Conventional New-House Sales Decline in May

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Coming up, Habitat for Humanity builds modular home in Ithaca

But first…these stories.

Conventional New-House Sales Decline in


from NAHB

June 23, 2010 – Sales of new conventionally built, single-family houses declined dramatically in May following the expiration of a popular home buyer tax credit program in April, according to newly released figures by the U.S. Commerce Department. The data show that sales fell 32.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 units, the lowest number on record since the government started keeping track in 1963.

“While today’s numbers are sobering, they were to be expected at the conclusion of the tax credit program and are in keeping with the results of our latest home builder surveys,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

“Clearly the tax credits were very successful in drawing potential buyers back to the market. Now we are seeing the lull in activity you’d expect following the program’s expiration.”

“The big drop-off in new-home sales this May emphasizes how effective the tax credit program was in bringing home buyers back to the market while it was in existence,” agreed NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Because many buyers moved quickly to take advantage of the tax credits, sales that would have taken place in May or June were likely pulled forward to meet the program’s deadline – which is why we have been projecting softer sales numbers for the second quarter. But once this ‘hangover’ subsides, we do believe that the improving economy, rising employment, excellent mortgage rates and stabilizing home values will be strong incentives that will encourage home buyers to return to the market.”

Sales of new homes declined across every region in May. The Northeast registered a 33.3 percent decline, the Midwest a 23.9 percent decline, the South a 25.4 percent decline, and the West a 53.2 percent decline.

The nationwide inventory of new homes on the market declined by half a percent to just 213,000 units in May; this was the lowest level in nearly four decades. However, because of the slower sales pace, the months’ supply of homes rose from 5.8 in April to 8.5 in May.

Modular Home Construction A Rising Star In Real Estate Market

Source: PRWeb

Design Options Plus Green Credentials Boost Appeal of an Industry Coming of Age In an Uncertain Housing Market.

San Joaquin Valley, CA PRWeb

With heightened competition for fewer new housing starts, the modular construction industry is well positioned.

And among builders and buyers, modular shell construction strategies — the innovative fusion of the best off-site and on-site craftsmanship — have won enthusiastic followings.

“The modular shell approach continues that trend by adding to the local contractor’s arsenal of products aimed at improving cost efficiency and overall performance, and is steadily gaining market share as a result,” says Curtis Fletcher, president of’s parent Curtcher Building Systems.

“We have seen online interest double in recent months, and expect this to continue as the economy recovers. Exterior and interior home feature options abound, and by using modular shells builders are able to bring in local craftsmen to achieve exactly the finishes they seek — directly benefitting the local economy.”

Modular homes or additions are assembled in factories per the unique specifications selected by each buyer. According to Fletcher, because the modular construction process is more closely controlled there is less waste, less construction site disruption and pollution, lower construction cost (typically 5-10 percent) and a project completion timeline that can be up to 30% shorter.

Many parts of a home are already pre-assembled in module form including window units, pre-hung door assemblies and stairways.

The factory built housing trade journal’s Tony Kovach notes that savings and time lines on modular construction vary by region.  “Some builders tell me they are saving 30% by going mod.” Kovach said.

Consumers are paying ever more attention to environmental issues involved in the home construction process.  Meanwhile, states and municipalities continue to pass new laws and regulations that force the homebuilding industry to continually revise practices.

The hard impact on conventional building has resulted in a “perfect storm” scenario, in which modular home construction providers have an inherent advantage.

“From the modular shell starting point…homeowners and builders can garner both the power of modular plus access to all the most popular custom finishes,” adds Fletcher.

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Modular home built by TST BOCES

students to become next habitat home

The Ithaca Journal

Habitat for Humanity of Tompkins and Cortland Counties is going modular for their current build in the Village of Dryden. Through a partnership with the Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES Career and Technology Center Habitat was able to purchase “House No. 25”, a 3-bedroom modular house that was built by students on the Warren Road campus. This modular house will become the home of the Couch Family, Geoff and Jessica and their three children.

The modular house was split down the middle and transported on two carriers from BOCES to the 6 Wellsley Drive, Dryden this past week.

Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Tompkins and Cortland Counties, Christy Voytko, says “For Habitat, partnering with BOCES will enable us to better serve our mission. Having this student-built, nearly completed home means that our The Couches will be able to move out of their substandard housing and become homeowners in a much shorter period of time.”

The Tompkins-Cortland affiliate has built 13 stick-built homes in the two counties and has never worked with a modular home before. Fortunately, American Homes in Dryden stepped in to help with the project.

American Homes has professionally installed over 5,000 modular homes in the region since 2000. In addition to educating the affiliate about modular homes, they sent a crew to BOCES to look at the student’s work, arranged for the crane to move the home from the carriers, and fastened the home to the foundation. “American Homes is happy to help our community by working with Habitat, which is great organization with a worthy cause,” says Jack Baker, Manager of American Homes in Dryden.

Habitat held a home dedication on Saturday to celebrate the completion of the home for Amber Little and her family in Lansing. Currently, Habitat is also building a home in Cortland on 33 Arthur Ave.

Don’t forget, you can find lots more factory built housing news and views you can use every day at  These include our Exclusive Industry In Focus Reports by journalist Eric Miller.

“On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor Tony Kovach and the entire writing and support team, this is Erin Patla, G’day!”

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