Builder Confidence Rises presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

Builder Confidence Rises

The National Association of Homebuilders says builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose three points to 16 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for October. This was the first improvement registered by the HMI in five months, and returns the index to a level last seen in June of this year. Builder confidence also improved across every region in October. The South and West each posted four-point gains, to 18 and 12, respectively, while the Northeast and Midwest each posted single-point gains, to 17 and 13, respectively. “Builders are starting to see some flickers of interest among potential buyers, and are hopeful that this interest will translate to more sales in the coming months,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, adding that because most builders still have no access to credit for building homes, there is a real concern about the ability to meet the pent-up demand when consumers are ready to get back in the market.

Four Ways to Tell the Story

The way this news was treated in the media was presented as less glowing than one might expect. First, an Associated Press headline read Builders glum on housing market despite uptick and then CBS News reported Home Builders’ Sentiment Remains Sour. Third, a Reuters story with the headline October home builder sentiment up explained that Economists polled by Reuters expected a rise to 14. A reading above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. The index has not been above 50 since April, 2006. Fourth, Bloomberg ran with the headline U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Rose to Four-Month High, noting that residential construction is stabilizing at depressed levels.

Manufactured Housing in the News

Zoning Changes on the Way in Mississippi

From Mississippi the Clarion Ledger reports that Rankin County residents voiced worries to the Board of Supervisors of sprawling commercial growth and rules that could add hurdles for manufactured homes resulting from revamped zoning ordinances shared in draft form Friday. While urban residents have called for tougher restrictions, people with rural interests told supervisors the proposed zoning was too restrictive. The new zoning maps will convert about 40,000 acres from agricultural to residential, which requires manufactured homes to get a special permit to locate there.

Loan Fund to Provide Boost to Manufactured Homes

From New Hampshire the Public News Service reports that affordable housing projects in New Hampshire are set to get a boost: The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund has been awarded a grant worth over $3 million to expand affordable housing across the state. Juliana Eades, the president of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund told the news service the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund will help people purchase manufactured homes by providing fixed-rate loans and it will also help facilitate the construction of affordable apartments.

California Factory-built Home Plan Converts to Site Built

From California the Santa Maria Times reports that a proposed planned-development permit for a project to build nearly 300 single-family homes on a site originally slated for a 375-unit factory-built-home community will be discussed by the Planning Commission later this week. Last month, the City Council approved a land-use change from factory-built residential to low-medium density residential.

“More News continues…”

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Now, back to our stories.

Delaware Official Classifies Modular as Manufactured

From Delaware the Cape Gazette reports that Dixie Boucher, a member of the ad-hoc committee formed by Sussex County Council to help update and revise four ordinances relating to manufactured housing, wants time for the committee to review the proposed amended ordinances before a vote is taken. One issue concerns definitions. Boucher says the county did not include modular homes in its newly written ordinance aimed at a better definition of manufactured housing. Moreover, the council passed an amended ordinance redefining a manufactured home as a dwelling not less than 450 square feet with or without a permanent foundation. Finally, according to the article, a recent Attorney General’s Office ruling classifies modular homes as manufactured homes. We found that reference on page three of a document title Applicability of the Manufactured Home Owners and Community Owners Act to the Villages of Noble’s Pond Modular Home Community by Attorney General Joseph R. Biden III. [ ] The Delaware code defines a manufactured home this way:

“Manufactured home” means a factory-built, single-family dwelling:

a. Transportable in 1 or more sections, which is either 8 body feet or more in width and 40 body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, has more than 400 square feet in living area; and

b. With or without a permanent foundation and designed to be used as a year-round dwelling when connected to the required utilities; and

c. If manufactured since June 15, 1976, built in accordance with manufactured home construction requirements promulgated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or by other applicable codes. “Manufactured home” is synonymous with “mobile home”, “trailer”, and similar terms used elsewhere in this title.

It should be noted that this Delaware definition of “manufactured” includes homes that and others in the Industry would call “factory built”, reserving the term “manufactured” only for those homes build according to the HUD code. Their definition is clearly mired in the past, improperly using terminology. See Manufactured Home Fact Sheet for Reporters on the homepage for further clarification.

Association News…

Craddock to Head the Virginia Manufactured & Modular Housing Association

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports Tyler Craddock has been hired as the new executive director of the Virginia Manufactured & Modular Housing Association. Craddock also currently serves as adjunct instructor at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and in the past served as director of government affairs at the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and director of public and government affairs at the Home Building Association of Richmond. New VMMHA officers are: Larry Stapleton, chairman; Larry Checca, vice chairman; Stan Rush, treasurer; Bill Holmes, secretary and Scott Yates, board representative.

In Business and Market News…

Drew Industries to Release Third Quarter 2010 Financial Results

Drew Industries Incorporated, a White Plains, NY-based manufacturer of components for the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industries, announced the company will release its third quarter 2010 financial results before the market opens on Monday, November 1. Drew Industries also will host a conference call on Monday, November 1 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss its results and other business matters. Participation in the question-and-answer session of the call will be limited to institutional investors and analysts. Individual investors and retail brokers are invited to listen to a live webcast of the call on Drew Industries’ website at

Cavco Industries to Release Earnings Report

Cavco Industries announced it will release earnings for the second quarter of fiscal year 2011 on Thursday, October 28 after the close of market. Senior Management will discuss the second quarter results in a live webcast the following day, Friday, October 29 at 12:00 noon Eastern Time. The webcast will be available at under the Investor Relations link.

Stocks Rose Monday

Foreclosure worries aside, bank stocks pushed markets higher Monday with the Dow gaining 81 points. Many manufactured housing and related stocks also rose with UMH Properties and All American Group leading the way, up 2.12 percent and 4.76 percent respectively. Axle supplier and penny stock TJT Inc. lost more than 11 percent to close at .30 a share. The manufactured housing composite value was up half of one percent.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

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