Modular Homes in the News 101005

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

We begin with these stories:

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS reports that the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) rose 4.3 percent to 82.3 based on contracts signed in August, from a downwardly revised 78.9 in July, but are 20.1 percent below August 2009 when it was 103.0. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the latest data is consistent with a gradual improvement in home sales in upcoming months. “Attractive affordability conditions from very low mortgage interest rates appear to be bringing buyers back to the market,” he said. “However, the pace of a home sales recovery still depends more on job creation and an accompanying rise in consumer confidence.” The PHSI in the Northeast declined 2.9 percent to 60.6 in August and remains 28.8 percent below August 2009. In the Midwest, the index rose 2.1 percent in August to 68.0 but is 26.5 percent below a year ago. Pending home sales in the South increased 6.7 percent to an index of 90.8 but are 13.1 percent below August 2009. In the West, the index rose 6.4 percent to 101.1 but remains 19.6 percent below a year ago.

A WEAKER-THAN-EXPECTED economic recovery will result in a projected decline in California home sales for 2010, although home sales are expected to edge up slightly in 2011, according to the California Association of Realtors. CAR President Steve Goddard also says a lean supply of available homes for sale will drive prices up at the low end. Perhaps the news indicates a potential for increased sales of manufactured homes.

INTERNETBITS.COM reports that the IRS has implemented tax breaks called Revenue Procedure 2010-36 on dry wall repair due to flawed Chinese drywall installed between 2001 and 2009. The IRS is allowing taxpayers to claim a casualty loss on the repairs of the drywall as well as the home appliances affected by the defective drywall. Homes manufactured during the nearly 10-year span using the drywall have experienced issues such as putrid odor and pipe and wire corrosion.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are urging homeowners to replace the drywall due its toxicity.

Manufactured Housing in the News…

FROM THE GAZETTE in Janesville, Wisconsin, we find that the Plymouth Town Board there must decide how to enforce its revocation of a permit for Country Courts manufactured home community after a judge dismissed an appeal by the community owner. According to the report, the board revoked the permit after a year of trying to get the owner to clean up the community and make it comply with local and state regulations. A health department occupancy survey May 19 showed an estimated 37 people living in 18 homes in the park, which has 36 lots.

FROM DELAWARE the Daily Times reports hopefuls for the District 4 seat on the Sussex County Council agree that older mobile home communities west of Rehoboth Beach, are winning far too many land-use variances and the buck stops at the county-appointed Board of Adjustments. Republican George Cole charges the Board of Adjustments with approving what he calls a mess and Democrat Russ Melrath worries that special exceptions granted by the board to owners of these communities compromise the quality of life for the residents and public safety. “There is an overabundance of variances granted, and setbacks — it increases the danger of fire,” Melrath told the reporter. “You will have to be concerned with the people they appoint.” One issue concerns variances allowing multi-section homes on lots designed for single-sections.

“Manufactured Housing in the News continues…

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

Precision Capital Funding, on the Web at CaptiveFinance.net. Precision Capital Funding earned the MHI 2010 Service Supplier of the Year Award.

For more information, email Kenneth Rishel at kennethrishel@captivefinance.net or call 217-971-3968.

Now, back to our stories.

MANUFACTURED HOME COMMUNITIES in North Dakota are filling up. The Dickinson Press reports that manufactured home communities and campgrounds once left desolately vacant after an oil bust in the 1980s have been brought back to life amid resurrected oil activity, and city officials are concerned for those who will be staying over the winter.  City Administrator Shawn Kessel says in the report that the type of housing that is required for the influx of energy workers may not be adequate during North Dakota winters. Kessel says managers of both Heartland Homes on Dickinson’s south side and North Park Homes on the north side have been contacted to make sure their tenants are aware of the approaching winter. Heartland Homes has now amassed a waiting list, with 50 to 75 people waiting for a manufactured rental home, and 15 to 20 people waiting for an RV space for the winter.

FROM JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK, the Post Journal reports that Chautauqua [shuh-TAW-qua] Opportunities Inc. will receive $602,996 in one of several grants from the state for a new program help fix outdated, dilapidated mobile and manufactured homes located throughout Upstate New York. There are 2,010 manufactured home communities around the state with 72,000 homes. More than 130,000 additional manufactured and mobile homes are located outside of manufactured home communities. In total, New York has more than 200,000 manufactured homes housing more than 500,000 people. Find a full Industry In Focus report at mhmsm.com.

Modular Homes in the News…

FROM TC PALM in Florida, Royal Concrete Concepts has landed an agreement to export 15,000 of its energy-efficient, sustainable, and disaster-resistant concrete modular homes to Angola. The first quality U.S.-built home was delivered to Sub Saharan Africa recently and installed by a team of Angolan and American construction workers, including RCC’s president. Concrete modular homes within the new development are estimated to cost an average of $125,000 each, providing a 44-to-48 percent less expensive housing for homeowners from a respective 25- to 100-year life-cycle cost perspective.

FROM THE ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION, we find that Clark Howard and Donna Boortz are helping Habitat for Humanity raise money for a soldier’s new home. Army National Guard Spc. [Specialist] Michael Walker and his family lost their mobile home in a fire. Consumer advocate Howard will match up to $30,000 collected, and Donna Boortz, the wife of fellow radio personality Neal Boortz, donated $5,000.

In Business and Market News…

BLOOMBERG REPORTS that the return to health of the RV industry may be an indication of consumer recovery. Sales at leading recreational vehicle maker Thor Industries recently improved after being slammed by high gas prices, scarce credit, and recession-racked consumers. Still, U.S. consumers are favoring less expensive and more fuel-efficient models. On Sept. 28, Thor, the largest U.S. maker of recreational vehicles, reported a 51 percent jump in last quarter’s sales from a year ago.

ALSO ON THAT TOPIC, the Charlotte, North Carolina The Observer reported Saturday that total RV sales have risen 3 percent during the first half of 2010 to 92,974 compared with January through June of 2009.

STOCKS RETREATED MONDAY and the Dow closed 78 points lower than it opened. The manufactured housing composite value also closed lower, down 1.3 percent. Nobility Homes was down more than three percent and Skyline Corp., Drew Industries and Barnes Corp. all shaved off more than two percent. A few stocks managed to log gains, however: UMH Properties, Sun Communities and Palm Harbor Homes all closed modestly higher Monday.

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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