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The MHImpossible Dream? 

December 5th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ever play, “what if?” Day dreamed about what it would be like if only…X… happened? Win the Lotto? Where 20 years younger (or never got older), better looking, the favorite to a bevy of rich uncles, and so on?  

Sure you have. Everyone does on something.  Let’s invest a few in an MH “what if…”


The year is 2017.  New MH Industry shipments just hit 423,652 new HUD Code Manufactured Homes by year’s end. New MHs sold by 12-rising-home-sales-shutterstock-masthead-blog-mhpronews-31-17 were 424,243. Modular production hit 178,016.  

3D printing of homes has started, but SAAR start levels were under 5,000, due in part to the resurgence of HUDs and MODs.  

Single family (SF) site built housing is at over 600,000, but even National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) experts project those numbers will slide down.  By mid-2019, an NAHB reports says SF site building is projected to be lower than MH for the first time in history.

The Multi-Family (MF) craze that heated up in the early teens has peaked and started its new construction decline. Industrialized international builders, such as China-based LandSea, which looked poised to knock out many domestic U.S. companies, we’re no longer seen that way in the USA, though they continued to grow in other lands.

Tell me More…

By 2017, many new HUDs were homes at or under 858 square feet. 16x60s, 14x56s and other MH-Unisectionals © (the new name for “single wides”) were a hot ticket. These Unisectional ©  homes often used concepts found in Ikea store displays or Tiny Houses, so they lived large at a low cost.

But even hotter were new MH multi-sectionals, including: HUDs placed over basements, ranch style, plus 1 and 2 stories, often with capes and panelized garages.  


> ADUs,

> most Tiny Houses,

> Park Models, 

had all been rolled into the HUD Code.  Some RV firms essentially entered the business of HUD Code production through Park manufactured-home-graphic-homeguides-sfgate=credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-comModels, while maintaining – in fact, growing – there traditional towable and motorized RV sales.

The NAHB’s  Building Systems Council, plus the Modular associations, MHARR and MHI were not united, but had arrived at a series of strategic arrangements. These arrangements made Chuck Shinn and others smile.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) was involved in roughly 42% of all new MH sales.

NAR members impact on MH volume was continuing to rise. These sales were done through virtual and other arrangements with independent as well as vertically integrated MH firms. More on those details soon…

Land lease communities were growing in numbers in the last 19 months, plus new sites were being developed in recent years. The NIMBY attitude towards new communities in many jurisdictions was now a fading memory…

…New MHCommunity designers entered the MHC space, creating a combination of environments that were designed for suburban markets, plus urban settings boasting high density communities that still yielded more privacy than MF. These new MHCs were a mix of Coops and private investor owned neighborhoods. Many of the investor owned were REITs, with residents being one of the sizable portion of share holders.

“Good neighbor” MHC polices were rising and dominating. Investors and ROCs were part of a wave of acquisitions of smaller MHCs, previously being largely overlooked, that started in the second quarter of 2015.

But how does this MH “Impossible Dream” happen?

Those are interesting “what ifs!” But how could it happen? Is it impossible? Should we not even think about it? How in this “dream” did we get from 2014s disappointing levels of under 70,000 shipments to 2017s imagined rocking and rolling era? Just quixotic hope? Intoxication? Psychedelic drugs?

In an era of

  • 1 trillion dollars a year in U.S. housing spending,

  • affordability at low ebb in many markets,

  • the desire for greener, more energy-saving homes,

  • lower incomes,

  • over 10,000 new retires daily,

  • is a receipe for just such an outcome, given the right plan and execution. Do you remember the heydays in the early 1970s?  When MH topped 500,000 new homes a year, and President Nixon mentioned mobile homes and communities in a positive way to Congress?

All good fiction begins with sound fact-based realities. So the the answer to how the MHImpossible Dream could happen is surprising, not just wishful thinking…in fact…practical…

(…Please tune into part two, planned for the midweek Masthead.  Until then, please see the new Featured Articles (FA) found on the home page, or our monthly Welcome message/new FA line up at this link here.) ##

(Top image credit: Shutterstock. Bottom, SFGate)

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

la-tony-kovachby L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com