In our August 2013 survey, 59 percent of builders reported that the supply of lots in their markets was low or very low—up from 43 percent September of last year, and the largest low supply percentage we’ve seen since we began conducting these surveys in 1997,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “One reason is that many residential developers left the industry, abandoned certain markets or simply stopped buying land and developing lots during the downturn.” The shortage of lots leads to a higher price for the lots, which is ultimately passed on to the home buyer, further stymying a fuller recovery. Housing starts bottomed out at 550,000 in 2009, and has risen to just under 900,000 annually according to the Census Bureau. MHProNews has learned starts averaged 1.5 million from 1960 to 2000, always above the one million mark until 2008.

(Image credit: Fotosearch)

Clayton Provides Homes for Next Step

September 4th, 2013 Comments off

The nation-wide nonprofit Next Step has assisted over 100 families obtain new, energy-efficient manufactured homes, often replacing energy-sucking, deteriorating factory-built homes from pre HUD-Code days. The organization has partnered with industry giant Clayton Homes to open the door to home ownership of Energy Star qualified dwellings, projecting residents will save nearly $4 million on their energy bills, and $12.5 million in interest over the life of the 30-year loans. Founder and CEO of Next Step Stacey Epperson grew up in rural Kentucky where dilapidated manufactured homes (MH) were much the norm, and she decided to do something about it, initially steering people away from buying MH. After hooking up with Clayton, she realized the value of quality, affordable homes for the people she served, according to the Christian Science Monitor. In one case, the utility bills of an elderly woman who received a Next Step home fell so dramatically from her old factory-built home the power company thought she had passed away. MHProNews has learned the homes the organization has provided so far has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 9,000 pounds.

Fugitive Sparrow Flies the Coop

August 16th, 2013 Comments off

Following a story we posted Aug. 13 regarding mortgage fraud charges being brought against four managers of the manufactured housing retailer Phoenix Housing Group of Greensboro, North Carolina, one of the accused is now considered a fugitive. The four are charged with conspiring to defraud buyers of manufactured and modular housing in North and South Carolina, and originating $158 million in fraudulent federal loans for their purchase. They are Fabian Sparrow, 35, of Burlington; Dennis Wayne Parris, 55, of Pinehurst; Andrew B. McKeown, 38, of Asheboro; and Roger Dean Bailey Jr., of Hickory. Sparrow was also charged with making false statements to investigators, destroying documents in an attempt to hide the paper trail, and encouraging others to lie. MHProNews has learned from thetimesnews Sparrow is now considered a fugitive. Joseph Klakulak of Charlotte has already entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to defraud the federal government and making false statements to investigators, for which he is facing five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sparrow is looking at 55 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine if convicted.

(Photo credit: thetimesnews–Fabian Sparrow)

Texas to need over Ten Million Housing Units

August 15th, 2013 Comments off

According to Jim Gaines from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, the population of Texas is anticipated to increase to 30 million by 2050, a gain of nearly 120 percent, which will require 10.5 million additional housing units. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is expected to grow 163 percent to 16.8 million by 2050, and the greater Houston area will increase more than 143 percent to nearly 15 million. Rich Thomas, CEO of the MetroTex Association of Realtors, tells HousingWire many corporations are moving to the state, adding that the Great Recession did not hit the state as hard as many other parts of the country. He says, “We have such a diverse industry that people can come from virtually any kind of job opportunity and have places to work.” As MHProNews knows, Texas continues to be the monthly leading shipment state for manufactured homes.

(Image credit: city of Pecos, Texas)

Manufactured Housing Residents to Receive Relocation Expenses

August 14th, 2013 Comments off

Residents of the Pan and Fork manufactured housing community in Basalt, Colorado, just northwest of Aspen will be compensated for relocating due to a redevelopment project slated for their community. The town, which co-owns the property with the non-profit Roaring Fork Community Development Corporation, needs to do flood mitigation and infrastructure work at the site before it is re-purposed as commercial space, a city park and a nonprofit campus. The compensation is based on the number of children in each family and the amount of time they have lived at Pan and Fork. At a meeting with town officials and eight of the families, which the town intends to relocate by the end of Sept., the payment for them will include $7,800, which is the equivalent of a year’s rent in the community, $5,000 for a deposit on a new home, and $7,500 for relocating or abandoning each home. In all, 122 residents occupying 38 manufactured homes need to be moved. According to aspendailynews, the current town ordinance calls for new homes be given to those displaced by redevelopment, but an amendment to the ordinance currently in process will provide for relocation assistance. MHProNews has learned the town will put a $5 million bond issue on the ballot Nov. 5 to help pay for relocation and infrastructure expenses.

(Photo credit: TriStar Estates)

Universal Forest Products, Inc. Sales Gain for Q2 213

July 18th, 2013 Comments off

Universal Forest Products, Inc. (UFPI) reports second quarter 2013 net sales of $738.4 increased 24.4 percent over the $593.7 net sales for the same period of 2012. Second quarter net earnings for 2013 equaled $15.8 million compared to $17.5 million for the same period 2012, although 2012’s earning included gains on the sale of real estate worth $6.9 million. Adjusted net earnings therefore for Q2 2012 actually equal $13.2 million. UFPI (NASDAQ:UFPI) states all five of its markets experienced double digit gains. It’s manufactured housing sector gross sales hit $109.5 million, an increase of 35.7 percent over the same period of 2012. As fortmilltimes informs MHProNews, UFPI is a holding company providing administrative, capital and management resources to manufactured housing and residential construction markets. Its stock gained +0.34% to close at 38.36 in today’s trading.

(Photo credit: Universal Forest Products, Inc.)