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Year-end sales reports indicate the slump continues for the nation’s manufactured housing industry, the suppliers for which are closely linked to the recreational vehicle business.
For all of 2002 , there were 168,491 homes shipped, 12.8% less than 2001, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). And 2001 was not a good year.
December shipments decreased 26.3% to 9,436 units, compared with December of 2001.
Manufactured housing executives site a number of reasons for the continuing problems their sector has encountered, from high unemployment to war jitters and the weather to the obvious flood of repossessions – as many as 30,000 – that have plagued the MH retail marketplace. “I don’t think the number (of repos) has been established,” Schult Homes Vice President Ken Keska told The Truth newspaper of Elkhart, Ind.
“For the most part the industry has bottomed out,” maintains Ken Geljack Sr., owner/partner of Fall Creek Housing, an Elkhart manufacturer. Industry numbers may dip this year, he predicted, but by 2004 “we’ll start building it back up.”