“LET’S KEEP BUILDING!” declares one of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) messages about their recent Congress and Expo in New Orleans.
The upbeat sound of that message is arguably betrayed by the reality that for the 7th straight month, manufactured housing shipments are down.
But that embarrassing detail is not mentioned anywhere in the MHI release earlier today.
Here’s the meat of what MHI’s statement said, which will be followed by an analysis.
7,623 New HUD Code Homes Shipped in March
In March 2019, new manufactured home shipments decreased 13.5% to 7,623 homes as compared to the 8,813 homes shipped in March 2018. Total shipments for March 2019 were 382 homes more than the prior month of February. Compared with March 2018, shipments of single-section homes are down by 18.2% and multi-section homes are down by 9.2%. Total floors shipped in March 2019 decreased 12.1% to 11,859 compared to March 2018.
Of the 7,623 homes shipped in March, there were no homes designated as FEMA units shipped which is generally flat against the five FEMA units shipped in March 2018.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 90,459 in March, down 1.9% from the adjusted rate of 92,195 in February. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.
In March, 134 plants representing 34 corporations reported production data which is the same number of active plants and corporations as in February 2019.
The video below is from about prominent MHI member, Nathan Smith and SSK Communities. It is not related to their economic report, other than as food for thought as to some of the public perception reasons why the industry is struggling. A clip from this video was part of John Oliver’s viral hit video.
Compare and contrast what MHI said this week vs. what MHARR did days earlier.
HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
Washington, D.C., May 6, 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 declined once again in March 2019.
While it may not be Jenny Hodges’ job at MHI to explain what the Arlington based trade group’s plan are to address the 7-month downturn, whose job there is it? We’ve asked several times, and MHI isn’t saying.
One MHI member-producer floated the notion of FEMA shipment related being a factor, but the MHI statement above belies that notion for this cycle.
When purported MHI surrogate George F. Allen asked Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, still MHI’s chairman, about the shipment drop Stegmayer said:
Believe inventories of retailers climbed rather suddenly to above comfort levels. Now being adjusted.
Our view is consistent with Clayton’s that consumer traffic is solid. would add that it appears that credit availability has improved somewhat.
Another plus: The inventory of all existing homes for sale is near historically low levels.
Absent national economic calamities we are optimistic.”
Bear in mind that Stegmayer is an ex-Clayton Homes division president. He also happens to be under a cloud of last November’s SEC subpoena, at a firm that faces several legal woes. Stegmayer’s comment was referencing this from Kevin Clayton.
“Retail inventory correction
Look at RV industry….it is even more severe for them.
Good news is retail activity remains healthy to work through it. That’s just one opinion \ view.
This from a company president reportedly under several federal investigations. It is also from the president who’s conglomerate’s chairman, Warren Buffett is reportedly funding the industry’s opposition, see the reports linked here and here.
While others have noted that there were more orders last year to counter long factory backlogs, that fails to address the point that demand at some point slumped, or the backlog would have continued.
Furthermore, industry pros and investors should bear in mind that the RV industry is not in the affordable housing market. It is an interesting item to look at, MHProNews uses it as a reference too. But we do so to reflect the point that RVs are outselling MHs by some 5 to 1, when in 1998, MHs outsold RVs by 3 to 2.
Not a peep about that from Clayton, Stegmayer or other senior MHI leaders in public. Apparently, it doesn’t fit their ‘party line’ or ‘narrative.’
The issue of a downturn during an affordable housing crisis is serious, as the related reports below reflect. See two special reports tomorrow morning that spotlight various aspects of this #NettlesomeThings issue.
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MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
Washington, D.C., April 30, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in an April 24, 2019 communication to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, Ben Carson (copy attached), has called on the Department to federally preempt local zoning ordinances which discriminatorily exclude manufactured homes regulated by HUD pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 and the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.
The last decade-plus has not been especially kind to the manufactured housing industry and consumers of affordable housing. The 21 stCentury began with a great deal of promise for the industry and consumers alike.