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Census, HUD Official Residential Construction Report for April 2019, Dare to Compare to Manufactured Housing Data

May 16th, 2019 Comments off

 

CensusHUDOfficialResidentialConstructionReportApril2019DareCompareManufacturedHousingDataMHProNews

Our publisher was laughing this morning after he read an email.  When asked what the joke was, he replied by showing a pro-Manufactured Housing Institute trade media outlet that was announcing their ‘State of the Industry’ upcoming report.  “The state of the industry can be summed up by statistics,” said L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, as the laughter faded, replaced by a sober look, “which reflects the dismal reality that during an affordable housing crisis, manufactured housing is selling fewer homes today than 15 years ago, when Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway entered the manufactured home industry by buying Clayton Homes.  Coincidence?

 

He added two question.  “Do you think that trade publisher will look at the underlying issues or evidence that have contributed to the industry’s decline?  Or do you think they will be doing more cheerleading, as more slow-motion consolidation takes place?”

 

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

 

Time will tell what the pro-MHI echo chamber might produce next. We’ll plan to report on what their latest spin on reality might be.

That said, HUD’s and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Residential Construction report for April, 2019 is out this morning.  Following their data-driven report, there will be a recap of HUD’s new manufactured home shipment data.

 

 

 

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)               U.S. Census Bureau

 

May 16, 2019

 

HUD AND CENSUS BUREAU REPORT RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY IN APRIL 2019

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for April 2019.

NewResidentialConstructionApril2019BuildingPermitsSingleFamilyHousingStartsCompletionsHUD-USCensusBureauManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Building Permits

 

Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,296,000. This is 0.6 percent (±2.6 percent)* above the revised March rate of 1,288,000, but is 5.0 percent (±1.4 percent) below the April 2018 rate of 1,364,000.  Single‐family authorizations in April were at a rate of 782,000; this is 4.2 percent (±1.2 percent) below the revised March figure of 816,000.  Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 467,000 in

April.

 

Housing Starts

 

Privately owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,235,000.  This is 5.7 percent (±13.0 percent)* above the revised March estimate of 1,168,000, but is 2.5 percent (±10.4 percent)* below the April 2018 rate of 1,267,000.  Single‐family housing starts in April were at a rate of 854,000; this is 6.2 percent (±13.7 percent)* above the revised March figure of 804,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 359,000.

 

Housing Completions

 

Privately owned housing completions in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,312,000.  This is 1.4 percent (±15.5 percent)* below the revised March estimate of 1,331,000, but is 5.5 percent (±11.9 percent)* above the April 2018 rate of 1,244,000.  Single‐family housing completions in April were at a rate of 918,000; this is 4.1 percent (±13.4 percent)* below the revised March rate of 957,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 381,000. The February report is scheduled for release on March 26, 2019.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES

 

In interpreting changes in the statistics in this release, note that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular. It may take three months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, six months for total starts, and six months for total completions. The statistics in this release are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimated relative standard errors of the most recent data are shown in the tables. Whenever a statement such as “2.5 percent (±3.2 percent) above” appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percentage change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given for percentage changes are 90 percent confidence intervals and account only for sampling variability. If a range does not contain zero, the change is statistically significant. If it does contain zero, the change is not statistically significant; that is, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease. The same policies apply to the confidence intervals for percentage changes shown in the tables. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised 3 percent or less.

 

* The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero. In such cases, there is insufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.

 

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MHIlogoMonopolisticHousingInstituteLogoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMarch2019ProductionShipmentReport

The data above sums up what MHI’s own flatly stated report, without presenting a solution to the problems that their own slogan indicates lies in their purvey.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoPhotoOnlyTradeOrganizationrepresentingallsegmentsfactorybuilthousing2019-05-14_0808

MHARRR’s analysis of HUD Data revealed that 8 of the 10 of the top ten states in manufactured housing shipments are behind in year-over-year totals.

 

MHARRshipmentProductionMarch2019ManufacturedHousingReportMHProNews

While MHI in their monthly shipment report doesn’t deny the decline, neither are they addressing the underlying causes, nor have they proposed a remedy via their messages to the industry. Why not?

But somehow, MHI managed to claim in their late 2018 self-promotional video that they had ‘momentum’ – which is true, if they meant reverse momentum. Or momentum in the sense that more consolidation is underway.

MHARRshipmentProductionMarch2019ManufacturedHousingReportMHProNews

While MHARR’s mission is to represent producers in regulatory concerns at the federal level, due to the severity of the concerns, they’ve stepped up and are initiating projects aimed at addressing zoning, placement, and finance related challenges. See the related reports, further below the byline, offers, and notices.

 

That’s our second look today at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,© where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis

 

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Said About March 2019 Shipment and Production Data

May 9th, 2019 Comments off

 

LET’S KEEP BUILDING!” declares one of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) messages about their recent Congress and Expo in New Orleans.

 

The upbeat sound of that message is arguably betrayed by the reality that for the 7th straight month, manufactured housing shipments are down.

But that embarrassing detail is not mentioned anywhere in the MHI release earlier today.

Here’s the meat of what MHI’s statement said, which will be followed by an analysis.

 

MHIlogoMonopolisticHousingInstituteLogoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMarch2019ProductionShipmentReport

7,623 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in March 

In March 2019, new manufactured home shipments decreased 13.5% to 7,623 homes as compared to the 8,813 homes shipped in March 2018. Total shipments for March 2019 were 382 homes more than the prior month of February. Compared with March 2018, shipments of single-section homes are down by 18.2% and multi-section homes are down by 9.2%. Total floors shipped in March 2019 decreased 12.1% to 11,859 compared to March 2018.

Of the 7,623 homes shipped in March, there were no homes designated as FEMA units shipped which is generally flat against the five FEMA units shipped in March 2018.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 90,459 in March, down 1.9% from the adjusted rate of 92,195 in February. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.

In March, 134 plants representing 34 corporations reported production data which is the same number of active plants and corporations as in February 2019.

##

The video below is from about prominent MHI member, Nathan Smith and SSK Communities. It is not related to their economic report, other than as food for thought as to some of the public perception reasons why the industry is struggling.  A clip from this video was part of John Oliver’s viral hit video. 

 

Compare and contrast what MHI said this week vs. what MHARR did days earlier.

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

 

While it may not be Jenny Hodges’ job at MHI to explain what the Arlington based trade group’s plan are to address the 7-month downturn, whose job there is it?  We’ve asked several times, and MHI isn’t saying.

 

MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes

 

One MHI member-producer floated the notion of FEMA shipment related being a factor, but the MHI statement above belies that notion for this cycle.

When purported MHI surrogate George F. Allen asked Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, still MHI’s chairman, about the shipment drop Stegmayer said:

Joe Stegmayer, Cavco.

Joe Stegmayer, Cavco.

 

George 

Believe inventories of retailers climbed rather suddenly to above comfort levels. Now being adjusted. 

Our view is consistent with Clayton’s that consumer traffic is solid. would add that it appears that credit availability has improved somewhat. 

Another plus: The inventory of all existing homes for sale is near historically low levels.

Absent national economic calamities we are optimistic.”

 

Bear in mind that Stegmayer is an ex-Clayton Homes division president.  He also happens to be under a cloud of last November’s SEC subpoena, at a firm that faces several legal woes. Stegmayer’s comment was referencing this from Kevin Clayton.

kevinclaytonl-warrenbuffettr-inclaytonhomecredittodayonline-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronews

Kevin Clayton, left, Warren Buffett, right, standing in a Clayton Homes model. Credit, TodayOnline.

Retail inventory correction

Look at RV industry….it is even more severe for them. 

Good news is retail activity remains healthy to work through it.  That’s just one opinion \ view.   

Kevin Clayton

This from a company president reportedly under several federal investigations. It is also from the president who’s conglomerate’s chairman, Warren Buffett is reportedly funding the industry’s opposition, see the reports linked here and here.

 

While others have noted that there were more orders last year to counter long factory backlogs, that fails to address the point that demand at some point slumped, or the backlog would have continued.

Furthermore, industry pros and investors should bear in mind that the RV industry is not in the affordable housing market.  It is an interesting item to look at, MHProNews uses it as a reference too.  But we do so to reflect the point that RVs are outselling MHs by some 5 to 1, when in 1998, MHs outsold RVs by 3 to 2.

Not a peep about that from Clayton, Stegmayer or other senior MHI leaders in public.  Apparently, it doesn’t fit their ‘party line’ or ‘narrative.’

March2019MHARRManufacturedHousingAssocRegReformTop10states8StatesInDeclineMHProNews

 

The issue of a downturn during an affordable housing crisis is serious, as the related reports below reflect.  See two special reports tomorrow morning that spotlight various aspects of this #NettlesomeThings issue.

That’s this tonight’s edition of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

 

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Manufactured Home Production, Shipment Data-February 2019

April 5th, 2019 Comments off

NewManufacturedHomeProductionShipmentDataFebruary2019DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsOMHA

Facts reflect reality. Businesses run on facts, not wishful thinking.  Companies thrive, lose value, or die based upon income, outgo, profits, losses, and their trend lines.

 

Starting 6 months ago, based upon tips from sources within the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the Daily Business News on MHProNews began raising the alarm that the industry was about to face a downturn.

When MHI was asked about that concern, instead of acknowledging what sources insider their own organization were telling MHProNews, what did MHI officials do?  Duck the questions from MHProNews, and then they produced a video that claimed that the industry had ‘momentum.’  Seriously, that was their term, as the collage of stills from that MHI propaganda video below reflects.

MHI1085mediaplacementAudience84MillionMHIVideoStillMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The more industry professionals and investors look at this now clearly outrageous set of claims by MHI make it appear that they were deceiving – or attempting to – many of their own members. 

LeveragingMomentumCreationNewClassofManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

In hindsight, given that MHI has or could a good idea weeks before others do of what the shipment trends are, how can their claim be seen as anything other than a bold deception?

With that #NettlesomeThings tee up, let’s look at the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s latest report, below, and follow it with some related insights and analysis.

 

 

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues

Washington, D.C., April 5, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year HUD Code manufactured home production declined once again in February 2019. Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 7,213 homes in February 2019, down 10.5%, from the 8,065 homes produced in February 2018. Cumulative industry production for 2019 now totals 14,769 homes, an 11.5% decline from the 16,701 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2018.

This production decline, which first emerged during the last quarter of 2018, reflects the cumulative impact of chronic problems affecting the industry’s post-production sector, which substantially and discriminatorily limit the market for HUD Code manufactured housing, thereby offsetting, to a significant degree, the inherent affordability advantage that manufactured homes have over other types of housing. Such negative effects – on both consumers of affordable housing and the industry as a whole – underscore the absolute and urgent necessity of effectively addressing such issues within the post-production sector, including, but not limited to, discriminatory zoning and placement restrictions (i.e., increasingly scarce new developments/communities and individual homeowner placement opportunities) and limitations on federal consumer financing support, and underscore the wisdom of the MHARR Board of Directors in targeting these matters for aggressive action.

 

Febuary2019NewHUDCodeManufacturedHousingShipmentData

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

— 30 –

 

There is a new Masthead analysis on this troubling topic, see that as the first of the related reports, linked below.

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That’s this morning’s report on manufactured home industry “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Cui Bono? “Killing Me Softly,” Manufactured Housing’s New Theme Song?

 

 

 

 

 

State Level Shipment Data Continues to Flash Warning Signals for New HUD Code Manufactured Housing Sales

April 1st, 2019 Comments off

 

StateLevelShipmentDataContinuesFlashWarningSignalsNewHUDCodeManufacturedHousignSalesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

This isn’t an April Fool’s joke.

 

If it is funny in any sense to anyone, it’s only so for those in the industry who may see a perverted value to themselves in the troubling declines in new home shipments and sales in numbers of states across the country.

This data further below is from the Midwest Manufactured Housing States (MMHF).  The MMHF are the parent body for the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. Recall that the Daily Business News on MHProNews exclusive fact-checks once more revealed arguably false – or at best – misleading claims in recent ‘reporting’ by MHInsider about January’s 2019 Louisville Show.

 

Fact Check, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider Claim on 2019 Louisville Show Attendance

 

Even though the number of displayed models, and other exhibitors declined, MHInsider had the audacity to claim that the number of attendees was a 60-year record.  That misstatement was debunked at the report linked above.

 

New HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Data

Not long after the first of every month, the new HUD Code manufactured home shipment data is compiled and released by IBTS for HUD.  The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) each do monthly summaries based upon that IBTS data.

While MHARR has been sounding the alarm for months, MHI’s missives largely ignore or downplay the troubling trends.  Given that MHI claims to be representing ‘all segments of factory built housing,’ how is it that they show so little published concern over the matter?  Doesn’t that in itself play into the controversy that the Arlington, VA based MHI are okay with historically low production, so that consolidators can continue to acquire other firms or locations at discounted prices from their intrinsic value?

Check out the latest data from the MMHF, per OMHA and MHI.

 

2019-04-01_1358December2019ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

Per the data above, those 5 MMHF states collectively have witnessed an overall decline in new HUD Code sales.

Year – Total Shipments – MMHF States

2017 – 12,548.

2018 – 12,210.

 

As the graphic below reminds readers, these are not the only states that have marked declines.

 

MHARRJan2019HUDCodeManufacturedHomeProductionShipmentReportDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

While MHARR has raised this issue in recent months, MHProNews has periodically published reports for some years that have aimed at raising awareness on this apparently growing problem. ICYMI, one of several such reports is shown below, that one, from 2017.  Curious minds must ask, how is this even possible during a blossoming affordable housing crisis?

 

While Manufactured Housing Overall Rises, Some Slip Sliding Away

 

Other than MHARR, MHProNews, or MHLivingNews, no one else to date has bothered to seriously look under the hood to see what the causes of this issue might be.  George F. (F?) Allen, for example, has mentioned it.  But when Allen asked industry leaders for explanations, he took at face value the explanations of Kevin Clayton (Clayton Homes) and Joe Stegmayer (Cavco Industries).  No follow up questions by Allen were made in a truly journalistic fashion to help explain the obviously contradictory claims made by the leaders of two of the three top producers of manufactured housing.

A competitor in trade media told me in Tunica last week – with others present – that they don’t publish news, they publish what he himself called ‘fluff,’ said MHProNews publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.  “Hey, we’ve done cheer leading at times too, but never based on mere nonsense or wishful thinking. It isn’t fun to publish unpleasant facts, but if the industry is to solve its internal challenges, it must begin with solid facts. Thus the value of fact-checks. Head in the sand, or see – hear – and speak no evil, doesn’t cut it for true professionals and smart investors.”

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The new IBTS data should be out this week.  Check back to get those facts, from your most-trusted source for independent manufactured home industry trade news, analysis, and commentary.  It is all right here on MHProNews.We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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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.

 

 

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Manufactured Housing Institute’s Monthly Economic Report Spotlights Challenge, What MHI, WHA’s Amy Bliss Said

March 18th, 2019 Comments off

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMonthlyEconomicReportJan2019DataMarch2019ReportWisconsinHousingAllianceWHAAmyBlissPhotoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) released its monthly economic report.  It will be recalled that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) published their similar data about 2 weeks ago, and that MHARR previously raised concerns about the causes and trajectory of declines new HUD Code manufactured home shipments starting with production reports in last months of 2018.

 

Let’s begin with what the Arlington, VA based MHI said.  MHI bills itself as representing “all segments of factory-built housing” – meaning production and post-production issues. Most of the key issues that face the industry today are arguably in the post-production realm. So, that is the lens we often scrutinize their performance through, because it is their own claim.

Here below is the meat of MHI’s March economic report.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMonthlyEconomicReportLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

7,493 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in January [2019]

In January 2019, new manufactured home shipments decreased 13.3% to 7,493 homes as compared to the 8,646 homes shipped in January 2018. Total shipments for January 2019 were 1,509 homes more than the prior month of December. Compared with January 2018, the trend is mixed with shipments of single-section homes down by 28.4% and multi-section homes up by 5.4%. Total floors shipped in January 2019 decreased 7.7% to 11,607 compared to January 2018.

Of the 7,493 homes shipped in January, there were only 25 homes designated as FEMA units shipped which is significantly less than the 850 FEMA units in January 2018.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 88,461 in January, up 4.1% from the adjusted rate of 85,008 in December 2018. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.

In January, 134 plants representing 35 corporations reported production data which is an increase of one active plant and the same number of corporations compared to December 2018.

##

 

Note that nowhere does this report reflect any concern, analysis or solutions to the problem of shirking shipments during a well-publicized U.S. affordable housing crisis.

MHProNews waited a few days to see if MHI would before or after this economic report explain their plan to address the troubling data in their own report.

While there are hints of reasons why ‘future growth’ could be found in their new consumer research, they fail to explain why that research is hidden behind a member-only login. Why would a post-production trade group – which normally publishes for all the world to see research that is claimed at being positive – is instead hidden.

 

MHIlogoNewsUpdates362019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Isn’t that contradicted by MHI’s own data?

Furthermore, the research and results of the PBS and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ own statement, along with other MHI published members statements, all point to a need to address the root causes of manufactured housing’s malaise.

Prior MHI Chairman Nathan Smith admitted on camera that the national association had often failed to be proactive. He pledged to members on camera that his goal was to change that dynamic.  Now, years later, how did that pledge work out for the industry?

 

 

But what has been working out for Nathan and his peers is the consolidation of the industry into ever fewer hands.  Coincidence?

 

Tim Williams PBS

Besides MHI itself, none of their more prominent surrogates offer any reasonable explanation or plan either.

Take the example of Amy Bliss – who is allegedly connected with part-time MHI surrogate George F. (F?) Allen’s call for a boycott.  Bliss previously made a public claim which an attorney with antitrust insights said could constitute tying, which like a boycott, is another antitrust flag.

Bliss, the Executive Director the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA), told Kurt Kelley’s MHR last month the following.

 

MHR Q) What’s the biggest challenge to acting as the leader of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance?

WHA’s Bliss-A)

For me, the blatant hypocrisy of Federal, State and local governments. They all talk about wanting affordable housing and workforce housing, but when it comes down to it, they exclude manufactured homes at every turn. They feel the only acceptable form of affordable housing should be apartments. It frustrates me that most of the grant funding always excludes land lease community residents and they are the people that often need the help the most.”

 

What her comments fail to mention is that the role of any post-production trade group, WHA’s or MHI, is precisely to address such concerns. What’s the goal of hand-wringing over ‘hypocrisy’ by public officials?  Is the looking for an amen?  Instead, why aren’t they routinely using the ‘enhanced preemption’ argument in public and with public officials? Why is MHI instead hiding it on their own website?

 

C:\Users\L. A. Tony Kovach\Downloads\ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogo2019-01-09_1250ManufacturedHousingEnhancedPreemptionSearchMHProNews3.png

A recent check revealed the same result.

 

Bliss contradicts herself, as the next two Q&A’s reveal. She also signals what she – as a reportedly periodic receiver of selected MHI insider insights – may have been told what to expect. Keep in mind that the major companies all know their production levels soon after the end of each month.  With the production of the Big 3 accounting for about 80 percent of all manufactured homes, MHI could easily know weeks before others what the data is going to look like before HUD Reports it.

With that factoid in mind, let’s look at what Bliss also.

 

MHR-Q) Can you tell us a few pressing issues facing manufactured housing in Wisconsin?

WHA’s Bliss-A) “The industry in Wisconsin is doing well. The most pressing issues I hear from my members is lack of installers and transporters, municipalities increasing fees or eliminating services for community owners and of course the number one issue is lack of financing. Another item of concern is older communities that have not been managed well. The biggest reason for community closures is because the municipality revokes the license to operate because the owner has let the community go into a state of disrepair. I hate to see Wisconsin lose sites and it is extremely sad for the tenants.”

 

Within Bliss’ answer above is already an implied string of contradictions to her claim that the “industry…is doing well.” The industry in her state and others are wildly underperforming.  Her predecessor – Ross Kinzler – was so alarmed, that he created this graphic before he left the role to Bliss. The facts summarized below blows away Bliss’ ‘sunshine and roses’ claim that all is so well in the industry. It isn’t.

 

average-shipment-per-decade-manufactured-home-posted-on-mhpronews-com-d

Graphic provided by Ross Kinzler when he was then the executive director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

 

The next question further contradicts her claim that the ‘industry is doing well.’  This reply by Bliss to MHR is another stark alarm for manufactured housing industry professionals.

 

MHR- Q) What industry and association concerns wake you up at night?

 

AmyBlissWisconsinHousingAlliancePhoto

Photo provided under fair use guidelines for media.

Bliss-A) “I worry about another downturn in the industry. We lost a tremendous number of retailers and we had to live off our reserves for several years. That was not a fun time for anyone in the industry and I would hate to see that happen again. I am fully aware that the housing industry in general has cycles, but I hope it never goes that low again. Wisconsin lost a manufacturer that had been in business for over 50 years.”

Once more, this begs several follow up questions that MHR never asked, or at least, never published. For example:

Where is the reaction by Bliss or MHI to the document, quotes, and video linked below that constitute an ostensible ‘smoking gun’ of artificial market rigging, a restraint of trade that could be construed as a violation of federal law. Silence.

Where is the reaction by Bliss, or voices from Arlington and Knoxville, to claims by state association executives that they were strong-armed by 21st and Tim Williams? There has been off the record confirmation of those concerns, but no one is willing to speak out on the record.

Why not?  In a phrase, fear for their job.

That fear is another potential Hobbs Act issues, see that linked report.

 

 

The Bottom Line?

Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh expressed his belief on the radio today that “…most limitations are self-imposed…”

That may be true for some as a factor in manufactured housing’s stunted performance.   There are some voices that say there is significant upside for the industry.  But MHI is largely silent on that potential. Why?

 

Investors, Professionals, Planners, Advocates – Examining Affordable Manufactured Home Industry Market Potential

But in our much-needed part of the affordable housing industry, manufactured home professionals have time and again expressed fear of stepping out or speaking out.  Those fears arguably fall into the definitions that can spark potential federal or state criminal, administrative, or civil actions. The reason for that fear is based upon passed actions that have become ever more widely known.

There are several reported and known investigations underway.  But one of the ways that could be accelerated is by more people speaking out, not by more people being intimidated into silence.

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotes

Rollohome, like the firm that Amy Bliss mentioned in the quote above, was a Wisconsin based builder. Other builders of HUD Code and modular homes have vanished from Bliss’ state. How many more companies must unnecessarily vanish during an affordable housing crisis? Where is the discussion by Bliss or MHI on the impact of market manipulation on current MH owners and potential consumers?

 

The law and facts are debatably on the side of those who are beginning to coalesce in the post-production side, just as MHARR previously did on the production side. There will be more on these themes in the days ahead.

That is tonight’s “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State of the Industry 2019 – Reality vs. Potential for Manufactured, Modular, and PreFab Homes? New Infographic

February 9th, 2019 Comments off

 

StateoftheIndustry2019RealtyVsPotentialForManufacturedModularandpRefabHomesNewInfographicDailybusinessNewsmHProNews

When the Daily Business News on MHProNews produced the earlier abbreviated version of the infographic further below, the final new home production data were only an estimate. Now those totals for 2018 are in.

 

So, now based upon the adjusted ‘final’ 2018 information – for accuracy’s sake – we’ve revised the data.  Thus we are now able to elaborate on the best infographic of its kind today in MHVille.  As you will see, there are several new elements.

 

State of the Industry – Reality vs. Potential for new Manufactured Home Shipments?

Let’s be clear. The quotes connected to Plant PreFab – which reportedly received millions from the Amazon brand, Alexa Fund – are their reported views. A case could be made that their estimate for the market potential is too low.

Note too that the modular building associations have advised MHProNews that for a variety of reasons, they don’t have accurate data. What data is known, per those trade groups and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), is significantly lower than the production of HUD Code manufactured homes.  So when you look at the totals for HUD Code production, imagine something well under half that for modular single-family building, per their estimates.

With that backdrop, let’s consider again the statement by Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, President and CEO of MHI. He asserted on stage, in a video-recorded statement he made in front of dozens of industry professionals that manufactured housing could achieve 500,000 new homes shipped. Note that editorially, MHProNews agrees that it is possible, and that even ½ million new manufactured homes a year is likely too low.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) believes that 5oo,000 or more is achievable too. However, MHARR’s President and CEO, Mark Weiss has repeatedly called into question the effectiveness of MHI in the post-production realm. The quality and value of manufactured homes has been widely praised in several researchers and media reports in 2018 alone.

So why are sales levels so low?

Weiss said it is the “Illusion of Motion.”

For years, MHARR has argued that the evidence reflects that MHI appears to be busy.  Meetings, updates, calls to action, and more – but what does MHI actually accomplish? Rephrased, by intent or failure – MHI is arguably not doing the job in the post production side. A pair of state community associations essentially came to a similar conclusion in 2017. They announced the formation of a new community focused post-production trade group in 2018. The National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) was thus born.

 

LanceIndermanMobileHomeMilitiaClaytonHomesCommentDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews6

 

Contrarian Resistance

MHProNews and MHLivingNews were both founded in part based upon the premise that manufactured housing is underperforming. Our publisher is also a business development expert and consultant in manufactured housing. Having worked on several high-volume marketing and sales projects, L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach was confident that with the correct blend of advocacy, education, and promotion sales could rise sharply.

After several years as an MHI member, and having questioned the effectiveness of their leadership at PEP – Protecting, Educating, and Promotion of HUD Code manufactured homes – MHI ejected Kovach and his operations from their membership, under their purported claim that they had ‘no membership category for news.’  That’s another story for another time about the Arlington, VA based trade group that ironically – and hypocritically? – repeatedly has claimed to represent ‘All aspects of factory-built housing.’

 

How Big is the Industry’s Potential?

In the United States, 33% of housing units are occupied by rent-paying tenants,” said iPropertyManagement on September 6, 2018.  Their number is likely low, as the Census Bureau and Pew Research both point to near record levels of renters in 2016, some 36.6 percent of the population.

When more than 1 in 3 rent, and millions want to upsize or downsize, how do you describe a possible target market that large? The U.S. population stood at 328,285,992 as of January 12, 2019, said Wikipedia.

Statista says “The average American household consisted of 2.53 people in 2018.” That translates into 129,757,309.091 households.  The National Association of Realtors has previously reported that some 85 percent of renters want to be home owners someday. If so, that means that among renters alone, there are 110,293,712 possible home buying singles, couples, families, and households.

Given the staggering potential opportunities, why are the total numbers for manufactured homes and other forms of factory-building so low? If Amazon’s Alexa Fund partners believes the total potential is some $330 billion a year, and manufactured homes are still shy of $8 billion a year, what accounts for that huge gap?

MHARR, Kovach, NAMHCO, and others question the failed leadership of MHI and their puppet masters. How about you?

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. 

 

Is MHI working to keep production low, so that a few firms consolidate more of the industry at a discount?

 

Facts are stubborn things.” – President Ronald Reagan.

There are those who have pointed the finger (no, not that finger…) at the Berkshire Hathaway brands, and have accused them of market manipulation.

 

“Mobile Home Militia,” Retail/Production Sources, Sound Alarm Against Clayton Homes, CMH, New “Anti-Competitive Practices” Allegation

 

Just recently, several reports of that have come into MHProNews as tips, the ones above and below are just two of them.

 

CFPB and 21st, Second Shoe Drops? Flooring w/21st Mortgage Corp? Insider Tips

 

To this, MHI and their amen corner reply with razzle dazzle head-fakes, photo opportunities, and use a self-contradictory surrogate to accuse our publisher of conspiracy theories.  But a rival of Clayton’s posted the following in public on Facebook, at about the same timeframe as our reports above were published.

 

LanceIndermanMobileHomeMilitiaClaytonHomesCommentDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews6

 

Inderman went onto post the above  about the “Mobile Home Militia” (MHM) concerns about what Clayton allegedly did to their largest independent retailer.

 

LanceIndermanItisEasierToFoolPeopleThanConvincethemThatTheyHavebeenFooledMarkTwain6

To learn about documented evidence of purported market manipulation, and see a video of Kevin Clayton talking about their “Moat” strategy for market domination, click here.

 

Inderman’s comments – and those of “MHM” – received dozens of likes.  Articles like those we’ve linked from this column will receive several thousand readers each during the course of a their first month online, and hundreds to a thousand or more additional readers in each subsequent month for some time.

 

Underperformance vs Potential

The industry is underperforming. It is also arguably manipulated.  No one article can cover all the details, thus others are linked that provide additional insights.

That there are a growing number of those who voice concerns that the manufactured home market has been manipulated – and at best, poorly represented by MHI – is not just the view of just this publication.  As the examples posted reflect, there are a wide range of industry voices that flock here who see it similarly.  Why do they read here?  Why is this the #1 trade media site in MHVille?  Because who else but MHProNews and MHARR dares to publisher these concerns among the industry’s trade journalists?

 

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-768x318

MHProNews’ parent operation demonstrated to MHI over the course of years options for lending, and ways to improve image at a low cost. For years, even though our parent operation as an MHI member showed the way to grow business, MHI leaders ignored those options. Why? Could it be that slow growth allowed more consolidation and at a cheaper price? ,

 

There are several movements afoot in manufactured housing.  They are aimed in various ways at breaking free of what we have dubbed the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies.

MHVillage’s MHInsider on Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry Fact Check – Why Correct Data Matters

 

Want to identify those allies of the MH axis?  If they are kissing the donkey’s behind in their writing or speech, that gives you a pretty good clue. If you want to achieve your potential, will you float with the dead and dying fish, or fight the currents?

The opportunities are amazing, but they arguably won’t be achieved by taking the advice of those who have arguably rigged the system.

 

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotes

AllTruthPassesThrough3stagesFirstRidiculed2ndViolentlyOpposed3rdAcceptedAsSelfEvidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuinessNewsMHProNews

That’s this Saturday’s manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where  “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Manufactured Home Production Rises Again in August, 2018 HUD Code Data

October 3rd, 2018 Comments off

ManufacturedHomeProductionRisesAgainAugust2018HUDCodeData600

The manufactured home reason has cause to feel good about a steady growth in production, while simultaneously feeling a level of anguish that sales are not far higher.

 

The latest data from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), and their statement, tends toward the former.  It is an understandable position.

At the same time, when one looks at the dramatic difference between the cost of a single family stick built’ house, and HUD Code manufactured homes, isn’t it obvious that the sales of manufactured should be far higher?

 

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data

 

Indeed, Mark Weiss, J.D. – President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – directly pointed to one of those issues that keeps manufactured homes at what is arguably artificially low levels. ICYMI, or want a refresher, see Weiss’ comments in the new article linked below.

 

Rumble over Anti-MH Law-State Association, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, and MHARR

 

Those points noted, let’s dive into MHARR’s just released statement to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.  It can be read on their site, at the link below, or continue reading here on MHProNews.

Strong HUD Code Production Growth in August 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   Contact: MHARR

                                                                                                                                   (202) 783-4087

Strong HUD Code Manufactured Home
Production Growth in August 2018

Washington, D.C., October 3, 2018 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), strong year-over-year manufactured housing industry production growth continued in August 2018. Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 9,157 homes in August 2018, an 8.6% increase over the 8,434 HUD Code homes produced during August 2017. Cumulative industry production for 2018 now totals 66,688 homes, a 9.6% increase over the 60,839 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2017.

A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through August 2018  — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2018) and prior year (2017) shipments per category as indicated — are:

 

MHARRAugust2018ManufacturedHousingProductionReportTop10StatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Please note: There was a minor error in the September 10, 2018 MHARR Production Report.  Cumulative production for 2017 through the end of July 2017, should have been stated as 52,405 instead of 52,305, and the cumulative production increase percentage should therefore have been 9.8% instead of 10.0%.  Please correct your records accordingly.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

— 30 –

 

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2018’s Hardest-Working States in America, How Does Your State Rank?

September 3rd, 2018 Comments off

2018HardestWorkingStatesAmericaHowDoesYourStateRankPxWalletHubDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Labor Day is as good a time as any to see how the fifty states rank in terms of which state workers are said to be harder workers, or less so.

 

The source of the data is Wallet Hub.  Here are some of the main metrics they used to determine their ranking.

WalletHubTopHardWorkingStatesMetricsfor50StatesRanking2018DailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Using those metrics above, here are the 50 states ranking, per Wallet Hub, from hardest working at the top, to the least hard working at the bottom.

WalletHubsTopHardWorkStates50StatesRankedChartByWorkerHoursMetrics

Wallet Hub also says, “Americans are hard workers, putting in an average of 1,783 hours per year, according to the World Economic Forum. That’s about 300 hours per year more than Germans work, but about 450 less than Mexicans do.

Even when given the chance to not work as hard, many Americans won’t. In fact, 52% of Americans didn’t use all of their available vacation days in 2017. However, while it may seem as if workers are happily pursuing the American Dream, many individuals’ reasons for working hard may not be so pleasant. Some fear that if they take time off they will look less dedicated to the job than other employees, risking a layoff. Others worry about falling behind on their work or worry that the normal workflow will not be able to function without them.”

The Daily Business News on MHProNews suggests is not endorsing the study or methodology.  Our team knows professionals in some supposedly low-ranking states that are hard workers by anyone’s definition. But this report is worth spotlighting, because it is one that mainstream media is touting once again this year.  WalletHub is a personal finance website.

June2018ManufacturedHousingProductionDataDailyBusinessNewsHUD-IBTS-MHProNews-277x768

MHProNews suggests you compare the Wallet Hub chart with the top states in manufactured housing production, as a more industry-focused reference.

Top10ManufacturedHousingshipments2018CummulativeManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRTXLAFLALNCMSCAKYMITN-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

As Labor Day winds down, it’s worth mentioning that Bloomberg reports more Americans are eating steak this year for the holiday. It’s one of several signs that the economy and wallets for millions have improved in the 19 months since President Donald J. Trump was sworn into office, with a pro-worker, pro-business agenda.  That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipments, Housing Production – March 2018 Data

May 3rd, 2018 Comments off

HUDCodeManufacturedHousingNewHomeShipmentsMarch2018StatisticsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year manufactured housing industry production grew again in March 2018.

 

Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 8,830 homes in March 2018, a 7% increase over the 8,245 HUD Code homes produced during March 2017,” said MHARR in a release to the Daily Business News.  “Cumulative industry production for 2018 now totals 25,531 homes, a 9.1% increase over the 23,384 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2017.”

MHARR said that, “A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through March 2018 — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2018) and prior year (2017) shipments per category as indicated — are:”

March2018HUDCodeManufacturedHousingShipmentDataTopTenStatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

About MHARR 

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Immediate Expensing, Investing in Manufactured Housing, Developments w/Manufactured Homes

January 12th, 2018 Comments off

TaxBreaksMHProNewsDevelopingInvestingManufacturedHousingMHProNewsBillions are being freed up from tax reform domestically. Hundreds of billions more poised to come back into the U.S. via repatriation and from foreign capital.

Could manufactured homes and PreFab housing witness a new wave of investments?

The smart-money, early indications are; yes.

Housing is a trillion-dollar-plus annual industry.  There’s an affordable housing shortage of some 8 plus million units needed, now.

Plus, there are ‘disastrous opportunities’ awaiting the visionaries who are willing to – as has Warren Buffett or Sam Zell – made longer term investments.

New Production Center Opening; While Some States Struggle, Others Roll On

While investments in existing communities has drawn more headlines, it is also an arena packed with competitors. The Zell mantra of – when others are going right, look left – could be applied to new manufactured home production centers, retailing, and developing.

The entire playing field could be shifting in the coming years for manufactured homes, and the broader factory built housing.

Private Equity Fund Grabbing 2 PreFab Home Builders

What makes manufactured housing particularly attractive are the combinations of the following:

 

  • Enhanced preemption – with the Trump Administration repeatedly saying they will enforce the law – it could be a big time for the manufactured home industry on the preemption front, given the language in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.
  • Quality, Safety, Speed, Dramatically Lower Costs – as regular readers/viewers on MHLivingNews and MHProNews know, the industry’s reality is far different from the common perception. That’s an opportunity in disguise.
  • Immediate Expensing – Fox Business and other media outlets are touting what could be the next wave caused by the Immediate Expensing provision of the new tax law. Lending with land/home mortgage, or home only (chattel, personal property loans).

Against this backdrop, we present the video interview with Mike Harrison, of Lifeway Homes in Tulsa, OK.

ElectedOfficalExplainsSurprisingModernManufacturedHomesVideoInterviewMHLivingNews

Harrison helped arrange the previous, popular interview with an elected public official, who knows manufactured homes first hand, and praises them.  To see that video and report, click the above.

 

While Harrison has years of single family placement experiences, he’s been involved in several development and redevelopment projects, using manufactured and modular homes.

The disaster of Puerto Rico alone represents billions of dollars in opportunities for the visionary.

 

New HUD Code Manufactured Home Factory Opening, State Announces Hundreds of News Jobs

TheXFactorManufacturedHousingsSuprisingSolutoins

After the tax and regulatory cuts, investing – and investment dollars – looking to enter American business are ramping up.

That said, arguably new and existing players in the industry need to avoid the many pitfalls of the past, while navigating toward the opportunities.

Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

The data doesn’t lie. When 8 million plus housing units are needed, and the quality and safety of manufactured homes has never been better, don’t be surprised if the next ‘Buffett or Zell’ will soon enter the space.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Gives Written Responses – “Part of a Rigged, Corrupt System”

With the Trump administration’s more business friendly and enforce the law stance, much of the ground work is already in place.

Billionaires and billion-dollar operations are doing all they think they can to expand their footprint.  That’s a key takeaway from award winning industry veteran, Alan Amy in this brief video.

 

The Bottom Line

There are few opportunities as robust as manufactured housing in America is today. But it isn’t low hanging fruit. It looks like – and is – work.

Which is why it requires long term thinking, and behavior, to result in success. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Note 1: Stay in the know! Thousands of MH Pros, Investors, Officials and Housing Experts do it. You, your team, and industry colleagues can sign up to the MH Industry leading headline news/updates – typically sent twice weekly – click here to sign up in just seconds.

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