MANUFACTURED HOMES IN THE NEWS at noon 100817 presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

BUILDER CONFIDENCE in the market for newly built, single-family homes edged down for a third consecutive month in August, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released Monday. The HMI declined one point to 13, its lowest level since March of 2009.

“Today’s report reflects single-family home builders’ concerns about current and future economic conditions and about the increasing hesitancy they are seeing among potential home buyers,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “It also reflects the frustration that builders are feeling regarding the effects that foreclosed property sales are having on the new-homes market, with 87 percent of respondents reporting that their market has been negatively impacted by foreclosures.”

SMALL BUSINESSES looking to borrow may be seeing some relief/ According to the Federal Reserve, banks have eased their lending standards for small businesses for the first time in nearly four years. The Fed’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices indicated that, on net, banks had eased standards and terms over the previous three months on loans in some categories, particularly those categories affected by competitive pressures from other banks or from nonbank lenders. While the survey results suggest that lending conditions are beginning to ease, the improvement to date has been concentrated at large domestic banks. Most banks reported that demand for business and consumer loans was about unchanged.


RECENT, GOOD SALES NUMBERS from Clayton homes have made it into another community newspaper, this time in Shreveport. News reports from this Louisiana city indicate dealers there have reported sales near pre-recession levels, while others have only recently started to see sales increase. Those dealers also told local reporters that customers are having difficulties financing purchases. Dealers there conclude the lower cost of manufactured and modular homes is the primary reason people opt for them instead of traditional site-built homes.

THE IOWA PRESS CITIZEN reports the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association is working on state legislation that would extend the time mobile-home tenants have to leave a residence after losing an eviction case and to require mobile-home community owners to give more notice when they intend to close a community. Currently, once residents lose an eviction case in court, they have three days to move out. The legislation would propose extending that to 60 days. The proposed legislation would also extend the time period community owners are required to give before closing a community to six months from two months. Look for further reports on

THE SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLICATION Real Estate Rama revealed that Mortgage lender W.R. Starkey Mortgage of Plano, Texas will pay $4.5 million for its role in a scheme to sign consumers to manufactured home loans they couldn’t afford, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Monday. The company provided home loans for North Carolina consumers who bought homes from Phoenix Housing Group between January 2007 and September 2008. Under a consent judgment between Starkey and the Attorney General’s Office, Starkey will pay an average of $26,000 to each of 171 families who purchased manufactured homes from Phoenix, pay $125,000 for consumer education and pay $25,000 to the Western Piedmont Council of Government to help provide financial counseling to consumers who receive refunds. Starkey is also permanently barred from making loans when a manufactured housing dealer is a party to the deal.

FROM THE ATHENS BANNER-HERALD in Georgia, Thomas F. Collins, founder and president of Flamingo Homes, was inducted into the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association Hall of Fame during the association’s annual meeting. The award was established in 1972 to recognize individuals who have made extraordinary contributions, and who have unselfishly contributed their talents, time and experience to advance Georgia’s factory-built housing industry. To date, 20 people, including Collins, have received the award.

“Up next, MARKET NEWS”

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THE ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that net income more than tripled in the second quarter at RV and manufactured-home-component-manufacturer Drew Industries. The company says the boost was due to improving RV sales. Sales in its RV segment rose 83 percent during the quarter. Sales in the company’s manufactured homes segment rose. “Operating results in our manufactured housing segment also improved this quarter,” said Scott Mereness, president of Drew subsidiary Lippert Components and [a separate company] Kinro. “For the first time in many years, industry production of manufactured homes increased more than 10 percent over the prior year in each of March, April and May 2010, the last month for which data is available. While much of this industry increase was likely the result of the now-expired tax credit for first-time home buyers, we are encouraged by the success of our increased focus on aftermarket sales, as well as our market share gains in this segment. Our sales in this segment increased 35 percent in the 2010 second quarter, far outpacing the estimated 15 percent industry growth. Further, by leveraging our production capabilities, we were able to increase our operating profit in this segment substantially,” Mereness concluded. Drew Industries closed up 1.63 percent Monday, arriving at $19.29 a share.

STOCKS WERE DOWN MODESTLY for the day, but the manufactured housing composite value ended up .82 percent. Skyline Corporation closed up 2.36 percent to arrive at $18.19 a share. UMH properties closed up nearly three percent or .30 cents a share. Palm Harbor Homes was down one percent, arriving at $1.97 per share. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.14 to 10,302.

“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. G’day!”

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