February 2020, Latest National Manufactured Housing Production Data, MHI and MHARR Comparisons


The news is relatively good, given the low baseline of the years since 2003 (see graphic further below) when Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes, Oakwood’s bankrupt business, and the associated lending such as Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance or 21st Mortgage Corporation.

 First, this report will look at the news release from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Then, MHProNews will do a thumbnail fact-check, analysis and commentary.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  Contact: MHARR

(202) 783-4087




Washington, D.C., April 3, 2020 – 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), HUD Code manufactured housing industry year-over-year production grew in February 2020. Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 8,240 homes in February 2020, a 14.2% increase over the 7,213 new HUD Code homes produced during February 2019. Cumulative 2020 production now stands at 16,973 homes as compared with 14,769 homes produced over the same period in 2019, an increase of 14.9%.

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 February 2020 — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2020) and prior year (2019) shipments per category as indicated — are:

The data is per MHARR, the arrows and logos are added by MHProNews for illustration, credit and related purposes.


The February 2020 production data does not result in any changes to the cumulative top-ten list.

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 –


MHProNews Analysis and Commentary

 Shipments went ‘up’ in February 2020 over 2019 due in part because 2019 had a year-over-year decline in shipments vs. 2018. While MHI has been touting their ‘new class of homes’ as “momentum” in the face of protests by the Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA) and others, the facts carefully discerned reveal something different.

Alert to Independent Producers, Retailers – Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA) Wages War in Congress vs Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) “CrossModTM Homes” Controversy

Among the items that MHI is routinely reasonably reliable on is their version of these same monthly production statistics. While a pro-MHI blogger makes much over how MHI handles “destination pending” shipments, the production totals are nevertheless essentially the same as what MHARR provides. Given far more serious issues facing the manufactured housing industry, how MHI handles the “destination pending” topic is a non-issue; a mere distraction.

There are far more important matters for which MHI and their most powerful members should be scrutinized.

But the question of MHI’s reliability on data claims is pertinent. For example, on the seemingly simple topic of data. MHI’s own members underscore the point – albeit unintentionally – that MHI is arguably not to be trusted on other seemingly simple data claims, other than production numbers. The examples below illustrate the point.


Number of Full Time Employees in Manufactured Housing Nationally

The number of full time employees, workers or ‘jobs,’ per MHI.

This fact check and analysis is on 4.4.2020.


The same data point – i.e.: the number of full time employees in manufactured housing in the U.S., per Cavco Industries. Cavco, a publicly traded firm that is supposed to provide reliable data to their current and potential investors, cited MHI as their source.

Cavco estimates there are some 75,000 full time employees (FTE) working in manufactured housing. That sounds far more realistic than MHI’s claim of only 40,000. Shown under fair use guidelines for news media.

Number of Manufactured Home Communities

This next data point is arguably even more embarrassing for MHI. They and their members are ‘all over the map’ on this claim of how many land-lease communities there are in the United States. The first example of data from MHI in days gone by, circa 2017.

Part of our original report, using MHI’s graphic, and citing Rolfe’s, Allen’s and MHI’s data in the text by the arrow. 


Next, the data per Cavco in that timeframe. Note that Cavco in the graphic above cited 40,000 communities, but in this next document from their investor relations package reflected 50,000 communities. Both Cavco documents cited MHI as their source. Then there is MHI’s own updated claims, all of which come without explanation.  Perhaps MHI, not unlike author Mark Twain, feels free to play fast and lose with numbers?

MHProNews has done a previous fact check and analysis on the topic of the number of communities opening and closing. The general trend for years has been down. See the report at this link here. https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/just-the-facts-mobile-home-u-manufactured-housing-institute-mhvillage-manufactured-home-community-count/
See MHI and Cavco Industries (CVCO) data, further above and below.

Get your facts first, then you
can distort them as you please

– Mark Twain per BrainyQuote.


One can go on, but MHI – for those who pay close attention to the details and history of things – even contradicts itself and their own members. If one looks at the MHI’s land-lease communities data claim from a few years ago and then look at it now, one might get the (false) impression that the number of manufactured home communities (a.k.a. “mobile home parks”) are growing. Rather, the number of such communities have been in steady decline, which is suggested by Cavco’s disconnected data points.


Special Reports Coming

A special report is planned on Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) that will be one more evidence-based reminder of why there are some things that one can’t take at face value that are spoken by the Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

In the Christian Scriptures, Jesus says those who are faithful in little things can be trusted in more important matters too.

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10, NIV, per Bible Hub.

Hmm, that’s a good enough argument and source for me, how about thee? One-time Democrat turned Republican, Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify.” There is an argument to be made, just based on the examples shown herein, that with MHI, the mantra could be verify before trusting.

As MHARR’s President and CEO Mark Weiss, J.D., has aptly put it – facts are stubborn things.

Some people, sadly professionals at times included, will not look carefully at what the data is actually telling them. When details are not considered carefully and in their historic context, it makes data claims subject to distortions. When those distortions are persistent it opens the question if they are intentional deception. If MHI is intentionally distorting numbers, for whose benefit is that being done?
There is a case to be made, using MHI members’ own statements, that some of the inaccuracy and problematic issues exist precisely as a ‘barrier’ that could deter more potential competitors from entering into the manufactured housing industry. Fewer competitors makes the existing larger companies stronger by comparison. Misinformation and ongoing controversies arguably keeps numbers of investors out of the manufactured housing space. Who benefits? Existing consolidators. See the related reports for more.


Second Programming Note: Stand by for an upcoming news reported provided by company insiders as a news tip to MHProNews about a well-known MHI member company. We expect that report to be ready early next week.


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The March 2020 numbers will likely reflect some decline, per sources.  How some in the industry behaved pre-COVID19 is going to impact who survives until the post-pandemic rebound that is expected.

The manufactured home industry has been underperforming for years. Why would it be so unless the powers that be wanted it that way, so they could consolidate more of the industry at a discounted valuation? The years of frustrating MHI results – are they accidental or intentional? Is it just a coindience that the industry is being consolidated by a relatively small group of MHI insider firms?



Since Buffett-led Berkshire bought Clayton, the industry is actually smaller today than then. How is that possible, during an affordable housing crisis, unless they wanted it to be so?



Mark WeissJD-President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Refor 3
From the in depth interview found at this link here.

There are other Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, Bill Gates, and more manufactured home specific related developments that will be part of upcoming reports. But that’s a wrap on this installment of manufactured home “Industry News Tips and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)

All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested with the discussion of manufactured housing related issues on our 12.3.2019 meetings. But Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included the Constitution of the United States and other goodies. MHProNews has worked with people and politicos across the left-right divide.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.

Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.


Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach






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Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.

Grotesque Failure – Ken Cashin, Nathan Smith Revealed Manufactured Housing Institute Fear of Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s Federal Arguments

Clayton Homes (CMH) Plant Ordered Closed, Clayton Homes Headquarters Hit by COVID19-Coronavirus Outbreak

Special COVID19 Economic Data, Report and Projections from Marcus & Millichap, plus Manufactured Home Stock, Investing Updates

“Hell is Coming” from COVID19, But Stocks Soar – Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman Outed by CNBC, plus Manufactured Home Investing, Stock Updates

Clayton Update; Pro-Trump Independents vs Anti-Trump MH Communities Green Courte Partners CEO David Lentz? Plus, Manufactured Housing Headlines in Review 3.22 to 3.29.2029

Kill Shot – MHI Bro Connected Plan is Crippling to HUD Code Manufactured Housing Independents; MHI’s Stance – Facts and Analysis

mas kovach mhpronews shopping with soheyla .jp

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