The data that follows is according to a February 11, 2019 report from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) delivered by email to their members.
The Arlington, VA based trade group issued it with their normal copyright notice, but as their attorneys know, there are specific circumstances when copyrighted materials can lawfully be republished for analysis, commentary, fact-checks and/or other valid reasons and circumstances that apply for news media. That’s why savvy readers know that CNN often shows news clips and logos from Fox News, or Fox News may show clips from MSNBC or CNN, etc. There are reasons why there are no lawsuits pending between news outlets for that, and it is explored in more depth in the report linked in the text/image box below.
The meat of the MHI release to their members is as shown below.
5,984 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in December
In December 2018, new manufactured home shipments decreased 17.7% to 5,984 homes as compared to the 7,269 homes shipped in December 2017. Total shipments for December 2018 were 1,706 homes less than November. Compared with December 2017, the trend is mixed with shipments of single-section homes down by 35.8% and multi-section homes up by 5.8%. Total shipments for the full year of 2018 are 96,540 which is a 3.9% increase over 2017. Total floors shipped in December 2018 decreased 10.5% to 9,398 compared to December 2017.
Of the 5,984 homes shipped in December, there were 56 homes designated as FEMA units shipped to Alabama. For calendar 2018, there were a total of 1,329 FEMA units shipped.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 84,530 in December 2018, down 7.7% from the adjusted rate of 91,626 in November 2018. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.
In December, 133 plants representing 35 corporations reported production data which is one more plant than in November 2018.
— End of quoted portion of MHI release. —
Fact-Checks and Analysis
There are valid explanations why the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) have slight variations in their official new home shipment totals, both of which presumably come from Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) acting on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). That difference could be summarized under how each handle “destination pending” designated homes in their respective reports. It’s normally a negligible tally, but worthy of note solely for the clarity that it isn’t necessarily a factual misstatement.
As a point of reference, MHARR reported the following for 2017 and 2018 new home production totals.
- 2017 – 92,902 homes
- 2018 – 96,555 homes
So MHI shows 15 less units out of 96,555 total built in 2018, a tiny fraction of a percent. In fairness to MHI, with the proper disclosures, it’s a non-issue, save to those in MHVille who practice puffery on their blog.
Using MHARR’s data, there was only 3,653 difference between the total production of 2017 and 2018. Given that the National Association of Realtors said in 2018 that some 8.3 million more housing units are needed in the U.S., the news of any drop or failure to meet even modest expectations ought to furrow brows of discerning manufactured housing professionals and investors.
The Daily Business News on MHProNews will break the above down, as follows.
- “For calendar 2018, there were a total of 1,329 FEMA units shipped.”
- “Total shipments for the full year of 2018 are 96,540 which is a 3.9% increase over 2017.”
- “Total floors shipped in December 2018 decreased 10.5% to 9,398 compared to December 2017.”
A) Absent from the above is the fact that earlier in the year, MHI and/or member firms were projecting 107,000 new manufactured homes produced for the year. The totals are thus more than 10,000 new manufactured home units short of that already meager MHI target.
B) Off that 3,653 units difference, 1329 were FEMA MHUs, which means that retail or residential use growth was actually only 2,324.
C) What is utterly lacking in this or other recent MHI communications is why – during an affordable housing crisis – there are declining new home shipment trends?
D) What is equally lacking are explanations for what has contributed to this trend, that MHI has either ignored and/or arguably has facilitated. That has purportedly occurred with either the expressed or implied support of Knoxville, TN metro-based Clayton Homes and their related lending units.
E) Finally, as MHI was beating-the-bushes for year-end renewals of their members, they spent significant sums on a video from which the stills below were compiled. They clearly stated – and thus wanted industry professionals to believe – that there was ‘momentum’ – when in fact they of all sources in MHVille knew what the trends were about to reveal. Is that a deceptive trade practice? A lack of truth-in-advertising by MHI? The decline of shipments year-over-year at the close of 2018 is an issue that can’t be ignored, save by those who believe that they benefit from ignoring the troubling facts.
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