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Warning – Number 1 Manufactured Housing State, Texas – Reports Month Over Month Rise, Year over Year Shipment Decline Continues

May 2nd, 2019 Comments off

 

WarningNumber1ManufacturedHousingStateTexasReportsMonthOverMonthRiseYearOverYearShipmentDeclineContinuesMHProNews

Last night, the Daily Business News on MHProNews looked at regional data that revealed 3 states with increases, but 3 others with significant declines in new manufactured homes shipped.

 

 

Now, in our pre-dawn report, multiple tips from members of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) provided their state’s latest – sobering – shipment data.

Quoting the TMHA, following the graphic below.

 

AnnualShipmentTotalsTXMHAManufacturedHousingShipmentsFebMarch2019vs2018MHProNews

 

MARCH

Manufactured home shipments for March moved up 4.9% over February. The month-over-month growth was aided by an additional work day and stemmed from a 10.5% increase in multi-section shipments which once again beat single-section shipments for the fourth month in a row. Single-section shipments slipped -0.7% from February.

We’re now past the point where the year-over-year comparisons for a single month should be substantially impacted by FEMA units and March saw a marked -26.8% slowdown in comparison to March of 2018, which was last year’s peak month.

Multi-sections shipments were down -9.8% and single-sections were down -39.5%.

While shipments were soft this month, the early data indicates that retailer sales expanded in February and titles issued thus far for March sales also indicate strong year-over-year growth for that month. We’ll be watching the titling data as it comes in, but It appears likely that last year’s backlog constraints led retailers to over order and build up a stock of homes in inventory that they are now selling from. If the year-over-year elevated sales continue, then shipments should pick up later in the year as those inventories decline.”

 

March2019ShipmentTotalsTXMHAManufacturedHousingShipmentsFebMarch2019vs2018MHProNews

 

Certainly, TMHA has significant influence from Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway brand lenders, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Their staff arguably has the same “How Gold Rules” pressures that other state association executives have previously reported, see that, in the report linked from the text-image box that follows.

 

 

But the independent minded thinkers in MHVille need look no further than what MHI member companies that are publicly traded have said in their investor packets.

 

ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsFEMAManufacturedHomesNotMobileHomesTrailersIndustryResearchReportsDataMHProNews

Credits, MHI, Cavco.

 

Skyline Champion (SKY) have said similarly.

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders?

 

There are clearly investor concerns at play, because both Skyline and Cavco are trading below where they were about 6 months ago. See those related reports, below.

Facts matter.  During an affordable housing crisis, there certainly could be some variation, but the rise in shipments could be much stronger than it has been.  See the related reports to better understand the various forces at play that arguably are artificially limiting manufactured housing – often from within.

 

Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis

 

That’s this morning’s pre-dawn episode of “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

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

Skyline Champion (SKY) Hedge Fund Dumps Shares, Value Declines

New Investigation, Insider Trades, Hedge Fund Dumps Cavco Industries (CVCO)

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Special Opportunities Intelligence Reports, Plus Headwinds, Immediate MHC Independents Warning

April 13th, 2019 Comments off

 

UpcomingSpecialOpportunitiesIntelligenceReportsPlusHeadwindsImmediateMHCIndependentsWarningDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Businesses, organizations, and professions are based upon solving some need(s).  Keep that simple truth in mind.

 

 

In the case of our industry, that need is for affordable housing, and/or for ‘fast homes.’  Manufactured homes are not instant, but compared to many other operations, HUD Code homes are quicker.

This morning we will tease two upcoming reports, but our focus today is on an immediate headwinds and threats to manufactured home independents. That looming dagger is most notably in the land lease manufactured home community sector, but by extension, into other arenas too.

 

Upcoming 1: There are numerous opportunities that manufactured housing can and should serve. One very specific one will be featured in a report that should be ready next week. Demographic changes are creating opportunities that the big boys will know, but operations of small to medium size need to better understand in order to profit from.

Upcoming 2: perhaps as soon as tomorrow, we will publish a turning ‘lemons into lemonade’ report, that takes nettlesome issues that create headwinds for the industry and reveals how they can become opportunities in disguise.

Immediate – even this morning’s ‘headwinds’ report – which outlines risks current and coming, could be turned into opportunities in disguise for savvy professionals.  So read with care, don’t skim.

 

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

Warren Buffett didn’t say it, but another successful and ethical business guru – Matthew Kelly – did. Want to understand something enough to benefit from it? There is no substitute to investing the time needed. Buffett says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day. Wow…but look were that got him. Invest an hour or two a day on MHProNews and MHLivingNews, and share them with your team.  You will have more intelligence for your professional life if you do so. 

 

With those upcoming features noted, let’s dive into today’s Manufactured Housing Intelligence Report for Independents.

 

 

Behind the Curtain of John Oliver’s Mobile Homes Viral Video? MHAction, and Their Agenda

First, the facts. Much of the John Oliver satirical viral hit on manufactured housing ne’er do wells was sourced from MHAction related materials. This is easy to identify because Oliver shows the ‘white paper’ that includes MHAction in his report.

 

MHActionPrivateEquityGiantsConvergeManufacturedHomesLastWeekTonightJohnOliverMobileHomesVideoStillMHProNews

You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time.

PrivateEquityGiantsConvergeOnManufacturedHomesMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

You can download their ‘white paper’ at this link here.

That is the same white paper that MHProNews spotlighted for industry independents a few weeks ago. The Washington Post, followed by other news media outlets, reported on that same MHAction co-branded ‘research.’  Note that then and now, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) response was the same. Per sources, they shared a few things with various state executives and others, explained why they really could not effectively respond, and it was just best to let the matter blow over.

Really?

Question. What do they get paid millions of dollars a year to do? Is MHI paid to give excuses? As one source with knowledge told MHProNews, they are committing “association malpractice.” That same source also said MHI has about $4 million in their reserves fund, and that they could mount an effective reply if they wanted to do so.

So why don’t they?

The apparent response from those smiling faces in Arlington, VA where MHI is headquartered is that they obviously don’t want to reply to attacks on the industry, even in this case, when several of those attacked are their own members. That begs the question, why not defend even your own?

As a non-industry attorney investigating manufactured housing issues that called MHProNews this week noted, who benefits from the MHI inaction? Who is harmed by their inaction?

Moving back to the MHAction co-branded ‘white paper.’

Let’s recall where MHAction gets their funding. No conjecture is needed, because here are some eye-opening facts.  Keep in mind what investigative reporter Sharyl Attiksson says, “follow the money.” ICYMI, you can click on the linked report later for more details and insights.

 

Watchdogs? Attack-Dogs? The Smear, and Manufactured Housing

 

A) From the bottom of their home page, we see this.  The image is a collage, but from their website with MHProNews comments.

 

MHActionHomePage2019-04-13_0857TheAdvocacyFundThePresidioDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Building that case, one fact after another. Follow the money trail. Ask who benefits? Cui Bono?

 

B) As a reminder, a resident group informed MHLivingNews last year about MHAction’s ties with the Tides Foundation. The Advocacy Fund gets money from the Tides Foundation.

 

TidesAdvocacyFundSupportsMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

C) Who are the top donors to the Tides?

 

TidesFoundationNovoFoundationWarrenBuffettMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

D) Who gave the money to the top donor, the Novo Foundation? Warren Buffett.

 

NoVoFoundationWarrenBuffettPeterBuffettJenniferBuffetInfluenceWatchDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

FollowTheMoneySBDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Summing Up Before Moving Onto What’s Coming Next

We are left with the inescapable fact that Buffett’s largess helped pay for that MHAction co-branded ‘white paper’ attack on private equity firms investing in manufactured home communities.

We see that MHI, and several state executives affiliated with them, are saying let’s let this blow over.  Buffett’s Berkshire brands in MHVille dominate MHI, as the do numbers of state associations too.

That MHAction co-branded ‘white paper’ targets giant firms, and a common thread is that the ones noted by Oliver’s video were MHI members.

Just as big banks can handle regulatory hurdles better than smaller ones, so too big companies can afford to take media hits easier than smaller firms. So while it may seem counterintuitive to fund those that attack your own interests, that what is occurring. The purported logic is they can take it better than you as as a smaller business can.

To the general public watching that John Oliver video, yes, it may make Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes, Frank Rolfe, or others look bad. But that casual observer sees the entire industry looking bad. Here are some actual comments posted on the John Oliver video

 

  • You had me convinced things are wrong when you stated how many people live in mobile homes” – Chris McElroy.

 

  • John Oliver can take any topic I’ve never cared about and make them extremely interesting.” – Perfect Dawnn.

 

  • I’m laughing on the outside but crying inside,,, of my mobile home.” – dustymcdirt.

 

  • Wow, a connection between Warren Buffet and Duck Dynasty.” – TlalocW.

 

  • Wow I never knew all this before. We never hear these on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX etc.” – Maximus Augustus.

 

  • Socialism for the rich Capitalism for the poor” – LAVIN20.

 

  • You gotta admire the dedication this show’s crew has to actually enroll in these shady seminars just to find out how awful the people behind these things really are.” – Floating Sunfish.

 

MHI, and the states, are doing little more than hand wringing. Hey! Daddy Buffet Bucks helped pay for this assault?!

Are you an MH Independent?  If so, do you see the various ways that the powers that be can hit you with unexpected headwinds?  But there is more.  Like a grand master in chess, your opponents are thinking several moves ahead.

Here is what they’ve already signaled, per sources to MHProNews, on what they are working on next.  The John Oliver viral video on “Mobile Homes,” or the Washington Post and related reports that MHAction – thanks to funding from Uncle Warren – are arguably preparing.  You may look back and think of this as the calm before the coming storm.

 

 

What’s Looming Next?

Start with two words. Rent Control.

The next ‘white paper’ the folks at MHAction are pushing is one calling for broader rent control. It is a threat to MH Communities that are independently owned.  But don’t think that the impact stops there, because our industry is interconnected, so others in MHVille will feel the impact too.  You can access their sadly flawed 2-page summary of their thinking on that issue from the image below, or this link here.  MHAction and their allies are calling for nationwide rent control.

 

OurHomesOurFutreRentControlPromotedByMHAction-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Download their two page summary promoting the flawed notion of rent control, at this link here.

 

We’ve debunked its value before, but the most recent report on that is linked below.  We’ll plan a follow up on the MHAction backed item in the days ahead.  ICYMI – our prior Daily Business News on MHProNews exclusive report, see that at the link below.

 

Rent Control & MH – Politicians “Are Carpet-Bombing Our State With Regulations That Will Deliberately Destabilize The Housing Market And Leave It Obliterated”

 

If you are an association member in a post-production or umbrella trade group, ask your leaders, or yourself, what are they doing to head this off?  That’s what a good trade association does to earn their keep.

 

 

Washington Politicos, Advocates Are Watching John Oliver’s Video

 

Sources are telling MHProNews that the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” viral video has been raising concerns in Washington, D.C. While that doesn’t always result in legislative action, it could. Do you hear that from MHI? What happened to Nathan Smith’s pledge to make MHI more proactive?

 

 

The industry’s independents are left with several vexing problems.  Among them is the question of feeding the hand(s) that bite them, by paying an association(s) that may be working against your interests. Or doing business with brands that may be working against your long-term interests as an independent. Or that some associations stand mute when challenges like these artificially generated headwinds arise.

No easy way out?

If you’ve been paying an organization to protect-educate-promote your firm, perhaps saving those dues or fees would be a useful first step?

Or as a notable association member suggested, there may need to be a battle within those trade groups to wrestle control away from the powers that be which are arguably leading the industry into one ambush after another.

We began this column with a simple truth.  Businesses, organizations, and professions are based upon solving some need(s).  What need does MHI solve?

If their purpose is to help consolidate the industry into ever fewer “big boy” hands, they are succeeding at that mission.

But in that case, MHI would arguably be falsely claiming to represent “all segments of factory-built housing,” when in fact they seem to be serving only a favored few.

Our industry has powerful and timely truths, but they are being obscured by messages like Oliver’s and MHAction’s. The good news about manufactured homes, communities, or the industry at large are not being successfully defended or promoted by MHI. The shipment data proves that all too well.

Febuary2019NewHUDCodeManufacturedHousingShipmentData

 

The facts and quotes that follow demonstrate a snapshot of why this current downturn is avoidable.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

AllTruthPassesThrough3stagesFirstRidiculed2ndViolentlyOpposed3rdAcceptedAsSelfEvidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuinessNewsMHProNews

CaseyMackLegacyHousingManufacturedTinyHomesKudosMHProNews

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies and opportunities.

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

That’s Saturday’s edition of “Delivering to Manufactured Home Independents & Investors Useful Intelligence for Your Professional Life.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

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State AG Files Suit Against, Manufactured Home Community, Rent to Own, Lease Purchase Option Warning

January 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

NYStateAGFilesSuitFoxCroftVillageNYDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews

The Town of Fallsburg organized a forum in response to growing complaints about FoxCroft Village, where Paula Frumkin, president of the community’s homeowners association, was one of the residents who spoke on Jan. 23, 2018.

 

The situation deteriorated since then, she said, per the Record Online.

We have more empty homes than we’ve ever had,” Frumkin said earlier this month. “None of them are being fixed up. Nothing is being done.”

MapFoxCroftVillageManufacturedHomeCOmmunityDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

 

In mid-December 2018, then-New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the owners of FoxCroft Village.  The legal action aims “to compel them to fix the water system; properly dispose of garbage; fix septic systems; repair roads and public lights; abate outstanding Town of Fallsburg and state Health Department violations; and secure a valid permit to operate from the state Health Department,” said the Record Online.

FoxCroft Village reportedly has some 321 home sites.  About 200 are resident-owned homes, with the balance rented to the residents via rent-to-own contracts, according to the NY AG’s lawsuit.

 

NewFoxCroftVillageHomeSaleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The community’s operating permit expired in December 2017.  It has been unable to obtain a new one due to the conditions there, the AG’s lawsuit states.

The lawsuit sets a deadline of Feb. 15, 2019 to achieve compliance, plus seeks restitution for all the aggrieved residents.

George Levin and Gayla Sue Levin of the state of Florida are defendants, along with L & F Enterprises, Inc., and Foxcroft Village, LLC.

FoxCroft Property Manager Mike Mergendahl declined to comment on the pending legal matter.

It is evident that respondents are unwilling to perform the maintenance, repairs, and system replacements necessary to address Foxcroft’s failing water and septic systems and other dangerous conditions throughout the park,” the state’s legal complaint says.

George Levin reportedly denounced the lawsuit in an email, saying it relies on misinformation. Levin criticized Assistant Attorney General Stephen Barry, who has been representing the state in the case.

 

FoxCroftVillageManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

No one from the State’s AG Office has ever visited Foxcroft to verify what has been done or is being done on a daily basis,” Levin wrote in the message.

Levin said that Barry’s basis for the lawsuit is Fallsburg’s meeting from last year, which was “called for the sole purpose of disparaging Foxcroft” because of a “running vendetta” by Town Supervisor Steven Vegliante against park management.

There was no water service on Dec. 26, as of the report dated Jan 6th.  It is the second year in a row that the community lost water service around Christmas, according to Lisa Stephens-Hotalen, a 16-year resident. Hotalen lives across the street from Frumkin.

There’s so much water leaking near their homes that it reportedly pools up in one portion of her lawn when Hotalen presses her foot into the grass. It was the only part of her yard that wasn’t covered in snow.

The lawsuit claims that FoxCroft has experienced “park-wide intermittently functioning water distribution and failing septic systems” since the summer of 2017 and that residents reported brown water coming from their taps.

Residents have also been under a boil-water order since Dec. 23, 2017. The Town of Fallsburg cited FoxCroft for a code violation for the water system on Jan. 14, 2018. Since then, the community has faced a maximum fine of $1,500 per day it remains in violation, according to the NY AG’s lawsuit.

Levin said a new water system has been installed and Sullivan County’s health department approved of the installation.

Vegliante confirmed that FoxCroft’s owners have begun to replace the water system.

It’s been unbelievably frustrating,” he said of the past year. “People deserve a safe place to live, and finally they’re [the owners] starting to resolve some of the issues.”

Officials noted that noted that “We’re doing everything we can not to condemn it,” meaning the community, and hope that the state AG’s suit will spur completion of the pending work.

Code Enforcement Officer Mollie Messenger declined comment on alleged violations, citing active litigation, referring questions to the town of Fallsburg’s attorney, Bruce Perlmutter. Fallsburg is set to go to trial with FoxCroft in town court near the end of January.  The parties could not agree on the total amount that should be paid in fines for the code violations.

 

‘Rent To Own’ Woes…

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The New York attorney general’s lawsuit also takes aim at the approximately 100 rent-to-own contracts FoxCroft has with some residents, calling the agreements “deceptive” and in violation of state law, which are subject to fines per contract.

FoxCroft’s documents reportedly tag rent-to-own payments as ‘loan payments’ pursuant to a mortgage.  But L & F Enterprises, Inc., is not a lender.  They hold the title to each home until it’s completely paid for by the resident. Those residents are subject to summary eviction for non-payment at any time before that time, the AG’s lawsuit states.

This is a noteworthy issue to every community in the nation that is doing, or is considering doing, rent to own, lease purchase options, or other contracts of this kind.

Some industry professionals, such as George F. (F?) Allen, Spencer Roane, and the so-called SECO conference have promoted this kind of ‘seller financing’ for years.  They claim it is legal, purportedly checked out by an attorney who advised Roane.

But if the New York AG believes they are problematic, and since it seems to violate the notion of a “disguised credit transaction” – which can be problematic under Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidance – do Allen, Roane and SECO leaders really think they can successfully defend a similar state or federal claim against their process?  Do their ‘students’ and followers want to take these types of risks?

CFPBFilesSuitDisguisedCreditTransactionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Back in New York, Levin denies that FoxCroft has such contracts. But he said that FoxCroft does internally finance the sale of its homes to residents.

 

DisguisedCreditTransactionCFPBLonnieDealsRentToOwnLeasePurchaseOptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews will continue to monitor such cases.  While we are not attorneys, and don’t give legal advice, it is prudent to consider legal actions like this case in New York as the most recent in a string of warnings to those who literally buy the advice of those – like Allen, Roane, and SECO – who sell such apparently problematic, and potentially risky “education.”

 

CaveatEmptorLegalLatinNYBarBuyerBewareDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That’s this morning’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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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

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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