World War III –flattening curve but more deaths!

Blog # 580 @ April 9, 2020; Copyright 2020; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ’mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

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INTRODUCTION: Two perspectives this week.

FIRST. Key statistical findings published in EducateMHC’s ‘ MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report for February 2020, & the 4/3/20 ‘MH Manufacturer & REIT $ Market Data’. This information available nowhere else in the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry, or land lease community real estate asset class! Take steps today to ensure receipt of March 2020 YTD ‘#s & $s’ combined report, when distributed during first week of May 2020. How? Subscribe to The Allen Confidential!-Premium Edition, via www.educatemhc.com

SECOND. Personal reflections inspired by self-quarantine and passages from Karl Marlantes’ What It Is Like to Go To War; recollecting what was experienced and learned 50 years ago in Vietnam combat, and how it relates to Word War III. For example, Marlantes’ pens, “In combat, inattention to detail can kill people.” P.6. Just as inaccurate ‘calls for fire (e.g. artillery & close air support)’ can result in friendly fire casualties; inaccurate COVID-19 infection/morbidity models can result in more infections and deaths!

I.

World War III –flattening curve but more deaths!

“Manufactured housing business update. Coronavirus’ (negative) effects on HUD-Code housing shipments were minimal at end of February 2020, but devastating to stock prices and market (cap) values of six public companies on 3 April 2020.” GFA

HUD-Code manufactured housing shipment volume, at end of February 2020 was minimally affected by the imminent coronavirus threat. How so? The 8,240 new HUD-Code homes shipped were UP 1,027 units over February 2019, but DOWN 493 units from the month before, January 2020.*1

The ‘production value’ of these 8,240 new HUD-Code homes is estimated to be $355,000,000., based on 2013 base year data. Year to date (i.e. January & February 2020) total production value is estimated to be a revised $732,000,000.*2 Time to update the 2013 base year data!

The coronavirus effect definitely affected stock prices and market capitalization values of seven MH public companies (i.e. four HUD-Code housing manufacturers & three land lease community real estate investment trusts or REITs) on 3 April 2020. Among six non-Buffett firms, the average drop in stock price ranged between 30 & 50 percent.*3

Berkshire-Hathaway, at $428B is, for now, the only large (big) cap firm among manufactured housing and land lease community ‘players’; REIT Sun Communities, Inc. dropped to $9.98B, and REIT ELS, Inc., to $ 9.32B. Cavco Industries is the only other MH & LLCommunity-related firm, at $1.07B, to remain in the billion dollar value category. Skyline Champion Corp. is now at $682M, REIT UMH Properties, Inc., at $404M, and Legacy Housing Corp. at 226M.*4

Do you understand the difference between ‘coronavirus disease 2019’ and ‘COVID-19’? Former is the healthcare label; the latter, its’ abbreviated form.

Effective 1 May 2020, EducateMHC’s MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report for (March 2020); and early May 2020, the ‘MHManufacturer & REIT $ Report becomes an integral part of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter – Premium edition (This format includes subscriber access to more than a dozen Resource Documents during the course of the year, beginning with the ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’) every January. Visit www.educatemhc.com for more information. Obviously this is, and will continue to be, your best source of MH & LLCommunity information and data anywhere in the U.S. and Canada! GFA

End Notes.

1. 8,240 new HUD-Code homes shipped, as reported by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety, MHARR, NAMHCO, and EducateMHC. Manufactured Housing Institute alone reported 8,209 new HUD-Code homes shipped during February 2020, or 31 fewer manufactured homes.
2. This production value, YTD, was erroneously reported, originally, as being $530 billion.
3. BRK-A or Berkshire Hathaway stock price was not included in this analysis. No reason.
4. Large (big) cap firms = $10+ billion in value. Market (cap) value is computed by multiplying current stock price times total number of outstanding stocks.

II.

Lessons from War

Karl Marlantes and I were Marine second lieutenants during early 1969, as we participated in Operation Dewey Canyon, an infantry assault into the infamous Ashau Valley in western South Vietnam, near the Laotian border. I was a ‘short timer’ by then, nearing the end of my 13 month tour of duty – in May; Karl had recently arrived in-country. He was a grunt (infantry) officer, I was a combat engineer officer, assigned as shore party company commander (Responsible for dozens of helicopter support teams, or HSTs, on mountain forward combat bases throughout I Corps). We never met, but his ‘historical novel’, Matterhorn, authored during the next 30 years, is graphic and accurate to a flaw – but for name changes (e.g. Matterhorn is fictional name for one of many fire support bases scattered throughout northern South Vietnam).

I’ve recommended reading Matterhorn to male friends, including my grandson – as an acid test of how determined he was, at the time, to become a U.S. Marine. He was determined. But it was what I read in Karl’s equally-engaging second book, What It Is Like to Go to War, that got me thinking about the present day personal, social, health, and business combat trauma Americans are going through in World War III – as President Trump says, against an ‘invisible enemy’.

This blog posting could not be more timely, distributed during the week of 5 April, and carrying over into the following week – predicted to be the two worst weeks – for deaths – due to the coronavirus disease, even as the infestation bell-shaped curve flattens!

Following paragraph sets the stage for what we’re going through at present in the U.S.

“War…blows away the illusion of safety from death. Some random projectile can kill you no matter how good a soldier you are. Escaping death and injury in modern warfare is much more a matter of luck – or grace – than skill, and this is a significant difference from primitive warfare. In a combat situation, you wake up from sleep instantly aware this could be the last time you awake, simultaneously grateful you’re alive and scared shitless, because you are still in the same situation. Most combat veterans keep this awareness – death is just around the corner. We know that when we drive the freeway to work, we could be dead within the next hour. It’s just that the odds have changed greatly in our favor from when we were in combat.” P.17

There are at least three perspectives at play today during World War III, a.k.a. the coronavirus effect. First responders and medical personnel on the battle scene day after day after day until the virus is no longer efficacious – and the enemy is defeated. For them, death could well be ‘just around the corner’.
The citizenry who’ve been told, repeatedly, to ‘shelter in place’, practice self-quarantine, stop giving the virus anywhere to go.

The citizenry, likewise warned, but for personal reasons, ignore warnings and advice, to place themselves – and often loved ones, at unnecessary risk.

And let’s not forget the business owners and employees suffering unemployment, and the very real possibility of business failure. The differences?

When ordered, as a Marine lieutenant, to undertake a particular combat mission, I gave the matter only enough thought (i.e. attention to detail) to plan for and lead my men into and back from harm’s way – knowing full well some, including me, would likely not return intact. And by comparison, that’s why we’re grateful to doctors, medical personnel, and first responders during WWIII.

When secure in a rear area, generally safe from immediate ground attack, we reveled in the relative security of our position. Interestingly, with the passage of time – usually less than a week – some younger troops relaxed their diligence and left themselves vulnerable – to sniper fire and rocket attacks, while their (older) officers – oft with families back home, encouraged caution. And frankly, some individuals seem to like putting themselves at risk. As Marlantes pens in his book, “When you are confronted with a seemingly painless moral choice, the odds are you haven’t looked deeply enough.”p.154 – into the consequences of one’s actions and inaction! Sure, it can be fun, even stimulating, to flirt with danger. Just be aware of the consequences, remembering the law enforcement bromide: “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!’ Or, ‘Afraid of dying? Stop trying!’

***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

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