Modular Homes in the News 100915 presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

THE SENATE VOTED TUESDAY by a 61-to-37 margin to move the $42 billion Small Business Jobs Act forward, which means back to the House of Representatives for approval before it reaches President Obama’s desk. The House passed its own version of the bill nearly three months ago. A Senate summary indicates the initiative could create 500,000 jobs.  But the bill met opposition in the Senate, where Obama has been lobbying hard for support. The act authorizes the creation of a $30 billion fund run by the Treasury Department that would deliver ultra-cheap capital to community banks.

CNBC REPORTS that numbers to be released by Realtytrac later this week will show

the nation’s banks repossessed a record number of homes in August. The network reported its sources confirm the number of repossessions will come in just shy of 100,000 for the month—the highest since the site began tracking in 2005. Notices of Default, which are the first step in the foreclosure process, are up slightly, but mostly thanks to a jump in California, where the numbers had been artificially low of late, as banks tried to modify borrowers.

Modular Homes in the News…

THE ISSUE WILL VERY LIKELY come back to the Senate floor. A story from New Bedford, Massachusetts, in South Coast Today tells the story of a local fire official who has made tightening modular home regulations his mission. Acushnet Fire Chief Kevin A. Gallagher was recently appointed to the state’s Board of Building Regulations and Standards, an 11-member board, which adopts regulations of the state building code. Gallagher is taking aim at two practices common in modular home building: the use of a glue (made from polyurethane-and-air), without metal fasteners such as nails and screws, to attach gypsum wallboard to wood framing in ceiling and walls. The second is the presence of expansive void spaces between the first-floor “box” of a modular home and the second. Gallagher contends that when the heat causes the glue to fail, a fire could spread much more quickly. Gallagher also told the reporter the state should also study the third-party inspection of modular homes, which he says can be less hands-on than inspections performed by local inspectors on-site.

FROM VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, schools could be built using modular methods. Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman told Business in Vancouver that modular school structures would provide the province with more flexibility because the structures could be easily moved if the student population were to drop at one school and swell at another.

“Modular Homes in the News continues…”

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

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Now, back to our stories.

A TEAM OF STUDENTS from [Parsons The New School for Design], [Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy] and Stevens Institute of Technology have announced they will develop a solar-powered home for residents of the District of Columbia, working in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C., and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development. The Solar Decathlon is an international competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy that challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses, which will be exhibited on the National Mall in October, 2011. Also, for the first time, the Empowerhouse team will take the competition beyond the Mall, by also designing and constructing a solar-powered house in the Deanwood neighborhood of Washington.

In Business and Market news…

NOBILITY HOMES announced sales and earnings results Tuesday for its third quarter ended July 31.  Sales for the third quarter of 2010 were up 41 percent to $4,351,040 as compared to $3,082,551 recorded in third quarter of 2009.  Income from operations for the third quarter of 2010 was $27,229 versus loss of $299,019 in the same period a year ago.  Net loss after taxes was $132,546 as compared to income of $21,862 for the same period last year.  The company reported for the first nine months of fiscal 2010, sales were up 26 percent to $11,352,443 as compared to sales of $9,032,850 in the first nine months of 2009.  Loss from operations for the first nine months of 2010 was $621,292 versus loss of $1,703,084 in the first nine months of 2009.  Nobility says its financial position during third quarter of 2010 remains strong with cash and cash equivalents, short and long-term investments of $10,460,210 and no outstanding debt.  “Sales and operations for the third quarter of 2010, were adversely impacted by our country’s severe economic uncertainty and the low manufactured housing shipments in Florida, plus the overall weakness in Florida and the nation’s housing market,” company president Terry Trexler stated. “Lack of retail and wholesale financing, increasing unemployment and home foreclosures, slow sales of existing site-built homes, very low consumer confidence and a poor economic outlook for the U.S. economy are just a few of the challenges  our country,  our industry, and the company faced.”

Although the overall housing picture, financial market and economy have not improved significantly during the past nine months and the immediate outlook for the manufactured housing industry in Florida and the nation is uncertain, the long-term demographic trends still favor future growth in the Florida market area Nobility Homes serves. Job formation, immigration growth and migration trends, plus consumers returning to more affordable housing should favor Florida.  Nobility Homes, Inc. has specialized for 44 years in the design and production of quality, affordable manufactured homes at its plant located in central Florida.

STOCKS WERE HIGHER for most of the Tuesday trading day, but closed down 17 points with financial share declines overwhelming technology share increases. The manufactured housing composite value was down half of one percent. Publicly traded manufactured home stocks also declined.  Palm Harbor Homes being was a notable exception, gaining more than three percent. Nearing the September 30 end of the fiscal year, UMH Properties, Sun Communities, Skyline Corp., Equity Lifestyle Properties, Deer Valley and the Barnes Group are currently showing gains.

FINALLY, it was brought to our attention that the FHFA web site lists only 465 responses to a proposed rule on Duty to Serve, not the “more than 1,000” reported by While 465 responses are listed on the FHFA web site, many of the links provided contain multiple letters, with several individual links containing more than 100 letters. FHFA has not as of yet responded to our request for an actual count of individual responses, but a rough calculation indicates there may have been well over 1,000 responses. The responses were solicited by a coalition outreach effort by, MHI, MHARR, Hometown America, American Land Lease and Captive Finance News.

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. Gday!

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