Market Report, July 14, 2010 presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla

Coming up, High-End Prefab Home Purveyor Launches More Affordable Collection –AND—a sneak preview of’s exclusive report, MEMA Cottages Loved and Hated Five Years after Hurricane Katrina

But first…these stories:

Zeta nets $5 million more

by Lindsay Riddell, San Francisco Business Times

Zeta Communities said today it raised $5 million in venture capital from Black Coral Capital, bringing its total funding to date to $10 million.

The San Francisco-based startup builds modular homes and buildings in its factory in Sacramento and it specializes in high-performance “net zero energy” structures: structures that produce as much energy as they consume. Zeta aims to build precise structures that are easy to install, keep development costs low and avoid time and cost delays often associated with free-form building.

Zeta said it will use the money it raised to ramp up building of schools, public facilities, student housing and mixed-use buildings in addition to multifamily housing.

Zeta has 132 factory-built structures in its pipeline. It has already built and sold a town home in Oakland and is partnering with developers to build tracts of affordable, green homes in Berkeley, Sacramento and elsewhere.

Its goal is to build 2,800 houses in four factories by 2013.

It is also developing software and controls that will track a home’s energy use. Market Report, July 14,


Manufactured home-related stocks performed well

Stocks were solidly higher on Wall Street Tuesday with the Dow moving up 146 to close at 10,363. Manufactured home-related stocks also performed well. Beazer Homes was up more than six and a half percent to close at $3.72 a share. Palm Harbor Homes was up more than ten percent and closed at $1.86. Skyline Homes went up more than four percent to close at $18.54 per share. Equity Lifestyle Properties moved up more than three percent to end the day at $51.43.

Meritage Homes Corporation announced it plans to release the Company’s second quarter 2010 results on July 27 after the market closes. In addition, management will host a conference call to discuss these results on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 11:30 a.m. EDST. According to the online investing site Smart Trend, Meritage is currently trading 33.3% below its September 15, 2008 low of $24.88. In the past 52 weeks, shares of Meritage Homes have traded between a low of $14.51 and a high of $25.44. Meritage moved up 88 cents Tuesday to close at $17.48 per share.

Finally, Moreno Valley-based MVP RV has agreed to buy two factories once used by Fleetwood Enterprises Inc for $18.6 million.  Fleetwood Enterprises filed for bankruptcy in March 2009. The two plants in Riverside, California sit on 36 acres and have 460,000 square feet of space. MVP RV has not disclosed its intended use for the plants.

“Up next, High-End Factory-built Home Purveyor Launches More Affordable Collection

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

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“And now, back to the news…”

High-End Factory-built Home Purveyor

Launches More Affordable Collection

Marmol Radziner says new Locomo modular line will be more affordable for individuals and families

From Builder 2010

Marmol Radziner Prefab, a division of the Los Angeles-based architecture and construction firm Marmol Radziner, is adding an affordable line of modular houses to its high-end offerings.

Billed as a “more affordable, new, green prefab model,” Locomo will be priced from between $200 to $250 per square foot, which is about half of the typical $400 per square foot. With home sizes running from 800 square feet to 2,200 square feet, the firm says prices could range from $200,000 to $700,000, depending on the model and location of the project.

“We’re excited about making affordable green factory-built homes more available to individuals and small families,” says Leo Marmol, managing principal of the firm. “The launch of the Locomo series aims to bring a shift in the modern factory-built housing market, allowing more potential homeowners to participate in the movement with more affordable options now available.”

Locomo homes are available as one-, two-, and three-bedroom single-story units or as a four-bedroom two-level model. Unlike the firm’s other two high-end MH homes, Custom and Skyline, Locomo will feature more streamlined design, less complicated structures, and wood framing. The other MH homes use steel.

Materials specification will also be different, featuring more affordable products such as laminate kitchen countertops and cabinetry. Other options include engineered bamboo flooring throughout the living and bedroom areas, Marmoleum [rhymes with linoleum] flooring in the bathrooms, and Corian or Caesarstone options. Prefinished maple kitchen cabinetry also is optional. Dual-glazing low-emittance windows are utilized throughout, as well as energy-efficient kitchen appliances.

The Locomo homes are manufactured with several factory partners around the country, transported as complete modules, and installed on site, greatly reducing the unpredictability of the construction schedule and cost.

Sneak Preview: MEMA Cottages Loved and Hated Five Years after Hurricane Katrina

Five years after Hurricane Katrina, the most costly in U.S. history, a unique approach to housing known as Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA rhymes with FEMA) cottages have been tried, tested and battled. The award-winning designs are an attempt to fulfill the needs of their occupants and address the challenges of building and protecting a home where land is sometimes below sea level.

Although they resemble traditional homes scaled down to a more affordable range, some people mistakenly still see them as the “FEMA trailers” they were designed to replace. FEMA trailers were used to house thousands of people in South Florida after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, for as long as two and a half years.

Andrew Canter, Fellow at the Mississippi Center of Justice explains, however, that the MEMA cottages are needed and loved.


Watch for a full report on MEMA Cottages Five Years after Katrina by MSMSM InFocus Reporter Eric Miller, Friday on

“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!”

Listen to Podcast Here

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