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Intelligence Report – MHI Producer Spotlights “the Plan” for MHCs, Community REITs

March 29th, 2018 Comments off

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A senior management team member for a HUD Code manufactured housing (MH) production company told the Daily Business News about the emerging plan for MH Communities, according to a REIT moving towards capacity.

 

As MHProNews has reported, a third or more of new manufactured home shipments are going into land-lease communities. 

While new homes are being purchased by communities of all sizes, large numbers are being ordered by “portfolio operations,” including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), such as Sun Communities (SUI), Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), and UMH Properties (UMH).

 

As an Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member company president told the Daily Business News, if new home shipments going into land lease community are factored out, then new home production is essentially flat. In some states, shipments of new homes are still declining since the official bottom for the industry was hit in 2009. 

 

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Given the comparison in price and value, it is difficult to for many third parties and industry professionals to imagine how manufactured housing (MH) can be hovering at around 9 percent of single family housing starts.  That’s far below MH’s historic norms (see shipment chart above). Some point to the affordable housing crisis, the quality of today’s manufactured homes, and ask a question similar to what the Urban Institute (UI) did in January, even though they may come to a different conclusion than UI did.

 

While Manufactured Housing Overall Rises, Some Slip Sliding Away

Another MHI member producer’s president and vice president both said that based upon current trends, they expect a three to five year window, before MH Communities fill their vacancies of existing home sites. 

Against that backdrop, a new MHI production source tells MHProNews about his insights learned from the plans that Sun Communities (SUI) and another major portfolio operation.

Sun, a titan in the MH Communities sector, are planning beyond their current vacancies. They, per our source, are looking beyond vacant lots, and planning on replacing older homes on occupied but dated home sites. Some of those sites are odds sizes by today’s standards, he explained, which may require special models of homes designed to fit certain lots.

If that replacement of aging inventory becomes a trend, as rental units did after Dodd-Frank, such a replacement process may continue the orders coming from giant land lease operations.

That means the production cliff some are concerned about could be extended beyond the thousands of now vacant home sites in MHCs.

That may sound like good news for HUD Code home producers.  But those replacement plans are not likely to be as busy as the current infill in the dwindling numbers of vacancies in MHCs, coming primarily from homes being offered as rental units. 

The fact that so many homes are being sold as rentals instead of sales to home buyers as was the historic norm is in itself a troubling trend, per producers. 

 

The Take Aways

All of the above implies a coming new home shipment cliff in manufactured housing, unless some new trend or development takes place. 

While the industry’s members are in several cases understandably celebrating modestly rising new home shipment levels, the underlying realities are not as rosy.

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When 92,900 new HUD Code manufactured homes are divided by the 5.57 million units of new existing housing sales, you get 0.01667863554. That means that only new manufactured home sales is equal to only 1.67 percent of the sale of existing conventional homes. With 8.3 million new housing units needed in the U.S., what explains the relatively low levels of manufactured home sales?

Given the nature of their business, MH production companies have to be aware of such trends.

As another HUD Code MH producer – an MHI member and careful reader of MHProNews – has said, MHI’s official policies, plans and positions “have made no sense” for “several years.”  

All of the reports noted herein are from MHI only member companies, not from members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Given the affordable housing crisis, and MHI’s indirect admission of their failed industry promotion and marketing plans, industry professionals and public officials alike ought to take notice.

Some producers told MHProNews that they are “open” to being acquired by larger companies.

So the data like the above ought to be of concern to independents, including MH retailers and other industry operations who want to remain independent.

Among independent factory home builders, even those planning to sell at some foreseeable point, should realize that Warren Buffett and another larger player are both known for trying to buy “cheap” rather than at full value.  If historic normal shipment levels existed today, it would translate as more value for those firms who are thinking about selling.

The latest report by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) lays out step-by-step examples of how MHI was on the wrong side of issues that both associations were engaged with. In case after case, MHI had to pivot toward MHARR’s original and steady stance. How can that be so consistently true?

In all of this, per sources, MHI is being revealed as de facto working mainly for the interests of major consolidators, while posturing “activities” that in fact has proven time and again to largely be fruitless. A look at the dues structure of MHI, and who three of the four MHI Executive Committee seats are held by paints a picture.

The Daily Business News review of the MHARR report is linked here. The full length version without commentary of MHARR’s report is linked here. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports:

“Razzle Dazzle,” Says Former Manufactured Housing Institute Member

“Winners and Losers,” L2 Founder, Prof Scott Galloway on Monopolies

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Chemical Vapors Entered Manufactured Homes, Tests Show

May 4th, 2017 Comments off
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Community Residents at the meeting in October. Credit: Times of San Diego.

In a follow up to a story the Daily Business News covered in November, residents of the Starlight Mobile Home Park and Greenfield Mobile Estates received confirmation that vapors from a dangerous chemical that runs underground in the city of El Cajon, California have seeped into people’s homes.

According to KPBS, new air testing shows that, contrary to what some residents were led to expect when they learned of the plume last October, the vapors were not only seeping in, but it may have been happening for decades.

The gas is trichloroethylene, or TCE, a chemical commonly used for cleaning and degreasing. TCE is strongly linked to kidney cancer,” said John Budroe, senior toxicologist with the California environmental health agency.

It may also cause liver cancer and malignant lymphoma. It is harmful to babies in utero and can lower men’s hormone levels, sex drive and sperm quality.”

Back in October of last year, state officials offered 19 households in the Starlight Mobile Home Park and Greenfield Mobile Home Estates air testing four days after a report that a plume ran beneath the communities, and 18 days after the Department of Toxic Substances Control issued a Proposition 65 hazard warning.

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Image of the toxic plume. Credit: Times of San Diego.

Specialists tested 18 of some 45 homes that sit atop the most potent part of the plume, and found that four of the homes required either immediate or accelerated response level action.

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Ron Cox. Credit: KPBS.

Nobody knows the effects of living over a house that has the minimum or acceptable amount of TCE seeping up into the air for 30 years,” said resident Ron Cox, who is suing the chemical company, Ametek, and the company currently operating at the site, Senior Operations, for loss of home value.

Cox’s mother, Arla JoDoell Cox, died at age 63 of kidney cancer. His brother, Adam Cox, is in hospice with a brain tumor.

They failed to let me or my family know this is happening and this could affect their health, why haven’t they fixed it, why didn’t they notify the public?” asked Cox.

Dr. Mary McDaniel, an environmental medicine physician consulting with Ametek, says that the reason the communities were not tested sooner is because years of testing at the school indicated levels there were safe.

But John Fiske, the attorney for Cox, disagrees with that story.

Ametek and its top executive ignored notices of violation and abatement from the water board. The water board tried for ten years to get Ametek to clean this up and they refused to do it,” said Fiske.

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Starlight Mobile Home Estates. Credit: Times of San Diego.

Engineering geologist Sean McClain says that the plume may actually originate from multiple locations on the former site.

The plume may originate from as many as seven places on the 17 acre former manufacturing site where chemical waste was thrown away in pits or sumps,” said McClain.

From there, the chemicals flow down through broken rock into the shallow groundwater, under the densely populated mobile home parks [sic], beneath Highway 67 and toward the Gillespie Field airport, where the plume loses steam 1.3 miles from its source.”

In addition to the legal action from Cox, three other residents from Greenfield Mobile Home Estates have also filed a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court. Ametek responded with a list of 39 defenses.

The Daily Business News will continue to monitor this story and provide updates. ##

 

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

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

The End of MHC’s in Palm Beach County?

January 31st, 2017 Comments off
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Suni Sands Mobile Home Park. Credit: MHProNews.

What a difference a storm can make.

According to the Palm Beach Post, a tornado that ripped through the Juno Beach Condo Mobile Home Park last week put the issues surrounding manufactured home communities in Palm Beach county front and center again, as a combination of developers buying up communities and high housing prices threaten access to affordable housing in the area.

 

Many manufactured home communities in the county sit on large lots of land, usually with access to main roads, boat docks, and, most important to developers, commercial or multi-family zoning.

When other housing or commercial buildings replace a manufactured home community, urban planners often refer to it as “infill development,” which according to the Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) is defined as “the process of developing vacant or under-used parcels within existing urban areas that are already largely developed.

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A crew cleans up at Juno after last week’s tornado. Credit: Palm Beach Post.

And, although residents of manufactured home communities see things differently, what may be more troubling in Palm Beach county is what appears to be a “backdoor” version of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard.)

Per the Palm Beach Post, politicians, and the residents who reelect them, seem to know that developments bring more tax revenue than manufactured home communities.

Infill development in the county has already taken place in Jupiter at the site of the former Whitehaven Senior Mobile Home Park, which is now home to Culver’s Custard and the Barcelona apartments.

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A map of the area, with Juno highlighted. Credit: Google.

Residents at Bell’s Mobile Home Park and Suni Sands Mobile Home Park met a similar fate when developers acquired the properties and announced new development plans. The last of the residents at Suni Sands left the community in mid December.

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A view of Bell’s Mobile Home Park. Credit: Palm Beach Post.

I grew up here. My kids worked here. This place is a part of me. The residents aren’t the only ones feeling the loss. I’m glad it’s over. It’s time to move on,” said community manager Steve Burns.

I never imagined I would live in such a magical place like Suni Sands. My husband and I are going to get a pizza tonight and sit on the deck with another couple. One last night in paradise,” said Joyce Miller, a 15-year resident.

Even moving assistance from the government usually isn’t enough to help residents.

While offering up to $6,000 in moving expenses for manufactured homeowners who are displaced, that amount doesn’t go very far in a county where everything tends to be expensive.

Many simply walk away from their homes all together, with it being too expensive to move them.

Views from the MH Industry

jimayottecreditmhpronewsusersrcdesktoppaulbradleycredtimhpronewsstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnewsAs similar instances continue to take place around the U.S., MH industry professionals have provided their take.

Jim Ayotte, executive director of the Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA), told MHProNews – “A community owner shouldn’t be compelled to close a community without regard for homeowners.

Ayotte explained some of the various stress points that are often at play, including local governments that have limited ability in their budgets to provide affordable housing. Yet, local governments often try to impose measures that force property owners to act contrary to their property rights.

This is unfair to the private sector and quite frankly, should be unconstitutional,” said Ayotte.

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Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

Property owners have the right to develop their land. And the government has the responsibility to make affordable housing available to citizens, especially for the elderly and low-income. There has to be some type of balance.

As MH association directors, we support a property owner’s rights to buy, sell and make a profit at any time, Jay Hamilton, of the George Manufactured Housing Association told MHProNews.

What we do hope for is that the MH Community owner does it ethically, which is usually the case.

The community owner should help minimize the impact by working with local government and social service agencies to identify alternative housing options,” said Ayotte, adding that he has seen a number of examples of community closures where owners, residents and local officials worked successfully together.

Ayotte’s full comments about the matter are linked here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News June 26-July 3, 2016

July 3rd, 2016 Comments off

mhpronews_sunday_morningWhat’s New in public focused Manufactured HomeLivingNews.com

St. Petersburg, FL – Misjudging Mobile Homes – Tale of Two Cities

What’s New in Manufactured Housing Industry Professional News

House committee requesting documentation from CFPB. Modular apartments replacing old apartment buildings. Zeman plans MH build in Florida. Maine city gets community development block grant for modular apartments. Kentucky city restricts MH to communities. Manufactured homes damaged moving from closing community to new site. Manufactured housing rEvolution. UMH hits 52-week high. Pending home sales slip. Dialogue results from visit to manufactured home communities. Norhtpoint Commercial Spreads Out. County sets hearing on MH siting. Restricted MH Community planned for Florida. YES! On block for $2 billion plus. MHI slammed for failing its mission. Air Force cadets build modular homes. Twin Cities trying to preserve MH as affordable housing. Much, much more in news, views and information you can use in your career.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

House Committee Pressing CFPB for Advertising Documentation

Friday, July 1

Modular Homes Rising where Irene Destroyed Manufactured Homes

Modular Container Home in High-end Calif. Market

British Columbia City may Allow Manufactured Homes for Foreign Agri Workers

UMH Properties is Top Gainer; MHCV slips, Skyline Falls

Maine City Receives Block Grant for Modular Apartments

UMH Properties hits 52-Week High, Projections Skyward

Thursday, June 30

Zeman Expands its Reach into Florida

Pending Home Sales Slip April to May

Skyline Outshines other MH-related Stocks; Dow Regains 235 Point

July 2, 2016 – the Manufactured Housing rEvolution!

Manufactured Homes Damaged in Moving to other Sites

KY City Restricts Placement of Manufactured Homes

Wednesday, June 29

Tony Prevatte Chosen to Head NC MH Association

Dow, Several MH-related Stocks Recover from Two Day Loss

Northpoint Commercial Finance Expands

Construction Employment Lack may Impact Overall Economy

Creating a Dialogue on Manufactured Housing as Affordable Housing in Seattle

Modular Homes for Dublin Homeless Finally Occupied

Tuesday, June 28

NM County Sets Hearings on Manufactured Home Siting

Skyline Corp. Bumps up +9.95 Percent, as Deer Valley Plummets -30.00 Percent

Singapore Investors Turn Sights on Yes! Communities for $2B+

American Banking News – Key MHI Staff “Excoriated” for Failing Their Mission, Members

Dodd-Frank Continues to be Batted About

Mon. June 27

MHLivingNews says Massachusetts is Smacked with Shortage of Mid-range Homes

Federal Preemption should Allow the Manufactured Home to be Sited

Deer Valley Skyrockets, while Dow Drops -290 Points, NASDAQ Falls -2.41%

Air Force Academy Cadets build Modular homes for Navajo

Twin Cities Trying to Preserve MH Communities as Affordable Housing

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News June 19-June 26, 2016 ##

(Photo credit: MHProNews)

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New South Wales Review may Ease Restrictions on Manufactured Home Communities

April 27th, 2015 Comments off

australian manufactured home community  intenational to  creditA government review in New South Wales (NSW), Australia set to begin this month is intended to make it easier for developers to re-purpose greenfield sites into manufactured home communities (MHCs) and caravan (recreational vehicle) sites, according to what dailytelegraph informs MHPronews.

Bob Browne, NSW general counsel for Camping, Caravan and Manufactured Housing Industry Association says the review will deal with the current operation of communities as well as the establishment of new MHCs. It will also make it less difficult to alter the number of sites approved for MH and caravans.

Noting manufactured homes are an affordable entry way into the housing market for first time homebuyers, Browne said, “You can buy a manufactured home for between $100,000 and $200,000 … and you don’t have to buy the land.

According to NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes, the review will include discussions with industry officials, councils and affordable housing stakeholders. Any recommendations resulting from the review will not affect current residents of MHCs. ##

(Photo credit: dailytelegraph– manufactured home community in Australia)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Demand, Sales Rise for Manufactured Home Communities

March 25th, 2015 Comments off

mfg home horizon land co creditKW Communications has informed MHProNews that Federal Capital Partners and Horizon Land Co. LLC have purchased eleven manufactured home communities (MHCs), primarily in western New York, for $88 million. This 2,413 home site transaction brings to 32 MHCs the two companies own with a total of 5,600 home sites.

The largest community in this deal is Gypsum Mills, a five-star community near Rochester, NY comprised of 560 home sites, with M&T Bank providing the financing. Ryan Hotchkiss of Horizon said, This acquisition substantially increases our joint portfolio, takes our partnership into an expanded geography, and provides an important building block for continued growth.

A study from Marcus & Millichap reports resident demand for affordable housing in the northeast has pushed vacancy down 30 basis points to 8.7 percent over the last year, while rents in the region have increased 3.4 percent to $451 monthly. This marked the third consecutive year of gains. Nationwide the report says high demand for MHCs has elevated prices and compressed cap rates in most markets. ##

(Photo credit: Horizon Land Co. LLC–manufactured home)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com   Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Caddis Capital Closes on $10.8 Million Purchase of two 55+ Manufactured Home Communities

January 5th, 2015 Comments off

caddis-capital-logo-manufactured-home-communities-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comCaddis Capital Investments, LLC, announced the firm has purchased two 55+ manufactured home communities (MHCs) near Phoenix, Arizona for 10.8 million. These two properties include Paradise Valley Ranch, a 168-site active adult community in Paradise Valley, Arizona. The other is Chaparral Ranch, a 100-site active adult community in Apache Junction. Arizona.

Caddis Capital said they worked exclusively with one of the world’s largest structured finance companies to orchestrate this commercial mortgage-backed security

We were honored to work with a world-class team to acquire these best-in-breed assets,” said Rhett Trees, an equity partner at Caddis Capital Investments. “As we near the closing of our current investment vehicle, Trico Fund III, we are activating millions of dollars to acquire new income producing real estate assets across the Western United States. We are proud to include the residents of Paradise Valley Ranch and Chaparral Ranch in the Caddis Capital Investments family.”

As a part-time resident of Scottsdale, I could not be more excited to add Paradise Valley Ranch and Chaparral Ranch to our Trico Fund III portfolio,” said Tery Larrew, founder and managing partner at Caddis Capital Investments. “The Arizona market is prime for this type of product with a thriving eco-system for baby-boomers who are passionate about pursuing their retirearizona55+manufactured-home-community-caddis-capital-denver-business=credit-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-ment goals.”

Caddis Capital Investments is an actively managed, diversified investment firm. Their fundamental thesis is to assemble a diversified portfolio of low-risk, high cash-flow assets with the goal of delivering capital preservation, consistent quarterly cash-on-cash income paired with equity growth. The company says their objective is achieved by acquiring – then adding-value or repositioning – under-valued, mismanaged, sub-performing or improperly capitalized income producing assets.

Caddis Capital is headquartered in Littleton, Colorado, with a satellite office in Scottsdale, Arizona. ##

(Image credit: Caddis Capital logo. Photo Credit: Denver Business Journal)

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Colorado MH Owners Float with FEMA Funds, while MHC Owners Sink

September 11th, 2014 Comments off

APTOPIX Colorado FloodingFollowing a story MHProNews posted Sept. 16, 2013 regarding the disastrous flooding in Colorado, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says it distributed $61,634,523 to uninsured homeowners hit by the flooding and rain, including $31,900 each to nearly all the residents of two manufactured home communities (MHCs) along the South Platte River in Evans. According to kdvrFOX31.com, while residents abandoned their ruined homes, Keith Cowen, who owns the 153-homesite Eastwood Village MHC, received nothing because FEMA said, “It’s not your personal residence so therefore we cannot pay you for your business.” He says he may lose $500k in unpaid rents, mortgages on manufactured homes he owned as well as clean-up and demolition costs. Evans Community Development Director Sheryl Trent says the city is trying to find relief dollars for Mr. Cowen and several other MHC landlords because by law they are required to clean up damaged property, but lack funding. FEMA suggested the Small Business Administration (SBA) is a better source for businesses to obtain financial aid. ##

(Photo credit: John Wark/Associated Press–road washed out by South Platte river near Greeley, Colo.)

Canada’s MHC Owner Killam Acquires Interest in Apartments

September 10th, 2014 Comments off

killam propertiesHalifax, Nova Scotia, Canada-based Killam Properties, Inc. (KMP.TO) announces it is acquiring a 50 percent stake in a 152-unit apartment building in Ottawa, Ontario, called Kanata Lakes Apartments II, in a joint venture with affiliates of KingSett Capital, Inc. and AIMCo Realty Investors LP. Killam’s 50 percent share of the purchase price is $24.4 million with the acquisition expected to close by the end of Sept., 2014, according to newswire.ca.. In connection with the joint venture, Killam will issue $7 million worth of common stock to KingSett and AIMCo giving them a 10.8 percent stake in Killam’s common shares outstanding. Killam is one of the largest owners of manufactured housing communities (MHCs) in Canada. MHProNews reported earlier shares of Killam posted the highest percentage gain of stocks we follow in today’s trading (Sept. 9), moving up +0.97 percent to close at $10.46. ##

(Photo credit: Killam Properties, Inc.)

WCTrib Says Improvements Appreciated by Manufactured Home Community Residents

August 25th, 2014 Comments off

082514-regency-mobile-home-park-credit-wctrib-mn-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-Evictions of problematic residents and the removal of dilapidated homes are among the valued improvements the Churchill Group of Carbondale, Colorado have made at the Regency East and West manufactured home communities (MHCs) in Willmar, MN. “We’ve gotten rid of a lot of the (problematic) people that the former manager let in. They’ve been evicted,’’ said Kim Fedders to the Willmar City Council’s Community Development Committee. Fedders has managed the Willmar communities during the last three years.

The WCTrib tells MHProNews that: “Bruce Peterson, city planning and development director, said live electric meters and pedestals that were no longer needed have been cleaned up.” Peterson also said the state electrical inspector came in and worked with management to get everything electrical to meet code.

Fedder’s easily explained the value of having and following procedures for approving new residents and for following the guidelines for living.

But now that we’re following procedure, everybody that comes in gets credit checked. Everybody that comes in gets a criminal check. If you don’t pass it, you don’t pass it. I don’t bend the rules and the tenants have responded. They’re so grateful. They want their community to look just as nice as I want their community to look. They’re open with us. They’re fair with us. We’re fair with them.’’

Stories like this from Willmar, MN are more the rule nationally rather than the exception touted in local headlines, such as “From Moscow, With Love” published last week.

More sophisticated consumers of news know the media’s unspoken mantra, ‘if it bleeds, it leads.‘ “Bad news” stories tend to dominate, while good news in manufactured home community living is all too often overlooked. David Little’s WCTrib account of improvements and resident appreciation reveals that good management and residents working together to resolve issues results in nicer and still affordable living for all involved. ##

(Photo credit: WCTrib)