New Manufactured Home Sales Boom in Difficult Times

How has the pandemic impacted the sales of manufactured housing so far?  The answer might surprise you.

As the novel coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the economy — manufactured home sales remain even stronger — with demand coming from retirees and second home buyers – but also at the lower end, as a viable solution to the continuing and escalating affordable housing crisis.

Manufactured housing professionals were concerned in the springtime that the pandemic might have a negative effect on manufactured home sales. It actually has had the opposite effect. In the early stages of the pandemic, March and April, the economic shutdown was seemingly devastating most all industries, including the manufactured housing affordable home industry. Surprisingly, almost immediately following the economy reopening, manufactured home sales began an unprecedented resurgence that continues today.

The pandemic has initiated a move out of metro areas as people are choosing to locate manufactured homes in more open spaces in suburban and rural areas. For many, the pandemic has shown people that they can actually work from home, and tranquility has become more important in their lives. Many of the new manufactured home buyers just want to avoid density and the more frenetic lifestyle of urban dwellers.

The great state of Texas has for decades been the nation’s leader for manufactured home sales, shipment and production of manufactured housing, and as such is the bellwether of the manufactured home sales resurgence across the country despite the raging coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report by the Real Estate Center/Texas A&M University, August was a successful month for Texas manufactured housing with substantial increases in production and sales, according to the latest Texas Manufactured Housing Survey, the manufactured housing outlook in Texas remains positive, despite pandemic.


Big Backlog Of Customer Orders Surpassing Supply

Labor restraints relaxed as the rate of contracted Covid-19 cases flattened after spiking in July. Supply disruptions, however, continued to contribute to increased backlogs, “through July, Texas Manufactured housing in-plant production was down 9 percent from pre-pandemic levels” said Rob Ripperda, Vice President of Operations for the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA), “but continue to see increased orders and are staffing up to get run rates back to where they were.”

In an interview with the Victoria (VA) Advocate newspaper in northeast Texas, Dylan Lanier, Palm Harbor Manufactured Homes general manager, said he was accustomed to his office phone ringing every minute before the pandemic. When shutdowns and economic activity halted almost immediately in March and April, his business calls dropped to one a day.

When the Texas economy began to reactivate in the Crosswoods, Texas area, Lanier said that started one of the busiest streaks he has seen in his career with Palm Harbor.

The demand has surpassed supply nationwide, creating what Lanier said,
“is our biggest backlog of customer orders we’ve ever had in the history of our company.”

Prior to pandemic related supply and labor disruptions, manufactured home purchasers would typically order their new manufactured home with delivery to home placement site within 6 to 8 weeks. Today, manufacturer shipments will range between 8 weeks up to 16 weeks or more. Supply pressures are expected to ease in the coming months as production catches up to demand. In the meantime manufactured home buyers have not been deterred by the anticipated wait times required to enjoy their new manufactured home.
For more information, suggest our previous post- click- Manufactured Home Retailers See Boom In Demand As people Adjust To Covid-19 “Staying At Home” Protocols.

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