COLLEGE STATION – Consumer demand for Texas manufactured housing rose in July, but COVID-19-related disruptions hindered the industry’s ability to meet orders and created a backlog.
“As coronavirus cases rose through the first half of July, the state’s manufactured housing plants had to operate with a reduced workforce,” said Rob Ripperda, vice president of operations at the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA). “Employees with fevers or symptoms had to remain home and out of the factory until they cleared the return-to-work guidelines. These guidelines are set at the corporate level, and follow the recommendations posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
In addition to labor-supply constraints, the price of raw materials elevated. Lumber and steel account for the largest input share for manufactured housing. Rising material costs, however, were offset by higher sale prices.
The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the TMHA have partnered to produce a monthly survey of business conditions and expectations surrounding the manufactured housing industry.
Overall, the manufacturers noted favorable levels of business activity and remained optimistic for the second half of 2020. Production is projected to increase in sync with sale prices, despite rising uncertainty and ongoing supply-chain disruptions.
The Real Estate Center has a wealth of economic information online for free.