Modular Homes in the News 101011 presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

BANK OF AMERICA announced Friday the company is halting foreclosure sales in all 50 states as part of a widening investigation into flaws in the process. The announcement came two days after JP Morgan Chase said it will also halt foreclosures for about 56,000 homeowners. Ally Financial, previously known as GMAC, the finance arm of General Motors, has also paused foreclosures in their 23 states. Analysts say the move is likely to result in a significant slowdown in sales of bank-owned properties and could lead to what is essentially a national foreclosure moratorium.

BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK reports that big losses in retirement savings has brought about an increased interest in reverse mortgages. Reverse mortgages let a homeowner age 62 or older convert a portion of the equity in his or her home into cash. Repayment isn’t required until the borrower either no longer uses the home as a primary residence, sells it or dies. Instead, the borrower receives a lump sum for the amount of the loan less up-front fees, or monthly payments from the lender.

Modular Homes in the News

THE KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL reports that University of Tennessee students and faculty recently participated in two years of research that is taking shape in the form of a 750-square-foot bungalow on a small lot in Norris – a prototypical green home for the future. UT [u-tee] tapped Clayton Homes to design and build the basic structure of the house. Teams of students worked with Clayton’s engineering and manufacturing team to come up with an innovative design that made the most of the house’s small footprint, but could be pre-fabricated at Clayton’s Bean Station home building plant. The home is expected to be completed and ready for public view by next spring. After a year, the house will become a living laboratory for two UT research students who will occupy the home and monitor energy systems as well as the project’s impact on the community. The project received an initial $10,000 in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency and an additional $75,000 when EPA selected it for full funding. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $350,000 to $400,000 with other contributions coming from UT and alumni, the Clayton Foundation and General Shale as well as materials and services donations from private firms. According to the article, Clayton’s involvement helped improve the home’s green credentials because manufactured and modular homes generate very little waste and can be built to specifications that result in a very airtight, well-insulated structure.

EARTH TECHLING reports that Blu Homes is releasing a new and improved version of its eco-friendly Element home. Buyers are still free to customize a basic plan utilizing green and energy efficient features with the new home, which features up to 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths, along with up to 12’ high ceilings. A new deluxe kitchen design and more standard green options like LED lighting and radiant floor heating are on the menu, as well. All homes are manufactured by Blu’s construction partners, shipped and then the modules are assembled on-site; all versions of the home are single story and ADA accessible.

“Up next, Manufactured Housing in the News

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

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

For more information, email Kenneth Rishel at or call 217-971-3968.

Now, back to our stories.

FROM WEST VIRGINIA, the State Journal reports that manufactured home sales are fluctuating. While the general housing market has steadied, the market for manufactured home sales hasn’t fared as well. Andy Gallagher, executive director of the West Virginia Housing Institute told the reporter the manufactured home industry has been on a 10-year slide fueled by bad financing practices. Gallagher said 3,701 total floors were sold in the state in 2001. By 2009, the industry had sold 1,117 floors. While manufactured home sales were up in April, May in June, Gallagher tells the paper they leveled off again in July and August. Gallagher also says in the report that West Virginia ranks at the top for home ownership, thanks to a high percentage of manufactured home sales. “Something like 65 percent of West Virginia homes are owned by individuals rather than rentals, which is astounding, and a lot of that has to do with the affordability and accessibility manufactured homes provide,” Gallagher says.

FROM DELAWARE, the Milford Beacon reports commissioners there approved, by a 4-3 vote, a request to amend the county’s comprehensive plan and zoning map to permit redevelopment of 14.5 acres of the Lakeland Mobile Home Park. According to the report, owner Andrew Strine plans to redevelop the community into a business park, similar to facilities already constructed adjacent to the site. The project would take place over several years, giving residents at least five years to relocate. The developer acknowledges many of the homes now on the site are too old to be moved safely and the lots themselves are too small to accommodate the larger homes now on the market.

ALSO FROM DELAWARE, The News Journal reports that the nonprofit Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association, under fire from a member for its alleged failure to open its books, has released financial information for 2009 to the paper. In an e-mail to The News Journal, association attorney Peter Schaeffer released a profit-and-loss statement and a summary balance sheet. But Patty Weyl, who has been on a crusade to examine the association’s books, says in the report that the level of detail in the information released is insufficient.

In Market and Business News

PALM HARBOR HOMES announced Friday that it has postponed the upcoming reconvened annual meeting of shareholders previously scheduled for October 11, 2010. The meeting will now be held on November 1 at the Company’s executive offices in Addison, Texas. The annual meeting was adjourned to provide more time to solicit additional votes for a proposal that allows the amendment and restatement of the Company’s Second Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation. As presented at the annual meeting, the Proposal would increase the number of authorized shares of common stock to 100,000,000 from 50,000,000, and the number of authorized shares of preferred stock to 25,000,000 from 2,000,000.

THE DOW CLOSED ABOVE the 11,000 mark on Friday despite continued weakness on the employment front.  The first time the Dow crossed 11,000 was May 3, 1999. The last time was on May 3, 2010. Manufactured housing and related stocks closed mostly higher. Skyline Corp. and Cavco were up more than three percent and Drew Industries was up nearly as much. UMH Properties closed down a quarter of one percent. The manufactured housing composite value closed up 2.64 percent.

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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