Why the decline in manufactured housing?
The Cleveland, Ohio-based Freedonia Group released a report that expects manufactured housing shipments to reach 85,000 units in 2020.
That would mark a decline in share of total single-family housing starts and manufactured housing placements.
The research group explained that manufactured housing’s share of all single-family housing units was elevated in the 1990s due to very accessible credit, but declined through 2005 as the industry became more wary of its former easy credit policies, while lower interest rates and new financial instruments for subprime borrowers made conventional housing a more attractive option for many home buyers. However, faced with higher mortgage interest rates when their adjustable-rate loans were reset, amplified when the Federal Reserve tightened its monetary policy in 2005, many borrowers defaulted on their mortgages. This created tremendous volatility in financial markets and forced many lenders to change their practices. Furthermore, this led to a glut of repossessed houses in the market and limited any demand gains in manufactured housing.
According to Freedonia’s analysis, manufactured homes appeal to a wide range of individuals, particularly due to their affordability relative to site-built housing. In 2015, the median household income of manufactured home owners was approximately $28,400, with over three-fourths having annual incomes below $50,000. As prices for comparable site-built homes rise, manufactured housing will attract more first time home buyers and other consumers seeking an affordable alternative. However, new trends in design, additional value-added features, and increasing availability of multisection units will attract higher-income customers.
For more information on the report — “Prefabricated Housing in the U.S.” — visit freedoniagroup.com.
Knipex shows nose for tools
Knipex Tools introduced its series of Needle-Nose Combination Pliers.
The pliers are designed for all common installation and repair work that involves gripping, bending, holding, pulling and cutting the workpiece.
“The Knipex Needle-Nose Combination Pliers are some of the most reliable pliers you can pull from your toolbox,” said Todd Shumate, president, Knipex Tools. “The pliers’ sleek, but rugged, design makes them a diverse pocket tool for a countless number of repair and installation jobs.”
At a length of six inches, the Needle-Nose Combination Pliers have a slim-head design and anti-twist, pointed jaws, making the pliers useful when working in tough, confined areas. The pliers include a special convex contour on one jaw for a highly secure, three-point grip on workpieces. The pulling groove in the gripping area permits small parts, such as nails, pins and bolts, to be held and pulled without slipping.
Other features for the pliers include a versatile pipe gripping zone and a special, hardened cutting edge with a high leverage joint for easy cutting of soft, medium-hard and hard wire. Designed with stable tips for a long service life, the pliers are forged from high-grade, oil-hardened German tool steel and are available with non-slip plastic handles or multi-component grips.
Now open: the new IKEA Burbank
IKEA opened a 456,000 sq.-ft. store in Burbank, Calif., replacing a 242,000 sq.-ft. store that opened in 1990.
The new store embraces LED lighting. It sells no other tiype of lighting, and it has incorporated LED-only fixtures for use inside and outside the building.
“We are excited about building upon our established Burbank presence with a new, roomier store so close to the original one, and in the same city,” said Jeff O’Shaughnessy, store manager. “The enthusiasm of coworkers about offering customers an updated, spacious and enhanced IKEA shopping experience is translating into excitement and a great shopping event for our customers.”
The older Burbank store closed Feb. 4.
There are 43 IKEA stores in the U.S., and 392 around the world.