Archive for July 14th, 2013

More MHStatistics & Four Tough Questions…

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Blog # 253 Copyright 2013 14 July 2013

Perspective. ‘Land lease lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities,
& earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

Purpose of this blog. ‘To be a national Advocacy voice, statistical Research reporter, & communications Resource for LLLCommunities, of all sizes, throughout North America’

I.

More Manufactured Housing Shipment Statistics

II.

Picking & Choosing Among the Dozen Meetings This Fall

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I.

More Manufactured Housing Shipment Statistics

Were you as surprised as I was, to learn last week – from the article preview of ‘Contemporary Archetype of Truly Affordable Housing in the United States!’, that 68 percent of all 2012 manufactured housing purchases were retail priced at less than $40,000.00 apiece? *1 We should be asking ourselves ‘Why the drop in price?’ and then take steps to ‘sell even more new houses to prospective homebuyers’! But are we doing so? Not that I hear. There’s still a penchant afoot, throughout the HUD – Code manufactured housing industry, for a revival of the ‘Big Box = Big Bucks!’ days of yore.

And how ‘bout the fact that, for two years in a row, 2011 & 2012, the volume of new singlesection and multisection homes reached a near equilibrium – at 25,289 for the former and 26,317 for the latter, combining for a total of (a still nadir) 51,606 new HUD – Code manufactured homes shipped during 2011. *2 To me, this product mix factoid simply confirms ‘the return to affordability’ hinted at in the first paragraph. Lest we forget, there’s an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites among the 50,000+/- land lease lifestyle communities throughout the U.S. Let’s fill those sites with more and more Community Series Homes or CSH Models, with their durability – enhancing features!

Well, here’s an equally interesting ‘third (statistical) piece’ to the aforementioned unfolding of this affordable housing puzzle. The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, or MHARR, in a Press Release dated 3 July 2013, listed the ‘top ten shipment states, from the beginning of the industry production rebound (Now there’s a bit of an overstatement) from August 2011, through May 2013…’ as follows:

Texas 19,143 new HUD – Code homes shipped
Louisiana 7,788 homes
Florida 4,861 homes
Alabama 4,411 homes
North Carolina 4,357 homes
Kentucky 3,887 homes
Mississippi 3,812 homes
Oklahoma 3,185 homes
North Dakota 3,165 homes
Tennessee 3,117 homes

OK, what common denominator jumps off the page at you, when looking through that list, besides the fact that Texas shipments are more than double the next state in line, and in fact eclipse the total shipments of Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama combined! The next most significant ‘leading indicator’ is that these are mostly Southern states, with the exception of ‘oil fracking state’ North Dakota. *3 And so, what does this third hint say to you? Here’s what it means to me….

Affordable housing is on the rebound despite what many HUD – Code home manufacturers would like the rest of us to believe – based on the type and size homes they routinely continue to display at regional manufactured housing show. Yep. We can clearly see how nearly as many singlesection homes (i.e. smaller and less expensive) are being shipped today as multisection ones (i.e. reminiscent of the Big Box = Big Bucks! Days, circa 1998), that our new home Price Points are lower than they were 15 years ago, and that most HUD – Code manufactured housing shipments are being effected in the South, where labor is generally less expensive.

But Stop! Right here, in the midst of documenting the HUD – Code manufactured housing industry’s return to ‘affordability’ roots, we hear ‘more than rumors’ of 10 percent wholesale price increases, among some manufacturers, for new manufactured homes! And this at a time when inflation is less than half that percentage increase. Why the increase? Given the accuracy of said 10 percent home price increase, is it that, as an industry, we’ve grown accustomed (To pen ‘comfortable’ here would be a misleading overstatement) to operating at the 50,000+/- homes annual shipment level – for the fifth year in a row; and so, opt for a little ‘profit taking’ now, rather than grow shipment levels back to a general level of profitability and prosperity?

Know what? ‘Right here’ is where this industry needs ‘more than one good investigative journalist’! How so? Until this happens – which, frankly it won’t – during these dire economic times for the MHIndustry, these questions will go unanswered:

• Why does the MHIndustry eschew national brand promotion in lieu of stealth deal – making at the local housing market level?

• Why do HUD – Code housing manufacturers continue to perplex their independent (street) MHRetailer & land lease lifestyle community customers, by routinely ‘mixing & remixing’ building product quality, features, and pricing?

• When will someone finally and definitively ‘make the case’ for HUD – Code manufactured housing, and its’ sister business model, the land lease lifestyle community, as being this nation’s perennial affordable housing type and lifestyle?

Frankly, there’s nothing really all that new in the preceding paragraphs. It’s all part of the marketing and production cycle this industry has experienced, time and again, since the late 1940s. It’s just that right now – and for the past four plus years, we’ve been functioning at historic low home shipment levels, for a variety of reasons, and appear to have lost our will and ability to climb out of this collective malaise, to regain at least a 25 percent national market share of housing starts!

End Notes.

1. Foremost Insurance Group’s 2012 Mobile Home Market Facts report. Foremost report available FREE, by contacting Joe Kaffenberger via (616) 956-2514. Article will be lead feature in the August 2013 edition of the Allen Letter professional journal, available by phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

2. ‘White Paper: Issues & Opportunities Facing the Illinois Manufactured Housing Industry’, by Dr. Theodore C. Alex, under contract to the IMHA, Springfield, IL.

3. To request to be put on MHARR’s Press Release distribution list, contact Mark Weiss via (202) 783-4087.

II.

Picking & Choosing Among the Dozen Meetings This Fall

And the list just keeps getting longer! Realizing few of us can afford the time and money to attend all the manufactured housing and LLLCommunity – focused meetings scheduled for this Fall, thought I’d share insights as to what’s going to be happening among some of the more important (Shouldn’t miss!) venues…

5 August. RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet in Elkhart, IN. This is the only RV/MH annual event that equates with the Academy Awards Ceremony. There’ll be hundreds of RV and MH executives, pioneers, celebrities, and ten Hall of Fame inductees present that evening, to hear Richard Jennison, president of MHI, give the keynote address. To register, phone (574) 293-2344. I certainly plan to attend. *** Want to do breakfast together next morning? If so, call me beforehand at (317) 346-7156.

18 – 20 September. 22nd annual International Networking Roundtable in Bloomingdale, IL. This year’s theme: ‘Celebrating 20 Years of Camaraderie!’ will be highlighted by honoring 13 of 19 LLLCommunity owners, still active in the MHBusiness, who started our national Advocacy effort on 8/31/1993; the release of a new book: ‘The First 20 Years!’ by Bruce Savage; and implementation of a new industry tradition: Offering of the Formal Toast to LLLCommunity Owners, in the form of a poem honoring the memory of the late Bud Zeman, a Chicago – based portfolio owner/operator. For agenda & to register, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. And, by the way, new sets of plastic wallet cards, describing three applications of the ‘5 – RPs of Marketing & Selling New Manufactured Homes & Leasing Rental Homesites, will be given to all registrants! *** Carolyn & I look forward to seeing many of you again this year!

29 September – 1 October. Manufactured Housing Institute’s annual meeting, in San Diego, CA. This meeting might mark the beginning of a New Era for land lease lifestyle communities of all sizes. To register, phone (703) 558-0666. *** Carolyn and I plan to attend. Anyone up for a networking party by the pool? Call (317) 346-7156.

8 – 10 October. Third annual SECO Symposium, in Forsyth, GA. Here there’ll be new homes on display, with an emphasis on creative financing for new home sales transactions. Know what? The LLLCommunity owners who’re planning and hosting this event have recently made major headway in securing alternative financing for new and resale home transaction on – site. If you’re selling and self – financing home sales transactions on – site, you cannot afford to miss this stellar event. For more information, contact Spencer Roane, MHM® via (678) 428-0212. *** At present I have a schedule conflict, but am trying to be present to hear, learn and write about their success!

10 & 11 October. MHCommunities of Arizona is planning two days of intensive HOW TO seminars for its’ members. I’ll be a keynote speaker, delivering presentations on ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class’, as well as a variation of the ‘5 – RPs of Marketing’ talk featured at the aforementioned 22nd Networking Roundtable. Hint. The handout material here will be the best of any distributed during all of 2013! To register, phone Susan Brenton via (480) 345-4202. *** As AZ owners/operators know, I almost always host a private networking dinner while I’m in town. While nothing is planned just yet, if YOU are interested in doing so, let me know via (317) 346-7156.

15 – 17 October. WMA’s annual Convention & Expo, in Reno, NV. I can’t make this one, but wish I could. If you’re interested, phone Sheila Dey @ (916) 448-7002, and tell her ‘George told me to call!’

16 – 18 October. National Communities Council Leadership Forum, in downtown Chicago, IL. As one of the NCC’s founding board members, and present day board member, *** I certainly plan to attend. To register, phone Jenny Hodge via (703) 558-0666

5 & 6 November. London Computer’s annual Rent Manager® conference, on Marco Island, FL. While a ‘closed’ meeting, for the firm’s existing clients, there’ll be a couple hundred customers present. *** The focus of my presentation, this year, will be on Housing Price Point Methodology. For further information, contact your local Rent Manager representative.

5 – 8 November. Urban Land Institute’s Fall Meeting, in Chicago, IL. Green Courte Partners’ founder Randy Rowe is co – chairman of this year’s event. There’ll also likely be a Manufactured Housing Communities Council meeting at this Fall event. *** If I can get Press Credentials, I might attend the ULI & MHCC meetings.

And now what? These aren’t all the meetings scheduled between now and year end, just the ones I have generally complete details for at this time. If you’re planning a meeting, and would like to have it included in a future update at this blog posting, or in the Allen Letter professional journal, let me know by phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156