Leading NY Home Manufacturer Offers Solution to Housing Crunch

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

Coming up – Manufactured Homes See Increase in Sales

But first…these stories:

Arizona Association Membership on the Rise, Members Look to Return of Financing

The manufactured housing industry as a whole may be in a valley, but that hasn’t kept membership at the Arizona Housing Association (AHA) from increasing. The association reported a ten percent increase in membership over a seven-month period from the convention in 2009 until May.

Organization President Ken Anderson says new members are facing a difficult climate and looking to the organization for help. The biggest issues continue to be employment and financing, both of which can be solved if banks would begin to lend again.

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Look for Eric Miller’s InFocus Report from Arizona, today at MHMSM.com/ericdashmiller/aha

Leading NY Home Manufacturer Offers Solution to Housing Crunch

Westchester Modular Homes, Inc., a leading manufacturer of energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly [factory-built] homes, announced [Wednesday] the launch of its new American Eagle Series, a product line of five newly-designed homes competitively priced to meet the needs of today’s home buyers.

The goal in introducing the American Eagle Series… is to offer a smaller home to fill a market need. In response to a growing need in the Northeast for vacation and second homes, the new models are well suited as starter and empty-nester homes. These homes can be built in a relatively short time span during the summer months.

According to John Colucci, Westchester’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Westchester developed the American Eagle Series to make the American Dream of home ownership possible for many families who have found it difficult to afford a new home. “These homes were designed to address a specific need in the marketplace. We were able to accomplish this by taking into account production efficiencies, along with cost-saving features, in order to provide a more cost-efficient product for new home buyers.”

Westchester Modular Homes recently became the first plant in the Northeast to be Energy Star certified, adding to its credentials as a “green,” environmentally friendly manufacturer.

IN MARKET NEWS: The Obama Administration announced Tuesday the expanded opportunities for public engagement on the future of our nation’s housing finance system, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These events are designed to help provide critical public input as the Administration continues its work developing a comprehensive housing finance reform proposal for delivery to Congress by January, 2011. On August 17, the administration will host a Conference on the Future of Housing Finance in Washington at the Treasury Department.

A new Beige Book survey released by the Federal Reserve Wednesday found the U.S. economy growing this summer. Manufacturing activity in most Districts continued to move up since the last report, although the pace of activity slowed or activity leveled off in the New York, Cleveland, Kansas City, Chicago, Atlanta, and Richmond Districts. Richmond, Chicago, and Dallas reported that firms in construction-related manufacturing experienced weak demand; construction supplies sales were flat in Kansas City, and Minneapolis reported that a firm in the sector was increasing production. Nearly all Districts reported sluggish housing markets in the months since the homebuyer tax credit expired on April 30. While some Districts reported an increase in May and June home sales on a year-over-year basis, some contacts noted that these sales may reflect closings of homes under contract by the April tax credit deadline. Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Kansas City reported that home sales are expected to weaken going forward. Residential construction remained limited in several Districts. In Atlanta, residential construction activity softened from already weak levels. Homebuilders in Cleveland do not expect a turnaround in new home construction any time this year. Builders in Chicago are not introducing new inventory without a signed contract on a home. Housing starts were expected to decline for the second half of the year in Dallas and to increase slightly over the next three months in Kansas City.

RealtyTrac reports that Foreclosure filings climbed in three-quarters of U.S. metropolitan areas as high unemployment left many homeowners unable to pay their mortgages. The number of properties receiving a filing more than doubled from a year earlier in Baltimore, Oklahoma City and Albuquerque, New Mexico according to the mortgage-data company. Notices of default, auction or bank seizure rose more than 50 percent in areas including Salt Lake City; Savannah, Georgia; and Atlantic City, New Jersey. In a statement, RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio said that continued weakness in employment and efforts to prevent foreclosure may “delay the inevitable” and weigh on home prices.

Meritage Homes Corp. reported Tuesday it reversed a year-ago loss in the second quarter as the homebuilder booked smaller charges on land and other assets and home closing revenue jumped 32 percent. Still, Meritage Chairman and CEO Steven J. Hilton said the builder’s new home orders fell more sharply than anticipated after a federal homebuyer tax credit expired in April. Net income at Meritage was $4.2 million, or 13 cents a share, in the three months ended in June. That compares with a loss of $73.6 million, or $2.37 a share, during the same period last year.

NVR announced Thursday that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of $300 million of its outstanding common stock. The purchases will occur from time to time in the open market and in privately negotiated transactions as market conditions permit. The Company indicates that the authorization is a continuation of the stock repurchase program that began in 1994 and is consistent with NVR’s strategy of maximizing shareholder value.

Stocks dropped in early trading Thursday, but later pared losses to close down just under 31 points to close at 10,467.16. The manufactured housing composite was up .94 for the day. On a percentage basis, Palm Harbor Homes was the day’s best performer, up 2.43 percent. Meritage Homes performed nearly as well, up 1.96. Equity Lifestyle Properties and Sun Communities experienced small share price declines.

“Up next, Manufactured Homes See Increase in Sales”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: MHMSM.com/solutions.

Do you have vacant homes or sites? Does your financing, market, sales or management need a boost? From high Return on Investment online marketing, to public relations, sales, lead and management systems and more, make us your Solutions Resource. When you are ready for the answers to your needs, visit MHMSM.com/solutions.

Manufactured Homes See Increase in Sales

Reporter: McKinsey Harris for WHSV

A certain type of home is seeing a dramatic increase in sales, while much of the housing market is just starting to recover.

Clayton Homes has seen a 22-percent increase in sales from this time last year, and it’s a trend the company is seeing both on a national scale, and in the Valley.

Chris Nicely, a zone manager with Clayton Homes, says that the number of homes they build, which will be around 30,000 this year, allows them to offer more “bang for the buck.”

“So the result is, we’re able to deliver more amenities in the same square footage or more square footage for a lower cost dollar to the consumer,” says Nicely.

He says, as confidence grows with the economy and people begin looking at homes, affordable housing is an area that’s seen some growth in recent months. “The process can be faster. It can be less expensive, and certainly with an eye on the environment, it’s done in a green process.”

The home builders say manufactured homes also create much less waste, just two trash cans for each home built, due to the use of recyclable materials.

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 MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

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