Shipments of modular homes totaled 5,800 in the third quarter of 2008, down 27.5 percent from the third quarter of 2007, according to the NMHC. Year-to-date shipments for 2008 totaled 17,100, down 29.6 percent from 2007.
Hallahan Associates currently tracks shipments of modular homes in 29 states for the NMHC. In the third quarter, shipments were up in Pennsylvania, flat in Iowa and down in 27 states, year-over-year. Third quarter shipments were down in Georgia, Tennessee, Maine, Nebraska, Maryland, Vermont, Florida, Missouri, Rhode Island, Ohio, Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Illinois, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, Indiana, West Virginia, Massachussetts, New Jersey, Texas, New York and Connecticut.
The declines in modular shipments in 2008 reflect, to a large extent, poor economic conditions and the poor conditions currently prevalent in many real estate markets across the U.S. Building permits are down 34.3 percent over the first nine months of the year and the month’s supply of unsold site-built homes is at 10.4 months, compared to 9.4 months one year ago. In addition, site-built home prices have plummeted: compared to September 2007, median prices of new and existing site built homes were down 6.7 and 9.0 percent, respectively, in September 2008. A recovery in modular home shipments becomes far more likely if site-built home prices stabilize, sales increase and the month’s supply of unsold homes decline.
NMHC and MHI members may access more detailed information on the latest modular housing statistics in the forthcoming Quarterly Modular Housing Report, which will be available online in the next two weeks.