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    Category: Manufactured Homes

    Here’s Why Equity LifeStyle Properties Is A Long-Term Dividend Beauty – Seeking Alpha - April 3, 2020 by admin

    In this article, I am going to discuss one of my favorite REITs. And when I say favorite, I don't just mean another REIT that pays a good yield but a company with tremendous long-term potential that finally can be bought at a discount. Equity LifeStyle Properties (NYSE:ELS) is one of the biggest residential REITs in the United States with a focus on manufactured housing and recreational vehicle communities. The company is operating in a stable and predictable environment and is massively outperforming its peers with regard to dividend hikes and stock price performance during bull and bear markets and is offering investors a strong business model with satisfying debt levels.

    Source: Equity LifeStyle Properties

    I have been a contributor to this website since 2015. And I have to say that the current crisis is by far the worst (unsurprisingly). Especially REITs are getting hit hard as companies are unable to pay rents while retail foot traffic is pretty much nonexistent. While I have been at home for more than four weeks, I have thought long and hard about the best places to invest in the long-term. Sure, real estate, in general, is always a good place to be. However, with some big guys like the Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) dropping to 2010 levels, I think it would be a waste of everyone's time and money to just start buying high-yielding REITs. That's why I am starting my 'own' bucket of REITs that I hope will easily outperform the iShares US Real Estate (NYSEARCA:IYR). Therefore, in this article, I am going to show you why I believe that ELS is a great addition to that bucket.

    Before I start telling you anything about ELS, let me remind you that my other two high-conviction REITs are Extra Space Storage (NYSE:EXR) and Sun Communities (NYSE:SUI).

    Just like Sun Communities, ELS is a residential REIT focused on manufactured housing (MH) and recreational vehicles (RV). The company has a market cap of currently $9.7 billion and is not a member of the S&P 500. This Chicago, IL-based REIT has been in business for more than 50 years and owns 413 properties across 33 states and British Columbia containing more than 150,000 sites. As you can see below, the company's assets are mainly located at the West and East Coast. To give you a number, more than 120 out of 413 properties are within 10 miles of coastal United States. More than 90 properties have lake, river, or ocean frontage.

    Source: Equity LifeStyle Properties Investor Presentation (February 2020)

    One reason why I like manufactured housing, in general, is because it is a good alternative for many people who are looking for affordable housing. Especially the increase in manufactured housing quality has allowed this segment to become a feared competitor for 'traditional' housing. On top of that, there is a second reason why I like this segment, and that's the threat of the coronavirus. Most major cities have 'stay at home' orders in place, and consumers are often reluctant to leave their homes. While this is bad news for the entire economy as it hits almost everyone, it hits retail REITs the hardest as stores are facing tenants who are either unwilling or unable to pay rents. While the same applies to some residential tenants as well, one has to acknowledge that refusing to pay rent is one of the last things someone does. Way after all discretionary expenses have been cut. In addition to that, the $1,200 coronavirus stimulus payments will be used to buy food and pay rents, making this segment even safer as massive domestic tenant eviction would be a worst-case scenario.

    With that said, ELS has more benefits as it focuses on an older demographic. The average age of MH residents is 59. For RV communities, the average age is a bit lower at 55. Between 2020 and 2035, the population of people age 55 and older is expected to grow by 18% with 10,000 people turning 65 every day until 2030 according to ELS. So far, a favorable demographic and strategic site locations have benefited ELS's occupancy rate. As of 1/31/20, the company has a 95.1% occupancy rate among manufactured home communities.

    As a result, the company is offering significantly higher same-store net operating income growth than its peers and the industry average, as you can see below. Even the prior two recessions were unable to hurt ELS's business.

    Source: Equity LifeStyle Properties Investor Presentation (February 2020)

    The graph below shows the long-term trend of total sales and operating income. Both have a compounded annual growth rate of 8.0% since 2004 without pullbacks during the Great Financial Crisis. On a side note, this does not mean that a company is immune to recessions. ELS's stock price is currently down more than 20% year-to-date as it is a risk asset and subject to selling in times when liquidity is needed. Investors also adjust their growth expectations - hence, a lower P/E ratio and stock price. The 'fact' that the company continues to grow in a recession makes it a tremendous buy during tough times as comebacks are often rapid and profitable for (new) investors.


    As a result of the company's rapid expansion, the company has raised its dividend every single year - even during the recession of 2008. Mathematically speaking, dividend payments per share have risen by 35% per year since 2004. However, as dividend payments were almost zero in 2004, one needs to take this growth rate with a grain of salt. Since 2012, when the US housing market started to accelerate, the company has increased its dividend by 13.7% per year on average. It's much lower than 35%, but still a good growth rate.


    Of course, this is only possible because of a healthy cash flow.

    Just like its peer Sun Communities, ELS is rapidly expanding its business. In 2019, the total money spent on the acquisition of real estate assets was $443 million. This is up from $415 million in 2018 and one of the highest numbers in history as only 2011, with acquisition volumes of $713 million, is able to come in higher. In both 2019 and 2018, the company managed to fund 100% of acquisitions with cash from operations (100% coverage). Regardless, management has issued new stock worth more than $60 million every single year since 2016. This has allowed the company to remain financially flexible as total debt has failed to outperform total assets, while free cash flow has managed to stay fairly close to zero in every single year. Currently, total liabilities are valued at 69% of total assets. This is one of the lowest levels in company history.


    Unfortunately, so far, the focus has not been on dividends. The current payout rate is 51.7%. The trend is increasing, but cash is currently used to fund the company's acquisitions. Note that the trend below is down instead of up. This is only because the total dividend paid is a negative value on the cash flow statement. Hence, a falling trend is an improvement in terms of cash spent on dividends.

    Data by YCharts

    Adding to that, the company's dividend yield is currently at 2.4%. This is 110 basis points below the iShares US Real Estate ETF yield of 3.5% and one of the highest levels in years.

    Data by YCharts

    From a personal point of view, it does not bother me that the company is issuing shares and is paying a below-average yield. Money is well spent on the company expansion, and even a slight reduction in investments will make room to rapidly increase dividend payments. Besides that, dividend growth of roughly 10% on a long-term basis with average free cash flow growth of 15% will still reward investors who are just now buying a below-average yield. Moreover, the current valuation of 21.8x cash from operations is not cheap. However, I believe this is justified as the company's business model is simply better than a lot of its REIT peers right now, and with bond yields near-record levels, it makes sense to pay a slight premium for 2.4% yield and long-term growth potential.

    What I mean when I say paying for premium can be seen below. Portfolio 1, in this case, displays the performance of ELS. Both assets show the total return including dividends since 2001.

    Source: Portfolio Visualizer

    While the graph above leaves no room for doubt with regard to which stock is superior. However, the stats as seen below shows the true power of ELS.

    The company has a historical CAGR roughly twice as high as IYR and a lower standard deviation. Adding to that, the worst year outperformed the ETF by more than 20 percentage points, while the best year was more than 10 full points stronger. Adding to that, the correlation to the US stock market is lower.

    Source: Portfolio Visualizer

    Of course, this is BACK testing. Unfortunately, forward testing does not exist yet. However, I still believe that the company's business model and the current economic situation warrants a long-term entry as I am convinced that ELS will outperform the US Real Estate ETF and deliver long-term capital gains on top of rapidly rising dividend payments.

    With all of this being said, make sure to start buying a small position if you are not invested yet. Market volatility is high, and the market could technically drop another 10% to 15% if the virus accelerates further. Regardless, I believe current prices are a good entry point for investors with a long-term horizon who prefer dividend growth over a high dividend yield right now.

    Be safe, and thank you for reading!

    Thank you very much for reading my article. Feel free to click on the "Like" button and don't forget to share your opinion in the comment section down below! My long-term investments are stated in my Seeking Alpha biography.

    Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in ELS over the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

    Additional disclosure: This article serves the sole purpose of adding value to the research process. Always take care of your own risk management and asset allocation.

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    Here's Why Equity LifeStyle Properties Is A Long-Term Dividend Beauty - Seeking Alpha

    American Integrity Insurance Becomes the Only Florida Domestic Carrier to Issue a Catastrophe Bond in Preparation for the 2020 Hurricane Season -… - March 27, 2020 by admin

    Every June 1st, Florida home insurance companies ask their policyholders if theyre prepared for hurricane season. This year, American Integrity Insurance Company (AIIC) became the only Florida domiciled insurance company to issue a catastrophe bond, Integrity Re II Pte. Ltd., as part of its overall financial portfolio.

    "Despite current market volatility, investors recognized AIICs status as the most consistent cat bond sponsor among Florida insurers since 2017 with the successful closing of its Integrity Re II Pte. Ltd. Series 2020-1 Notes, completed in March 2020, which was the third 144A cat bond to utilize a Singapore-domiciled special purpose reinsurance vehicle," said Cory Anger, Managing Director, GC Securities. "GC Securities has been honored to support AIIC since 2017 in expanding its capital resiliency from the effects of natural perils that can affect its policies through the efficient and flexible usage of catastrophe bonds in concert with its traditional reinsurance program."

    The current issuance is a great indicator of the Companys readiness for storm season and further protects its financial strength in the wake of catastrophic events, such as a hurricane. The fact that American Integrity is the only domestic carrier to issue a bond in 2020 speaks to the Companys solid financial footing despite Floridas dynamic and challenging property insurance market.

    "The successful completion of American Integritys catastrophe bond transaction demonstrates our ongoing commitment to claims-paying capacity, surplus protection, and development a comprehensive risk management strategy to protect our company and policyholders against unforeseen events," says Ryan Hodges, American Integritys Vice President of Risk Management.

    American Integritys $150 million catastrophe bond, with Hannover Rck SE acting as the ceding reinsurer, provides the Tampa-based insurance company and its policyholders with a multi-year source of financial protection against named storms that cause major damage in the state of Florida.

    A catastrophe bond acts as another layer of reinsurance. Reinsurance, in essence, is insurance for insurance companies. In 2004, Florida was hit by four hurricanes in one season. It is imperative that insurance companies have enough coverage to handle multiple events to be able to pay claims, and continue to run and grow their business. American Integritys reinsurance program has consistently earned it an "A" Exceptional Financial Stability Rating from Demotech, Inc. As a liquid financial instrument, the new catastrophe bond adds to American Integritys already robust reinsurance program and will quickly and easily convert into cash for rapid claims-paying after a catastrophic storm.

    American Integritys catastrophe bond becomes effective on June 1, the beginning of the 2020 hurricane season. "Entering the catastrophe bond market offers added stability for our Company, our policyholders and their homes," says American Integrity President and CEO, Bob Ritchie. "A hurricane is the ultimate test of our ability to fulfill our financial commitment to quickly pay claims to impacted customers, while continuing to conduct and grow our business. Our catastrophe bond provides us with an extra source of financial backing to do just that."

    For more information, please visit the Company's website at, or call 866-968-8390.

    About American Integrity Insurance Group (American Integrity)

    American Integrity Insurance, the fifth largest Florida domiciled residential property insurer, has in excess of 300,000 customers and is represented by more than 1,000 independent agents. The Tampa-based company offers sound and comprehensive property insurance solutions, including traditional home insurance and coverage for vacant homes, condominiums, manufactured homes, dwelling fire, umbrella, golf cart, X-Wind policies, cyber coverage, and small boat coverage.

    For more information, please visit the company's website at, call 866-968-8390, or connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

    View source version on


    Toni Logan 813-512-6672

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    American Integrity Insurance Becomes the Only Florida Domestic Carrier to Issue a Catastrophe Bond in Preparation for the 2020 Hurricane Season -...

    ‘Just Leave Everybody’s Water on Until This Is Over. Please!’ – Phoenix New Times - March 27, 2020 by admin

    The second week of March, Phoenix announced that as part of its response to the new coronavirus crisis, it would not cut off water to people's homes, even if they couldn't pay their bills.

    For the homes whose water service had already been cut off for delinquency, the city would restore "low-flow" water service, it promised, starting March 12.

    But the Water Services Department, which has more than 1.5millioncustomers, so far has not been applying that edict equally across all homes, because it hasn't had the right parts, known as restrictor plates, to fit certain sizes of water meters, according to an employee of the Water Services Department.

    Houses with water meters that are three-quarters or five-eighths of an inch in diameter have had their water curtailed with the installation of a small, fibrous disk punched with a hole the size of a pinhead, that employee said, but to date, those with one-inch meters have not.

    A restrictor plate, next to a nickel.

    New Times source

    Families who get the low flow barely have enough water to shower, he said.

    The employee, who requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation, contacted Phoenix New Times because "there is no civil, moral, ethical reason for this practice to be implemented at this time."

    He added,At a time when being sanitary is such a need, were going to restrict their water flow?

    Other major utilities, including Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, and Tucson Electric Power, have halted all shutoffs for nonpayment for as long as the COVID-19 crisis lasts.

    Another person, who has close knowledge of the restrictions and requested anonymity for fear of retaliation, confirmed both of the worker's claims.

    For people in homes with smaller water meters, "you're getting a trickle of water from the city," that person said, but for the people in homes with larger water meters, the flow has stayed the same.

    "How is that fair?" the person asked. "Just leave everybody on until this is over. Please!"

    Both sources said that the city should not be curtailing people's water during an unprecedented health crisis, when both hygiene and compassion are more important than ever.

    The Water Services Department disputed that it discriminates as it restricts the flow of water to people's homes. It also says it has enough parts to restrict water meters of all sizes.

    "Your information is incorrect. We do have 1-inch low-flow devices," spokesperson Stephanie Bracken told New Times.

    After being shown an email, obtained by New Times, from a Water Services Department supervisor from March 17 that explicitly said,"1[-inch] and greater restrictor plates are not available," Bracken said that on that day, the city did not have those specific restrictor plates.

    She also said that when the pandemic first hit, the city's priority was to restore service to customers who had been cut off, and that "we did not at that time have enough low-flow devices on hand for all customers that were delinquent."

    But in the weeks since, she said, "We have been able to regroup and get the plates in stock," adding that those larger plates had come in "recently" and were "manufactured in-house by staff."

    However, the Water Services Department employee said Thursday that those plates were still not available, although he knew the city was "working on them"; Bracken said that the parts might not yet have reached all workers.

    According to the department employee and the person with close knowledge of the matter,since the city announced its new policy, ithas returned water service (albeit a restricted flow) to 900 homes whose water had been cut for unpaid bills.

    Bracken said that the city is still installing restrictor plates on delinquent accounts and "expect[s] to be caught up in about two weeks."

    She disputed the claim that the restricted water supply, which she said flows at a rate of nearly a half-gallon per minute, isn't enough for people to live on.

    Water flowing out of a faucet at a half-gallon per minute.

    Elizabeth Whitman

    "The amount of water customers receive on low-flow service is more than adequate for cooking, cleaning, and sanitation," she said. "Although low-flow water service for residential customers requires adjustment, revenue collection is necessary to avoid an even greater community disaster in which there is not enough money to continue to operate and maintain the public drinking water system."

    She added, "Our focus is on helping customers that are in difficult financial circumstances by offering payment arrangements ... and by continuing to provide water service in lieu of disconnections through our low-flow program."

    The department employee said that the actual rate of water flow can vary, depending on water pressure and other factors. He estimated the flow to be about half of what Bracken said about a quart per minute and said that if the tiny hole in the disk gets clogged, it becomes even slower or might stop entirely.

    He also said the city's policy puts workers in a difficult position, forcing them to go to people's homes and telling families their water will be severely curtailed during a time of incredible anxiety. Employees don't want to do it, he said.

    "Theres been people crying," he said. "Some people are pretty desperate right now."

    Elizabeth Whitman is a staff writer for Phoenix New Times.

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    'Just Leave Everybody's Water on Until This Is Over. Please!' - Phoenix New Times

    LCI Industries (NYSE:LCII) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research – Redmond Register - March 27, 2020 by admin

    LCI Industries (NYSE:LCII) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, reports.

    According to Zacks, LCI Industries is a supplier of components to the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industries as well as adjacent industries including bus, cargo and equestrian trailer, marine and heavy truck. The companys product portfolio includes awnings, suspension enhancement, chassis, doors and laminates, electronics, interior, software and apps, windows and glass, thermoformed bath and kitchen products. LCI Industries, formerly known as formerly Drew Industries Incorporated, is based in Elkhart, Indiana.

    A number of other analysts have also issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of LCI Industries from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 18th. Robert W. Baird decreased their target price on shares of LCI Industries from $100.00 to $76.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research report on Monday. CL King upgraded shares of LCI Industries from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $105.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, March 12th. Finally, Sidoti upgraded shares of LCI Industries from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $102.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, March 17th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the companys stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $101.00.

    LCI Industries (NYSE:LCII) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, February 11th. The company reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.08. LCI Industries had a net margin of 6.18% and a return on equity of 19.20%. The firm had revenue of $564.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $554.35 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.82 earnings per share. LCI Industriess revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that LCI Industries will post 7.05 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

    In related news, Director David A. Reed sold 10,000 shares of the firms stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.04, for a total transaction of $1,100,400.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 3.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

    Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LCII. Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of LCI Industries in the 3rd quarter valued at $381,000. Stifel Financial Corp boosted its holdings in shares of LCI Industries by 11.5% in the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 8,631 shares of the companys stock valued at $788,000 after purchasing an additional 890 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System boosted its holdings in shares of LCI Industries by 1.2% in the 3rd quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 38,028 shares of the companys stock valued at $3,493,000 after purchasing an additional 454 shares during the last quarter. Barclays PLC boosted its holdings in shares of LCI Industries by 12.8% in the 3rd quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 44,505 shares of the companys stock valued at $4,088,000 after purchasing an additional 5,034 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Voloridge Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of LCI Industries in the 3rd quarter valued at $432,000. Institutional investors own 96.88% of the companys stock.

    About LCI Industries

    LCI Industries, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and supplies components for the manufacturers of recreational vehicles (RVs) and adjacent industries in the United States and internationally. It operates in two segments, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and Aftermarket. The OEM segment manufactures or distributes various components for the OEMs of RVs and adjacent industries, including buses; trailers used to haul boats, livestock, equipment, and other cargo; travel trailers, fifth-wheel travel trailers, folding camping trailers, and truck campers; trucks; pontoon boats; trains; manufactured homes; and modular housing.

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    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on LCI Industries (LCII)

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    LCI Industries (NYSE:LCII) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research - Redmond Register

    Green Street: ‘We Are In A Recession Right Now’ – Bisnow - March 19, 2020 by admin

    With the economy in flux and stock pricesdown across the board, the U.S. commercial real estate property outlook lookspretty grim, Green Street Advisorssaid in a webinar Tuesday.

    Businesses have shut down, some restaurants are going to limited operations and many employees are working from home.REITshareholders are taking notice.

    In the three weeks ending Monday, the S&P was down nearly 30% and REITs were down 35%, Green Street Advisors Managing Director of Strategic Research Peter Rothemundsaid during a conference call.

    On Tuesday, the S&P and REITs were up slightly, but the wild market fluctuations in the past couple of weeksare atelltale sign of things to come, Rothemund said.

    "The market is pretty freaked out about the spread of the coronavirus here in the U.S.," Rothemund said. "And it tells you that we are in a recession right now."

    Fears about a recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of falling GDP, come as coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, continues to spread globally.

    As of 8 p.m. EST Tuesday, there are more than 195,000 reported cases worldwide with 5,700 in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins. In the U.S., there have beenmore than 100 deaths across 17 states and the numbers keep going up,Johns Hopkins reported.

    In an effort to stop the spread of the virus, several states and cities have declared a state of emergency, asked businesses to close or limit service, and have halted people from gathering in large numbers.

    In San Francisco, officials have ordered 7 millionresidents to shelter in place. In New York and Los Angeles, bars, restaurants, theaters and even major theme parks have been asked to close, which many have done willingly.Major sports leagues, which draw thousands of spectators on any given night, such as theNational Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball and the National Football League, have suspended some of their season's operations.

    The closures and limited operating hours havealso stoppedtourism and economic activity. Gaming is down and some hotels, especially in Las Vegas, have been forced to close.

    On Monday, economists from the UCLA Anderson School of Management reported that the U.S. economy has entered a recession, ending the expansion that began in mid-2009.

    Courtesy of Green Street Advisors

    A slide showing REIT performance from February 2020 to March 2020 by Green Street Commercial Property Outlook 2020

    UCLA economists forecastGDP growth in the first quarter of just 0.4%. GDP for the second quarter of the year is now forecast todecline by 6.5%, and by 1.9% for the third quarter.

    "With the assumption of an end to the pandemic and repaired supply chains by this summer, the forecast predicts the resumption of normal activity in the fourth quarter of 2020 and a GDP growth rate of 4.0%," UCLA officials said in their report.

    Rothemundlikened the NBA suspension of its season last week to D-Day and Armageddon.

    "That was the bottom," Rothemund said. "Now, everything is shutting down. And when things shut down, economic activity is not coming to a complete halt, but in Q2 we're going to have a nasty negative GDP number. Q2 is probably going to be the bottom."

    Analyzing the public market, Rothemund said he's surprised by the underperformance of REITs during this time. Since REIT earnings from rent and profits are not as sensitive during a downturn as the S&P 500, it usually performs better, Rothemund said.

    But the past three weeks or so, as the coronavirus spread, REITs have performed worse than the S&P. Rothemund couldn't really explain why, but correlates the performance of REITs and the drop in share prices as an indication of lower commercial real estate property values, which aredown 25% from at least three weeks ago.

    REITs focused on gaming, lodging and healthcare are down 35% during the same time period. Student housing, which some had considered recession-proof, is down 30%. Office, apartments, malls and industrial REITs are down 20%.

    Things can change very quickly, he said, because the marketis fickle.

    "Some of these moves make sense and some of these moves are overdone," he said. "It's like the market is on a death scare ... In times of stress like this, there's a lot of distressed selling going on. You need to use some of these signals with a grain of salt."

    One thing that is clear isa continued slide in private market real estate values. Rothemund said he sees market values going down by as much as 5% to 10% six months from now.

    "The decline will vary a lot by property type," he said. "It's possible industrial values don't go down. [Manufactured homes] are probably not going to go down. Storage might not go down. But a lot of other property types are going down and going down significantly."

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    Green Street: 'We Are In A Recession Right Now' - Bisnow

    Big future in tiny homes, says New Zealand expert – Surrey Now-Leader - March 19, 2020 by admin

    Some call them small homes, while others prefer tiny homes or tiny houses.

    Whatever the terminology which, like the homes themselves, is evolving more and more people are getting their heads around the idea of creating living spaces that depart significantly from the consumption-oriented large-footprint model that has been considered the norm in recent decades.

    With thousands worldwide building and living in their own tiny homes often off the grid, and usually off the radar of local authorities the idea has transcended what some critics decried as a fad to become an international movement with both economic and ecological advantages.

    At the same time, there are roadblocks to full acceptance of tiny homes including a lack of formal recognition by governments on a local, national and regional level that have made most tiny home dwellers virtually rebels by default.

    But online videos, like those produced and hosted by New Zealands Bryce Langston (whose Living Big In A Tiny House has become a highly popular YouTube channel) have provided examples of enterprising tiny home-owners and DIY builders around the world, helping to accelerate interest at an exponential gallop.

    On B.C.s Lower Mainland, the highly successful Westcoast Small Home Expo, currently scheduled to return for a second year at the Abbotsford Tradex on the weekend of June 6-7 again with Langston as one of the headline guest speakers provides ample evidence of that interest on a local level.

    READ ALSO: Home Buying 101 Forum cancelled due to COVID-19

    Tiny home experts and professional builders provide one of the most attention-getting components of the show including a construction zone feature, where a live-build of a tiny home will take place through both days of the expo.

    Exhibitors can also give attendees a good idea of whats available in the way of fittings, appliances and accessories, kitchen, bathroom and storage ideas, and many others products and services geared to a pared-down lifestyle (for tickets and more information, visit

    A tiny home is generally defined as a residence of no more than 400 square feet, usually built on a flat-bed base for relatively easy transportation when towed by a truck, with a maximum width of eight-feet six-inches (anything wider makes special moving permits mandatory).

    Lower areas of the typical tiny home strike a balance between kitchen, living room and bathroom areas, while beds are usually located in low-ceiling lofts accessed by ladders or stairways.

    Working within such limits, owners and manufacturers around the world are daily probing the outer limits of ingenuity in finding solutions for creating a sense of openness in spite of long and narrow envelopes, as well as maximizing storage, bathroom and utility space.

    Depending on the site chosen, theres potential for a tiny home to hook up to existing electrical and sewer/septic services, or, with the use of solar panels, propane-powered appliances and composting toilets, living off the grid entirely, with a minimal ecological footprint.

    But its not just a matter of ecology. Reducing the footprint has become increasingly attractive as people ponder the very real 21st century challenges of owning their own homes, particularly in inflated markets where even exceedingly average houses have become million-dollar properties.

    Langston who compares Auckland, New Zealands tough housing market with Vancouvers said following last years expo that it was a very real issue for him, as a young actor who had gone back to auditioning for roles after his character was written out of a major television series.

    I began to realize that a tiny home was one of the only chances a young person like me would have to own their own home, he said.

    READ ALSO: The priciest home for sale in Canada: A $38M Vancouver penthouse

    Its clear that many others feel the same way. The Living Big In A Tiny House channel has 2.9 million subscriptions, with untold further millions of unsubscribed viewers while for Langston and his partner Rasa, shooting and editing segments around the world has turned into a full-time occupation.

    Australian-born Ben Garratt of B.C.-based Healthy Homes an expert builder and teacher of low-impact tiny homes and a senior advisor for the expo agrees that economic factors are fueling the current wave of interest in this style of housing.

    The main driving force is affordability, he said. I think the idea of this being a fad or a trend is long past. Maybe it was at the start, a little, but now affordability is the big thing, and thats not a trend thats reality for a lot of people.

    While Garratt says that interest in tiny homes seems to cross all age demographics, he calculates that some 70 per cent of the people investigating the concept are women and many of those are approaching their retirement years.

    They dont just want somewhere to live theyre interested in creating a home, he said.

    On the Healthy Homes website Garratt whose company provides assistance and advice for would-be tiny home owners and builders from providing plans, through courses and building workshops to the finished product lists a rough rule-of-thumb cost for a tiny home built to professional standards of $60,000.

    Prices can vary widely, however, with high-end manufactured homes coming in at considerably higher than that, while DIY enthusiasts have built for as little as $10,000 to $30,000 through enterprising sourcing of materials.

    Langley resident Anette Atsma who coincidentally fits Garratts profile of the tiny home-curious did just that when she designed and built her own home in the Chilliwack area in 2016, with the help of a friend with building expertise who was also intrigued about the process.

    The 240-sq. ft. home which included two lofts was built on an 18-foot commercially-rated flatbed trailer base.

    We built it from scratch and it cost me a total of $17,000, of which $4,000 was for the trailer base, she said.

    There was less than $1,000 in used materials and the rest was all brand-new material.

    But Atsma, who has a working background in the RV industry and subcontracting out her own home renovation in the 1980s, said she benefited not only from that experience, but also by making friends with staff at a local Rona, who were able to advise her in choosing strong but flexible light-weight products and point her toward bonafide deals on materials.

    I bought the trailer on June 1, we prepped it and had it all ready for construction by July 1 and even with only working on it on weekends, it was ready for me to move in by Nov. 1, she said.

    Lightness and durability of construction was a must for Atsma, who said her natural wanderlust inspired a home plan intended for frequent moves from community to community.

    You have to stay under 10,000 lbs. so that it is able to be pulled by a regular truck, she said.

    While Atsma remains enthusiastic about the tiny home concept, shes less enthused by the haphazard building techniques and highly individual, but less than pragmatic, materials that she sees in a lot of current projects.

    I look at some of these units and I cringe, she said. If you plan on travelling anywhere with it, you dont use drywall, you dont use tile you dont use anything that will crack or break. You hit a pothole and you know whats going to happen.

    Garratt whose long-time career emphasis on safety and healthy building techniques stems from early experiences with toxic products in the mainstream construction industry that compromised his health also suggests that investing in some professional advice can help the unskilled and unwary DIY builder avoid costly-to-rectify mistakes.

    These can range from dangerous construction flaws and wiring errors to serious condensation and mould issues as a result of choosing the wrong kinds of materials and not providing adequate ventilation to the structure, he said.

    Even if one is not yet ready to take the plunge into a tiny home, Peggy Richardson, marketing manager for the upcoming expo, said it aims to provide a wide range of ideas for those interested in occupying a smaller footprint.

    Were all about small homes of all types: condominiums, townhouses, laneway homes, tiny houses, Granny suites, and those downsizing from larger homes, she said.

    Richardson noted that tiny home designs have also become far more individual over the last few years even though a typical long box/one-way tilted roof look has tended to dominate.

    (The tiny home) used to be seen as very homogenized, she said. But its become very regionalized, depending on where you are in the world, incorporating traditional ideas and materials. Europe is putting a different spin on it than Asia, and Canada is putting a different spin on what the U.S. is doing.

    Part of the appeal of a tiny home is that provides an opportunity to assert individuality and have a space which, while small, is truly reflective of the owners personality.

    At the same time, it must be noted, most tiny homes currently occupy a grey legal area local governments have generally not kept pace with the trend or been able to modify zoning regulations to allow the homes legally-recognized sites.

    And financing, while available in Canada, tends to hinge on the tiny homes being built on a flat-bed trailer base and CSA certified as an RV which, officially at least, precludes them being lived in year-round.

    Garratt said he believes the majority of tiny homes in B.C. are technically sited outside the law not unlike the situation with illegal suites.

    (Enforcement) is a complaint-driven process if you are on a property thats a little out of the way, and you get on well with the neighbours, you dont have a problem.

    In the worst-case scenario, a municipality can demand a non-conforming tiny home either be removed or demolished, which is why its desirable to build on a wheeled base to protect your investment, Garratt said.

    I think with tiny homes, were in the same place that lane-way homes were in in the early 2000s, when a lot of people had built out their garages as extra units. There had to be a lot of advocacy done for them to be permitted in Vancouver. Tiny houses are in the same early stages and there are a few different groups working on advocacy including the BC Tiny House Coalition.

    But Garratt said the key for advocates is not demanding changes on a municipality or regional level, but lobbying for tiny homes to receive a new CSA certified RV category one that recognizes them as suitable for habitation year-round which would give municipalities flexibility to allow them in already RV-approved zones.

    There are some indications on the local front that tiny homes could be accommodated.

    White Rock housing advisory committee chair Coun. Anthony Manning said the committee would be prepared to look into tiny homes as one potential strategy for providing affordable housing.

    City of Surrey general manager of planning and development Jean Lamontagne said its technically possible for someone to buy a property in the city and apply for a permit to build a tiny home. It just hasnt happened to this point, he said, since most property owners are focused on building a home near or to the maximum allowed by the zoning bylaw.

    A tiny home on wheels would fall within the mobile homes category and Surrey has properties where the zoning allows for mobile homes, he added.

    Garratt and Atsma agree that there are some lingering prejudices when it comes to tiny homes partly based in resistance to change, but also in fears that allowing them might result in a proliferation of casually-constructed eyesores and shantytowns.

    Atsma ended up selling her tiny home for $35,000 more than doubling her money, it should be noted because she could not find enough RV parks in B.C. that were willing to set a precedent by accommodating it, even for an overnight stay.

    I loved it and I would live in another one again if people wouldnt be so pig-headedly obstinate, she said. But very few parks will take them because they dont look like other RVs.

    The people I sold my home to happen to be sitting on an acreage overlooking a lake near Kamloops, which is a perfect spot for it theyre in a non-conforming area where they dont have to worry about rules and regulations.

    But Garratt said he remains optimistic that tiny homes will soon have the seal of legitimacy as a viable affordable housing option.

    Were poised and waiting for the cities and municipalities to catch up, Garratt said. It will happen its just a matter of time.

    One of the great things about the tiny house movement is that most of the kinks about building them have already been ironed out, he said.

    Its always going to be trending up, he added.

    Its plateau-ing a little at the moment because of a lot of these legislative and regulatory issues, but as soon as those are sorted out its going to spike. If this is the most affordable way for people to get into a house, then thats what people are going to do.

    alex.browne@peacearchnews.comLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


    Langley resident Anette Atsma scratch built this 240-sq. ft. tiny home in Chilliwack in 2016 for a total of $17,000. Anette Atsma photo.

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    Big future in tiny homes, says New Zealand expert - Surrey Now-Leader

    Global Manufactured Housing Market : Full In-depth Analysis by Top Key Players, Regional Outlook, Latest Trend and Forecast to 2024 – Nyse Nasdaq Live - February 25, 2020 by admin

    The Manufactured Housing report delineates the key features rendering the growth of the global Manufactured Housing Market. The research study is a prolific account of macroeconomic and microeconomic factors boosting the growth of the global Manufactured Housing market. It also exhibits the market valuation within the calculated time period, thereby helping market players to make appropriate changes in their approach towards attaining growth and sustaining their position in the industry.

    The global Manufactured Housing report outlines the latest market trends in the related field. The global Manufactured Housing market is segmented according to product, application, and geography. Each segment is evaluated in great detail so that players can focus on high-growth driving areas of the global Manufactured Housing market and further assist in burgeoning their sales growth. The report comprises the global revenue [USD Million] and size [kMT] of the market. The research report evaluates the global market development with the help of different methodical and analytical tools.

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    Market Segment as follows

    Manufactured Housing market competition by top Manufacturers: Nobility Homes , Modular Homeowners , Cavco Industries , Champion Home Builders , Palm Harbor Homes , Fleetwood Homes , Jacobsen Homes , Excel Homes , Woodlund Homes , Dutch Housing , Chief Custom Homes

    By the product type, the market is primarily split into: Single Section , Multi-Section

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    In addition, the major product types and segments Manufactured Housing along with their sub-segments or application of the global market also are enclosed within the scope of the report. The study discusses the details of major market players, their strategies, and other critical factors. Porters five forces are considered for understanding the growth of the global market. The global Manufactured Housing market is segmented on the basis of applications, product categories, and regionally. It furthermore highlights all product categories in the consumer application segment.

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    The Middle East and Africa (GCC Countries and Egypt)North America (the United States, Mexico, and Canada)South America (Brazil etc.)Europe (Turkey, Germany, Russia UK, Italy, France, etc.)Asia-Pacific (Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Australia)

    The Manufactured Housing Research Report offers insight study on:1. The assessed growth rate together with Manufactured Housing size & share over the forecast period 2020-2024.2. The key factors estimated to drive the Manufactured Housing Market for the projected period 2020-2024.3. The leading market vendors and what has been their Manufactured Housing business progressing strategy for success so far.4. Important trends driving the growth possibility of the Manufactured Housing Market.

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    To conclude, the Manufactured Housing market report outlines information on the key geographies, market landscapes alongside the production and consumption analysis, supply and demand analysis, market growth rate, besides the future forecast, etc. This report also provides SWOT and PEST analysis, investment feasibility and return analysis.

    About us:

    Acquire Market Research is a market research-based company empowering companies with data-driven insights. We provide Market Research Reports with accurate and well-informed data, Real-Time with Real Application. A good research methodology proves to be powerful and simplified information that applied right from day-to-day lives to complex decisions helps us navigate through with vision, purpose and well-armed strategies. At Acquire Market Research, we constantly strive for innovation in the techniques and the quality of analysis that goes into our reports.

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    Global Manufactured Housing Market : Full In-depth Analysis by Top Key Players, Regional Outlook, Latest Trend and Forecast to 2024 - Nyse Nasdaq Live

    Residents fear Lake Thomas townhouses will drown their quality of life – Tampa Bay Times - February 25, 2020 by admin

    LAND O LAKES The empty land, fronting U.S. 41 and stretching westward toward Lake Thomas, is shared by small herd of cattle and a handful of egrets.

    But its the potential for new occupants that has residents in the neighboring rural enclave objecting.

    Youre about to kill a golden goose, said Joe Seidle who lives on Lake Thomas Road.

    The golden goose, he says, is the natural beauty of Land O Lakes shorelines and old Florida neighborhoods that differentiate it from the cookie-cutter subdivisions that sit atop former ranch land elsewhere in fast-growing central Pasco.

    The vacant land, nearly 42 acres, is positioned to become the site of more than 200 town homes vying for a view of Lake Thomas, the 164-acre centerpiece of serenity in the residential area that shares its name.

    Current residents said they understand that development will happen. The countys long-range land-use plan designates much of the vacant property as suitable for three single-family homes per acre., known in government vernacular as Res-3. The front parcel, along U.S. 41, can be used for a combination of offices and higher-density housing of 24 units per acre.

    What residents dont understand is why the future density for some of that land should double, as developer Tony Tanico of Eastern Meridian Property Group requested. If approved, the new zoning will allow up to six homes per acre and accommodate Tanicos plan to put 218 town homes there.

    The new development would sit amid a mix of modest mid-century, cinder-block houses, manufactured homes and custom-built executive estates the owners of which use narrow roads minus shoulders and space for two cars to pass side-by-side to get to U.S. 41.

    Neighbors wrote emails to Pasco County, used social media, appeared before the advisory Pasco Planning Commission and last week made their concerns known to elected county commissioners.

    The proposed development, they said, could cause safety hazards on U.S. 41 because town home residents will need to drive south to Ehren Cutoff and then make a u-turn to head north to reach the nearest grocery, and the elementary and high school that will serve the community. They also fear more flooding in an area susceptible to high water.

    "Theres no way. I mean, were going to flood again,'' said Linda Amason, 63, standing outside her home at 6005 Thomas Circle.

    She and her husband, Mike, 69, have lived there 33 years. Their property has flooded four times in 10 years, requiring them to gut the house, install new flooring and sheet rock and put in a new septic system.

    "If we flood again, were pulling back and moving on,'' she said.

    Tanicos attorney, Barbara Wilhite, said the development team revised the initial plans to accommodate neighbors concerns. Access to the town homes will be from multi-lane U.S. 41, not narrow Little Lake Thomas Road. There will be a right-hand turn lane built on U.S. 41 to enter the project. There will be a pedestrian boardwalk, but no dock for motorized boat launches on Lake Thomas.

    The state will review the drainage plans to ensure the project does not increase storm water discharge, cause flooding or damage water quality, said Joe Cimino of the civil engineering firm WRA. The plan is to retain water on the property rather than allow it to drain toward Little Lake Thomas Road and Thomas Circle, as it does now.

    "It doesnt make any sense to continue discharging where there are flooding problems along those roads,'' Cimino told county commissioners.

    Those accommodations, however, didnt answer the question of why 218 town homes should be built on land designated for 100 single-family homes. Seidle called it a dangerous precedent that will open similar vacant land to double its housing capacity.

    "Whats the use of having a land plan if they wont follow it?'' Seidle asked in an interview.

    The county called the proposed designation a "transitional land use and will be a means to gradually step-down in density and in lot size'' from a maximum of 24 units per acre that is available elsewhere in the vicinity.

    Wilhite pointed out that higher-density housing in that location was encouraged in the 2008 Urban Land Institute report that Pasco County followed to establish higher-density urban service areas in the western and south-central portions of the county.

    "This project is exactly what you said you wanted when you adopted that plan,'' she said.

    "Its not ideal for best planning,'' Commissioner Jack Mariano acknowledged about the proposed in-fill development.

    But both he and Commissioner Kathryn Starkey said they were satisfied with the developers attempts to try to accommodate neighbors concerns.

    The commission voted 4-0, with Commissioner Mike Moore absent, to send the proposed land-use change to the state Department of Economic Opportunity for review. Final consideration by the commission is scheduled for April 7.

    More here:
    Residents fear Lake Thomas townhouses will drown their quality of life - Tampa Bay Times

    Legislative Bait and Switch – HB302 – Gwinnett Citizen - February 25, 2020 by admin

    Last year they were touted as property rights bills. This year, theyre being promoted as affordable housing bills. In fact, they are neither.

    They are House Bill 302 (HB302) and its counterpart, Senate Bill 172 (SB172); if enacted by the legislature, they will, prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances or regulations relating to or regulating building design elements as applied to one or two-family dwellings;

    HB302/SB172 were introduced at last years legislative session but did not come up for a vote. Consequently, bill sponsors have raised their ugly heads for the 2020 legislative session. And since last years property rights ploy didnt play well, proponents are now singing the affordable housing melody.

    The simple fact that sponsors have changed the reason this legislation is needed is ample evidence that they are using bait and switch tactics to benefit homebuilders, not homeowners. Further, the fact that a house is built with cheap materials is no guarantee that it will any more affordable than a house built with quality materials that meet a communitys design standards.

    Specifically, HB302 prevents cities and counties from regulating:

    Exterior building color

    Type or style of exterior cladding material

    Style or materials of roof structures or porches

    Exterior nonstructural architectural ornamentation

    Location or architectural styling of windows and doors, including garage doors

    The number and types of rooms

    The interior layout of rooms

    Types of foundation structures approved under state minimum standard codes.

    Exceptions are granted for historic structures, manufactured homes, overlay districts, or if an ordinance is adopted as a condition of participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

    HB302 requires home construction to meet state standard code minimums, thereby recognizing the importance of design standards. However, it specifically prohibits local governments from regulating or enforcing those standards, unless local regulation is a requirement (of a state minimum standard). But for the most part, enforcement, if there is any, will have to be done by state agencies. Yet the relevant state agencies have neither the budget, the personnel nor the desire to be the enforcement arm of 159 counties and 538 incorporated cities. With no enforcement strategy, there is no mechanism to assure that one-family and two-family buildings are safe, durable and inhabitable.

    Admittedly, the design standards imposed by some cities and counties are an overreach and an assault on individual property rights. However, the proper way to address overreach is to restrict it. Instead, HB302 attempts to control overreach in one direction by overreaching in another. That overreach could well result in the construction of houses that look like small warehouses; with no design standards for roofs, type or style of exterior cladding or location and styling of windows, residences with flat roofs, concrete walls and no windows could be built- to the detriment of the home values of adjacent property owners.

    As for the affordable housing ploy, affordable is a target thats blowing in the wind. Definitions range from Section 8 housing that is subsidized by the federal government, to housing that is priced such that payments are affordable by families earning less than the Area Median Income. It comes as no surprise that proponents of HB302 are at best vague about their definition of affordable.

    Thats most likely because their true concern is not affordability. Its profitability.

    See the original post here:
    Legislative Bait and Switch - HB302 - Gwinnett Citizen

    Severe Weather Awareness Week: What to do if you live in manufactured housing – WIAT – - February 25, 2020 by admin

    Its Severe Weather Awareness Week and an important part of severe weather preparedness is knowing your safe place during severe weather. If you live in a mobile home, you are more vulnerable. According to the National Weather Service Birmingham office, because of the more dispersed nature of manufactured housing across the state, mobile homes are four times more likely to be struck by a tornado in Alabama than in Kansas.

    In 2019, there were 25 tornado fatalities in Alabama, 23 of these fatalities were during the Lee County EF4 tornado on March 3, 2019. Out of the 23 fatalities, 19 of them were in manufactured housing. According to the Auburn-led Structural Extreme Event Reconnaissance Network, all of the mobile homes lacked ground anchors, had degraded anchors, or had anchor systems not up to state code.

    According to NWS Birmingham, a mobile home is completely destroyed with winds around 45 percent of winds expected to destroy a permanent home. This is why we stress the importance of NOT STAYING in manufactured housing during the threat of severe weather.

    Where do you go? Go to a neighbor or familys permanent home. Or, go to a local storm shelter. Contact your countys EMA office if you are not sure where the nearest storm shelter is located.

    While leaving is your best option, to protect your mobile home, making sure you have adequate anchorage is imperative. Here are some important tips to consider:

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    Severe Weather Awareness Week: What to do if you live in manufactured housing - WIAT -

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