COLLEGE STATION – Texas manufactured housing sales flattened in April, and the volume of new orders decreased for the first time this year. Despite the demand blip and soaring lumber prices, industry leaders say the outlook improved with early signs of a smoother supply chain this summer.
Latest results from the Texas Manufactured Housing Survey (TMHS) indicate supply-chain disruptions pulled the production index to its lowest level since July 2020, and lengthy wait times between ordering and receiving finished products may be forcing demand elsewhere. The monthly survey is conducted by the Texas Real Estate Research Center in cooperation with the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA).
“Every manufacturer I spoke with said that, were it not for materials shortages, they would be building more homes,” said Rob Ripperda, vice president of operations for TMHA.
“Home deliveries to retailers from out-of-state manufacturing plants kicked up to a higher level in March—when the latest data are available—so orders that might otherwise have been placed in Texas could be finding their way to neighboring states,” said Ripperda. “The TMHS, however, suggests Texas manufacturers should expect conditions to improve enough to increase production and lower backlogs over the next six months.”
Survey respondents noted an increased regulatory burden, which may be related to ongoing adjustments to building-code changes announced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier this year.
On the labor front, manufacturers reined in hiring after extensive expansions during the past two quarters.
The Texas Real Estate Research Center has a wealth of economic information online for free.