The good news, per the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) latest production data for October 2019 is that shipments are up year-over-year. The production trend, which means shipments too, are back up.
The problematic points realistically are numerous. But problems – properly understood and navigated – spell opportunities in disguise.
Let’s look at the data per MHARR and then turn to an MHProNews analysis.
HUD CODE PRODUCTION RISES IN OCTOBER 2019
Washington, D.C., December 3, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year HUD Code manufactured home production increased in October 2019. Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 9,415 homes in October 2019, up 9.6% from the 8,588 homes produced in October 2018. Cumulative industry production for 2019 now totals 79,912 homes, a decline of 3.6% from the 82,942 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2018.
A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through October 2019 — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2019) and prior year (2018) shipments per category as indicated — are:
There are several problematic points and warning signs in the monthly and cumulative data reports from MHARR. In no particular order of importance are the following.
- As was noted in our report last night, the number one production and shipment state of Texas is still well below their 2018 figures. For more granular detail on that state, see the report linked below.
- California, which has perhaps the highest demand for affordable housing is slightly down year over year as well.
- Indeed 8 out of the 10 top shipment states are below their meager 2018 shipment levels.
- Manufactured home professionals, investors, policy wonks, and other affordable housing advocates must keep in mind that as land-lease communities are steadily rising toward capacity, that in turn means that the opportunities to ship new housing units into those commercial properties is diminished. The counter-point to that claim is that there are some new properties being built plus there are older units that will need to be replaced. While both of those counterpoints are true, they miss the bigger picture that more land-lease communities are closing than opening. Furthermore, per the largest REITs data, the bulk of those manufactured homes going into land-lease are being used as rentals. The numbers of sales per property are embarrassingly low for large professional organizations.
Since MHI announced their joint initiative with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2018, which touted their so-called ‘new class of homes’ now dubbed “CrossMODTM homes,” that program has proven to be a failure. Reports are that only 10 such homes have been financed under that program in 2018 and 2019, per Government Sponsored Enterprises own data. Meanwhile, as they ‘promoted’ the ‘new class,’ mainstream manufactured home shipments declined. Coincidence?
- The need for more development of new communities to ease upward pressures on current and new residents, deployment of more competitive lending promised by law which is going unfulfilled, and the need to battle zoning issues by use of the “enhanced preemption” provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act are some key areas of challenges that also could be opportunities.
That opportunities exist is demonstrated by the thirst for larger companies to acquire smaller ones. But the purported throttling of good laws by industry insiders that if implemented might otherwise foster current and new ‘white hat’ operations means that consolidation continues. That it need not be so is demonstrated by firms like Nobility Homes or Legacy Housing.
There are decades of research that proves the quality of manufactured homes. There are third party studies that reflect homeowner satisfaction. There are interviews like the one below with public officials that debunk the mistaken notions.
So why has the Manufactured Housing Institute allowed those good news items to be drowned out by problematic news caused by their own members who don’t abide by their so-called code of ethical conduct?
Competing and Very Different Narratives – Which One Is More Accurate?
The state of the manufactured housing industry could be summed up in distinctive narratives.
- One is that of the Manufactured Housing Institute.
- One is that of resident-focused groups like MHAction, GSMOL, NMHOA, Prosperity Now, et al
- One is that of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)
- Another is that of MHLivingNews and MHProNews.
As the listening sessions starkly revealed on Monday, the narrative spun by MHI does not match up with the claims of residents, MHARR, or our publications.
MHI’s politically correct rhetoric masks a strategy that purportedly is fostering consolidation which harms residents, potential home owners by the millions, and smaller independent businesses that routinely take better care of their customers than several of MHI’s key members do, based upon mainstream and other news reports.
The industry’s so-called leaders in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis – along with their key allies and surrogates have arguably turned good laws into problematically deployed ones. See more in the related reports linked from the various text-image boxes above and also below the byline, offers and notices.
MHI? Will you hold your own members to your self-proclaimed code of ethical conduct?
Or is that code of conduct just more window dressing for those who don’t pay close attention?
That’s this hump-day morning installment of the #1 source for manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.
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