The modular housing industry is losing market share during these difficult economic times. One reason for the decline in modular home sales is prices in some cases have gone up because of the overhead at many modular home factories. Many modular home manufacturers have increased their prices across the board in order to stay in business.
Another reason for the decline in sales is large inventories of new homes on the market. It’s a buyer’s market right now and with so many stick-built homes to choose from home buyer’s are purchasing new stick-built home at huge discounts, making it difficult for the modular housing industry to compete. Modular home expert Randall Eaton and best-selling author says, “Until new home inventories drop the modular industry will have a difficult time competing. Overall new home prices have dropped 20% to 30% across the nation with attractive financing options and first-time buyer incentives”.
“Modular housing does have some benefits with quicker build times and more energy efficient homes compared to traditional housing. But, with rising costs and huge inventories I don’t see the modular industry gaining market share for some time”, according to Mr. Eaton.
On the positive side many modular home manufacturers use computerized systems and equipment. This permits efficient purchasing, and very precise, cost-saving manufacturing processes. There is very little waste when building a modular home in this fashion. This saves homebuyers money. With, “GREEN BUILDING” being so popular these days the industry will recover as demand for this type of construction increases.
Another advantage is the building materials – wood and sheetrock are never exposed to inclement weather. This avoids damaging shrinkage and eventual mold issues. So, the materials used are in pristine condition when delivered on site.
Modular homes are overbuilt because they need to withstand being transported from the factory to the building site. So, rather than using standard 2" x 4" studs, system-built homes usually use 2" x 6" studs. All joints are reinforced, stronger materials are used, and even more heavy-duty doors are incorporated. Overall, the quality is generally superior to traditionally stick-built homes.
Of course, there are still many procedures that still need to be done on site, such as building the foundation, hooking up utilities, finishing touches, and landscaping. But, overall, modular homes are an incredible way to build a high-quality home that is a great value and will appreciate over time.
Bottom line, modular homes are generally stronger, better built with quicker build times than traditionally homes. The industry will recover and many experts are predicting the second quarter of 2010 will see modular home sales increase as new home inventories decrease.
While the modular housing industry is struggling right now, many plants are taking this opportunity to improve their overall operation and cut costs where appropriate. As the housing industry in general improves so will the modular industry and hopefully it will be a stronger force, appealing to new home buyers with innovative designs, styles and more competitive pricing.