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Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Near Half-Billion Deal for Gateway LifeStyle, Details Beyond News Release

June 13th, 2018 Comments off
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Original photo from Gateway’s website, montage by MHProNews.

Australia’s Gateway Lifestyle Group (GTY.AX) announced that it has received a non-binding offer for acquisition.  Hometown Australia Holdings Pty Ltd., and Hometown America Communities Ltd. Partnership proposal values the company at A$635 million (US$480 million), according to Reuters.

 

Hometown is offering $2.10-per-share through its local arm, to buy out Gateway Lifestyle Group operator in its entirety, per the Financial Review.

Gateway stated that it has not granted due diligence access yet, and that the proposal is subject to approval by the Australian foreign investment regulator.

The Daily Business News has been tracking the blooming manufactured housing and “manufactured home estates” business in Australia for some years.

Their industry does have ‘a younger’ feel than what is found in the U.S., even though much of it is geared toward senior living.

Note the two government videos, posted above and below. Each of which discusses the “land down under” versions of manufactured homes, and their style of land-lease community living.

 

A Gateway investor package from 2-2018 is linked here.

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From Gateway investor page on this date.

It is a fast-growing sector, with listed players such as Gateway and Ingenia, along with Hometown Australia Communities. Gateway generates earnings from the development sales of new homes and the ground rent from its growing portfolio,” said the Financial Review.

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Hometown is a subsidiary of Chicago-headquartered Hometown America Communities, with assets of more than #US3 billion,” they said.

Hometown’s Saddlebrook Farms, located in Gray’s Lake, IL was recently awarded that state’s community of the year award.

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Saddlebrook, as some MH professionals know, was established by industry visionary, Chuck Fanaro, who also held an interest in upscale HUD Code and modular home builder, Hi-Tech Housing Inc, in Bristol, IN.

The Gateway-Hometown deal – if approved and finalized – would be backed by Calzada Capital. They are “a global real estate investment firm with more than $US9 billion in assets under management,” said Financial Review.

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Prior reports on this blossoming part of the international manufactured housing market are linked from related reports, further below. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third party image, and/or content, are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Acquisition, and Rumors of a Billion Dollar Acquisition, for Hometown America

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/gateway-lifestyles-going-public-as-mh-living-becomes-more-popular-down-under/

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

“No Nails, No Glue,” Architect Creates ‘IMBY’ Flat Pack PreFab

April 18th, 2018 Comments off

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An architect in Sydney, Australia has created what’s billed as an easy-to-assemble “IMBY” – “In My Back Yard” – prefabricated plywood kit home.

 

It’s delivered flat-packed and ready to put together by owners or occupants, says inventor Adriano Pupilli to Domain. And you don’t even need an IKEA Allen key,” says its inventor Adriano Pupilli,

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Pupilli leads a team of architects who’ve drawn their fair share of positive media.  Domain is just the latest to spotlight his firm’s work.

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There’s no nails or glue [needed] either,” said Pupilli, “it’s just wedges that lock into each other in a Japanese-style of joinery, and you then just tap them in with a wooden mallet. You can then add extras or take them away, according to how much, or the kind of space you need.”

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The report says the models kits “start at $9800 for a studio, $15,400 for a sleepout, $22,800 for a guest pavilion and $27,600 for a full bach, or basic holiday home.”

According to their website, “Adriano Pupilli Architects is a Sydney-based practice with a passion for thoughtful architecture…”

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What the flat packed units don’t seem to include are the fixtures and finish needed to make walls, floors and a ceiling from a box into a livable home.  Quoting, “People looking for that flexibility also provide planning authorities with the opportunity to consider the approvals required, and the necessary zonings.

That’s because enormous confusion exists around whether such structures need planning permission. As long as they’re smaller than 20 square metres in area, under three metres in height, and are called a shed, then they probably won’t, says Mr Pupillo, director of the Manly-based Adriano Pupillo Architects.”

Domain says the “invention has been welcomed by housing affordability expert Adrian Pisarski, executive officer of National Shelter. “I think it’s helpful for a range of people to extend family living, or allowing teenagers to have some separate space.”

In Australia as in the U.S., they have their version of manufactured homes.

Unfortunately, there and here, there is a dose of stigma attached to the manufactured home type of factory built homes.

While these “IMBY”  units may be lower in cost once completed than hiring a contractor, it will likely be quite a bit higher per square foot than a manufactured home.  Here in the U.S., as industry professionals know, manufactured homes are rapidly made move-in ready.

As the Daily Business News reported last year, it seems that there is a search by housing hunters at home and abroad for a single section manufactured home alternative.

Are Americans Hunting for the Single Sectional Manufactured Home Alternative?

Put differently, it’s a reminder that manufactured home industry companies and professionals need to address the image issue at the local market level. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports:

Survey Top 2017 PreFab, Modular, Tiny and 3D Printed Housing News Stories

Yurts – Americans Hunt for an Affordable, Single-Sectional Manufactured Home Alternative

“Silver Bullet,” Manufactured Housing’s Monday Morning Sales Meeting

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

PreFab/Modular High-Rise Installed in 10 Days

September 18th, 2017 Comments off

AdaraApartmentsHickoryConstructionPerthAustraliaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsA six-story modular/prefabricated apartment building was installed in just 10 days, by using an off-site building system.

Australia’s Hickory Group were the provider for developers Goldmaster Enterprises and general contractors Goodland Building Company.

The video gives a time-elapsed view of how the project unfolded.

The project was in the city of Perth, Australia.

To see more details, please click this link here. ## (News.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

How Manufactured Home Estates (MHEs) Benefit Boomers, Younger Home Seekers Too

August 28th, 2017 Comments off
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Featured image credit, Northern Star.

Whilst it is appealing to those over 50 it frees up a lot of other housing within the region that those people are moving out of… will become available to younger families,” said Peter Childs, Development Manager for the Mavid Group.

The Mavid Group are the developers who are building the 199 manufactured homes to be placed in a new Manufactured Home Estate (MHE) in Evans Head, Australia, per the Northern Star.

 

A Unique Take on Manufactured Housing

Down under, as here in the U.S., manufactured homes are normally built in a factory and transported to the home site as a completed unit or in section. But the Evans Head homes will be built on site.

The homes will be built to draft legislation for manufactured homes, per The Coffs Coast Advocate.

They are expected to be 120 – 150 square meters in size, which is about 1291.6 to 1614.59 square feet. It will take four to five years to complete the homes, through multiple stages, according to the Northern Star.

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Artist rendering of a 2 bedroom manufactured home in Australia. Credit, Parkwood Homes.

Each home will have a single or double car garage – what they call a “lock up” there. There will be living room, dining room, kitchen and laundry room. They will also have a master bedroom with ensuite, and a second bedroom. Some homes will have a third bedroom/den.

The project is expected to cost $12,744,000. On top of the 199 manufactured homes the MHE will include…

  • A community building,
  • A bowling green,
  • A swimming pool,
  • And other “associated works.”

According to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, “manufactured homes can often be purchased for less than $200,000 and are seen as an important affordable housing option.”

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Evans Head in Australia. Credit, Google Maps, MHProNews.

An Australian manufactured home estates is like what we call a manufactured home community in the U.S.  They are often land-lease communities where residents own their homes, and lease the homesite.

If an occupant is eligible for government rent assistance then a major part of that lease payment is covered by the rent assistance,” Mr. Childs said.

Childs says that land leases for properties like the one being built in Evans Head usually cost around $150 per week.  That’s higher than what’s common in much of the U.S., as community industry pros know.

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Plans for the manufactured home estate in Evans Head, Australia. Image credit, Coffs Coast Advocate.

Why Target those 50 and older?

The Daily Business News has previously compared the differences between the U.S. and Australia when it comes to affordable housing and the role manufactured housing plays.

Obtaining financing for manufactured homes can be more difficult in the land down under.  Retirees selling their home, or getting a lump sum pension, are the ideal customers for the market.

Recently the Daily Business News reported that retirement could lead the demand for MHEs in Australia to increase by 50,000 new units in the next decade.

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As American professionals can see, there is a mixed bag for the community developer in Australia.  There are fewer older and less appealing communities, an advantage for acceptance of the lifestyle they have.  But if indeed the financing is more challenging, then the U.S. has an edge in that case.

As more retirees choose manufactured home community living, that frees up existing single-family houses for younger families.  That same principle would apply here…if more communities were getting approved. ## (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

 

MH Estates – Manufactured Housing, Community Sector, Reimagined

July 19th, 2017 Comments off
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Original image credit, Western Australian Homes; text and collage credits, MHProNews.com.

While the concept of Manufactured Housing Estates (MHEs) is still in its infancy and undergoing an evolutionary phase in Australia, it is firmly on the rise.” says Trudy Crooks, national sales manager at Resort Brokers Australia.

In recent years, MHProNews has been following the development of the manufactured housing industry in Australia – including the land-lease community sector.

Here in the United States, the HUD Code manufactured home industry has been struggling with a variety of issues.

But in the ‘land down under,’ they have an opportunity – as does Hawaii – to get a fresh start.

That re-imagined beginning could be free of much of the baggage that has – rightly or wrongly – dogged manufactured homes and communities in America.

This year may mark a turning point in the growth of their branch of the industry.

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Demand for Retirement Housing

Some forecasts say retirement-led demand for MHE dwellings could surge to 50,000 extra units in the next decade,” Crooks said.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reportedly projects that by 2056, some 22 percent of the population – or around 8.7 million people – will be age 65 and older.

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Credit, Prebuilt.com.au.

Retirees are one of the driving forces behind the need for more affordable housing opportunities, Crooks told The Urban Developer.   That will play a big part in the growth of what they call “manufactured housing estates” or MHEs in their country.

MHEs actually operate in the same regulatory environment as the caravan park industry out of which they grew,” Crooks explained.

MHEs in Australia are taxed differently than regular property, or even retirement villages.

Residents of MHEs – or ‘land lease communities’, as they should be more properly called – own their own factory-made homes, and pay a ground rent to the estate operator,” said Crooks. “If a manufactured home owner chooses to leave the community, they can generally just sell their house to an incoming purchaser, who then takes on the land rental.”

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Photo credit, Australia’s Modular Kit Homes.

In a previous Daily Business News story we reported on a five-year agreement that would allow Fleetwood Corp. to install manufactured homes in a total of nine different National Lifestyle Villages (NLV) communities.

At the time, they were still waiting for approval for three more communities – all of which would have been aimed at retirees. These are potent indicators of the growing potential of the market there.

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See that story, by clicking the image above. Photo credit, Lakes Mail.

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Collage by MHProNews.com.

They are also suggestive of what might be possible in the U.S. or Canada, if the industry takes the necessary steps to correct outdated or false perceptions.

More Bang for the Bucks

In addition to lifestyle manufactured home estates for retirement living, we believe manufactured accommodation could become a cheaper alternative to traditional construction,” said Sandon Capital Investments, activist, and investor in Fleetwood.

Looking into the future – and noting the need for affordable housing for more than just retirees – Crooks believes manufactured homes will become a popular option among younger adults as well.

With the increasing popularity in manufactured housing estates and the growing knowledge of how well built and designed they are, this is a prime opportunity, says Crooks, for those looking to invest in the industry while it is still in its relative infancy in Australia.

Development is low-risk and capital light, with attractive returns and CPI-indexed cash rents.  Sites, often in prime coastal locations and on the outskirts of metropolitan centres, represent land banks with cashflow,” Crooks states.

Up until now, MHE developers and operators have targeted existing caravan park sites because appropriate zoning is already in place,” says Crooks.

In prior Daily Business News reports, manufactured home builders have been obtaining agreements with existing sites, as Crooks said.

However, there have also been stories like that of DOYALSON-Wyee RSL Club, who in 2016 announced their plans to develop a 139-site manufactured home community.

We can certainly see potential for growth of MHEs as affordable permanent housing solutions for a younger demographic,” Crooks said.

Her comment dovetails with reports that millennials and others might embrace manufactured homes here in the U.S. and Canada, so long as they weren’t caught up in the ‘trailer’ image.

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Furthermore, any perception of MHEs as a low socio-economic option is rapidly changing as the new estates become more lifestyle focused, with higher quality factory-built homes that resemble bricks and mortar houses,” she said.

That too dovetails with reports from California and elsewhere, where upwardly mobile (pun intended) and frugal millionaires who have taken the time to understand manufactured homes and land-lease communities, are embracing the appealing lifestyle.

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In Australia, developers and investors are working to capitalize on the booming need for affordable homes, while fighting the stigma seen all-too-often in the U.S. and Canada.  They are doing so by providing MHE communities that have luxury amenities such as pools, club houses and more, as well as by providing an unmatched quality for the dollar found in modern manufactured homes.

While some forward thinkers and MHC REITs in the U.S. and up north have done similarly, most to date have not. ## (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Generation Buy? Millennials and Home Ownership

May 16th, 2017 Comments off
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The inside of a Fourleaf Properties manufactured home in Dallas, Texas. Credit: Candy’s Dirt.

New figures out from HSBC show some unexpected and interesting figures on how millennials around the world are dealing with homeownership.

And according to one billionaire, the big barrier for some includes avocados and coffee.

When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” said Tim Gurner, a billionaire luxury real estate developer in Australia.

According to the Daily Caller, while adults in America born after 1980 are slower to buy their first home than their parents, even with access to better rates and more credit, the situation in Australia is worse: millennials are second to last worldwide in homeownership.

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Avocados stopping home buying? Credit: Daily Caller.

And Gurner has some serious “dad” style advice to help them along.

You have to start to get realistic about your expectations,” said Gurner.

There is no question we are at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high. The people that own homes today worked very, very hard for it, saved every dollar, did everything they could to get up the property investment ladder.”

Young people want to eat out every day, they want to travel to Europe every year,” Gurner continued. “This generation is watching the Kardashians and thinking that’s normal. Thinking that owning a Bentley is normal, that owning a BMW is normal.”

 

China Winning?

The study from HSBC, entitled “Generation Buy,” breaks out millennial homeownership figures from countries around the world, showing that an average of 40 percent of millennials own their home, and a whopping 83 percent intend to buy within the next five years.

The nation that’s leading that charge may surprise you: China.

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Credit: HSBC.

70 percent of Chinese millennials already own their homes, with 91 percent planning to buy a house within the next five years. Mexico came in second in the study at 46 percent and France finished third with 41 percent.

This study challenges the myth that the home ownership dream is dead for millennials around the world,” said Louisa Cheang, HSBC’s Global Head of Retail Banking.

With four in ten already owning their home, the dream of home ownership for millennials is definitely alive and kicking. The greatest challenges are in those countries where there is a perfect storm of stagnating salaries and rising house prices – for millennials in those countries, the dream, while not dead, looks set to be deferred.”

 

Millennials and Manufactured Housing

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Johnathan Smoke. Credit: Move.com.

Many of the challenges and desires of millennials read like a list tailor-made for modern manufactured homes. Greener, more affordable, a choice of sizes, styles and customizable floor plans.

Millennials “represent an ‘Oh, shift’ moment in housing,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.

Many desire to move from renting to owning, but often struggle to find that a real possibility in the current site-built market. The manufactured housing industry can offer a solution to that problem,” said millennial Lindsey Bostick of Bostick Homes.

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Image credits, Lindsey Bostick, Inside MH Road Show, home photo, Sunshine Homes and ManufacturedHomes.com.

Bostick has lived in several kinds of housing, and now is a manufactured homeowner herself, so she knows.

Today’s manufactured homes can look and live like a conventional, site-built house, and can be half the price of new construction. Additionally, many manufactured homes are Energy Star rated, so they are more efficient than older, existing homes,” the university-graduated Bostick said.

For more on millennials and their desire for quality, affordable housing, click here. ##

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

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Acquisition, and Rumors of a Billion Dollar Acquisition, for Hometown America

April 25th, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: Gateway Lifestyle, Hometown America.

In Australia, manufactured home builder and community owner Gateway Lifestyle Group has seen significant growth since the Daily Business News reported a potential deal with Hometown America last August to purchase National Lifestyle Villages (NLV), Western Australia’s largest operator of manufactured home communities.

At the time, the proposed deal would have entailed Gateway acquiring NLV’s land holdings and project pipeline, while Hometown would obtain the company’s passive investment income stream currently held by private equity giant Blackstone.

Blackstone had entertained a possible sell of their portfolio stake for a rumored $225 million, although official comments from the firm said they were “not actively seeking.”

According to The Australian, the manufactured home estate (MHE) segment in the country focuses on providing affordable community living to people 55 and over, similar to the seniors-only communities in the U.S.

Gateway Lifestyle Group was created in 2009, and now owns and operates 55 communities, with more than 9,400 individual sites for manufactured homes.

With the Australian manufactured home market in its early stages, significant opportunity exists. And that has put Hometown and Gateway Lifestyle Group in a potential head-to-head battle.

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Credit: The Australian.

Most MHEs in the country are privately owned and operated, so the market is highly fragmented. This provides for significant opportunities for acquisitions, and analysts project that the current pipeline of opportunities will provide several years of growth via underfunded retirees who need affordable housing.

In recent weeks, Hometown America decided to formally enter the Australian market via a MHE purchase in Port Macquarie through its subsidiary Hometown Australia.

This move is in addition to a November 2016 rumor that Hometown America was planning a takeover bid for Gateway Lifestyle and Ingenia Communities, valued in excess of $1 billion.

It was suggested that Bank of America Merrill Lynch could be involved in a prospective transaction, but who would actually be involved remains unclear. The Australian reported that Gateway could fetch a purchase price in excess of $643 million.

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Credit: Briarcrest Estates.

Founded in 1997, Hometown America is a privately held company that owns and operates manufactured housing communities across the country. Today, the company operates more than 45 communities in ten states in the U.S.

For more on Hometown America, including their proposed acquisition of Laconia, New Hampshire-based Briarcrest Estates, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

Tackling the Housing Crisis Down Under With Prefab

April 10th, 2017 Comments off
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A Big World Homes Model. Credit: Domain AU.

In Australia, a handful of smart entrepreneurs believe that they have the answer to the nation’s housing crisis.

And, the answer lies in “flat pack” prefab.

According to Domain AU, and as the Daily Business News originally covered here, Big World Homes founder and architect Alex Symes has come up with what he calls “three tools and a set of instructions,” prefab homes that he estimates cost 80 per cent less than a similar-sized home.

We’ve designed a flexible system that allows people to take control of their shelter,” said Symes.

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Big World Homes Founder Alex Symes. Credit: Big World Homes

Coming in at a cost of $65,000 each, the off-grid buildings come with a water tank and solar power capacity.

We’re negotiating with government entities who may come to the party with land,” said Symes.

But we already had lots of private landowners chomping at the bit to help because they know there is a problem, they have land that can be used (with local council approval), and they want to help.”

Symes believes that his innovative solution will provide younger people with a starter home, that they can add on to or move elsewhere, matching up with the desires of those younger buyers for flexibilityy without sacrificing quality, at a reasonable price.

The innovate style of Big World Homes was pointed out recently by Australian Institute of Architects Professor Ken Maher during his housing affordability briefing at Parliament House.

These homes demonstrate what is possible when creative minds take a fresh look at recurring problems,” said Maher.

Architecture was the logical profession to be called to the forefront of the solution finding and added how, with pre-fabrication building processes coming of age … they can be a game changer in affordable housing.”

This opportunity has also brought others to the table, including architect Bill McCorkell, via his company, ArchiBlox.

Off-site constructed houses are marginally cheaper than comparable-sized, conventionally-built homes by about 10 to 20 per cent,” said McCorkell.

The six month from concept to occupancy process is another aspect making prefabs attractive to a market interested in time-efficiencies.”

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Inside of a Big World Home. Credit: Domain AU.

McCorkell also pointed out that a key component in making prefab homes work in this scenario would be volume.

Until we can build 200 houses at a time we’ll struggle to match the efficiency margins of the big volume builders,” said McCorkell.

If the Government did come to us with orders for 200 houses, it would allow us to get the costs down to around $1000 per square meter.”

Symes and McCorkell both point out that despite some of the potential challenges, the opportunity to help people, and to do substantial business, is significant

In contrast to a place like Japan where 80 per cent of new housing is pre-fabricated, the scale of the Australian pre-fab scene is a mere three per cent,” said McCorkell.

But the market is developing, and fast,” said Professor Maher.

As architectural creatives put time and thought into coming up with the housing affordability, it’s a game changer that isn’t going to be predicated on a house price crash scenario.”

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

MHC Faces the Music – Different Place, Same Song

April 4th, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: Herald Sun.

Stories on manufactured home community owners being put through the pain of being uprooted from their property, and often having to make life-altering adjustments, are common in the U.S.

But the U.S. isn’t the only place where cases like this occur. They even happen in “the land down under.

According to the Herald Sun, residents of the Wantirna Caravan Park in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia are being forced out due to the community owner selling to a firm with ties to China, which plans to build high rise towers.

The company, Longriver, has a message on their website from managing director Andrew Yu stating he wants to leave “a positive mark in Melbourne’s history.

For one long time resident, that statement doesn’t hold water.

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Trevor Russell. Credit: Herald Sun.

Once we found out who bought the park [sic], we knew we were stuffed,” said Trevor Russell, who has lived in the community for seven years, and received his eviction letter in December.

I had a neighbor come down in tears, then I started crying,” said Russell.

People are so upset.

Residents have been given until January 2018 to vacate. According to a PR firm representing Longriver, they made the decision on the site as a result of a detailed business analysis.

While the current owner of the community has offered to help residents relocate, some say that offer does not offer any real financial compensation.

According to Consumer Affairs in Victoria, there is no automatic right to compensation as long as residents have been given enough notice.

Last week, Yu officially announced that management had offered a package ahead of the eviction deadline in January.

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Homes in the community. Credit: Herald Sun.

We recognize the upheaval the closure of the caravan park [sic] represents for residents and this assistance package aims to help ease residents’ transition into a more permanent housing solution,” said Yu.

Under the plan, residents, on giving 28 days notice, would not have to pay site costs once they leave.

Yu says that so far, 31 residents had already found new homes and moved out of the community.

Even with the help, residents, and those who support them, say they face massive costs.

There is no legal basis for compensation, but there certainly is an ethical one,” said Aoife Cooke, a representative for the Housing for the Aged Action Group, who is working to assist residents.

You have very low-income people who as well as having to move their house and becoming homeless, there are huge costs involved in this situation, such as relocation costs, moving costs, disposing of units if that’s relevant to their situation. I think the (residents) haven’t been protected by a legislative framework that really caters for the needs of people in caravan parks [sic].” ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Multi-Story Modular – The Answer to Rising Costs?

November 21st, 2016 Comments off
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A Matrix Homes installation in Wellington, New Zealand. Credit: Matrix Homes.

For Trentham, New Zealand-based Matrix Homes, they believe the answer is yes.

According to Voxy, Matrix Homes is about to enter the high-rise market offering steel frame modular construction for hotels and apartment buildings. This follows the signing of an agreement to partner with Alto Australia, a company with 30 years experience in large-scale modular multi-story projects.

Matrix expects to announce New Zealand’s first modular construction high rise building in the first quarter of 2017. This project will use the steel frame modular construction system developed by our partners Alto Australia,” said managing director Sean Murrie.

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Sean Murrie. Credit: Stuff NZ.

Not only will this result in considerable savings over the cost of conventional construction but the build time will be significantly reduced taking weeks instead of months – a fraction of the time of an onsite build.

The plan between the two companies will use steel framed load bearing modules, alleviating the need for the building to have an independent structural frame. The modules can be stacked like building blocks to create multi-story buildings of up to 10 levels in New Zealand.

Matrix says that their units will only take two weeks to install for a six-floor building, and that the entire build can be completed in less than 3 months. The company also claims that multi-story modular buildings have lower maintenance costs, and better seismic and acoustic performance than traditional builds.

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The Matrix Homes factory. Credit: Matrix Homes.

Our modular high rise system provides savings of up to 25% over conventional building methods, produces less material waste and a much safer work environment,” said Murrie.

This enables developers to build in the current market and avoid exposure to escalating building costs that industry sources recently claimed saw between 22 and 35 multi-residential projects axed in Auckland over the past 12 months.

But, according to Murrie, costs are not the only issue.

While rising construction costs are not the only reason many construction projects aren’t proceeding, clearly there is a need for greater innovation that will result in a less costly, faster and better performing built environment. Had developers adopted modular construction, we believe many of the cancelled Auckland projects could have been built,” said Murrie.

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Alto Australia plant. Credit: Alto.

Matrix Homes claims that they have produced 60 stand-alone homes. While bureaucracy is a challenge, they plan to continue.

Each and every housing consent with Councils is hard fought – the territorial local authorities are getting in the way of building affordable housing and we would prefer to focus on multi-story modular where our efforts aren’t stymied at every turn,” said Murrie.

The Matrix/Alto Australia modular system provides an innovative solution to the ever increasing cost of building multi-story buildings without compromising quality. It meets or exceeds all wind and earthquake standards, and provides superior fire protection. This makes the system ideal for hotels, apartments, and student accommodation.

Even with the challenges, Murrie remains optimistic.

We believe modular multi-story construction also creates an opportunity to expand our business and workforce to deliver bigger projects that will improve our built environment.

The Daily Business News has covered the modular segment recently, including a similar project by London-based firm Pocket. ##

(Image Credits are as shown above.)

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.