COLLEGE STATION – August was a successful month for Texas’ manufactured housing industry with substantial increases in production and sales, according to the latest Texas Manufactured Housing Survey.
Labor constraints 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-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 factories continue to see increased orders and are staffing up to get those run rates back to where they were.”
The backlog has translated to higher sale prices, but rising input costs counteracted the impact on profit margins. Lumber and steel account for the largest input share for manufactured housing. Price pressures are expected to ease in coming months as production catches up to demand.
There still exists a heightened level of uncertainty surrounding the industry as manufacturers juggle constant changes in public-health protocol and the regulatory environment. These concerns, however, did not curb respondents’ optimism regarding business activity and the overall outlook in the second half of 2020.
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.
The Real Estate Center has a wealth of economic information online for free.