December shipments beat the forecast and hit a series high as manufacturers increased production over November despite the holiday. TMHA member factories participating in our monthly survey with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M reported an increase in production and the hard data followed suit.
Seasonally adjusted December shipments were up 7.9% over November and hit their highest adjusted total on the year since February 2020 before COVID-19 had truly hit the American domestic economy.
Texas plant production was up an astonishing 21% over November with homes shipped out of the state increasing at a higher rate than in-state shipments.
In the last monthly retail activity report we added data tracking shipments less retail sales and as expected the indicator for September moved into negative territory as more sales for the month were titled. I’m tracking a rolling 12-month sum of the indicator and through September we’re now at -195, meaning a minimum of 195 more homes were sold than were shipped from October of 2019 through September of 2020.
Projecting forward the delta between actual shipments and forecasted sales, we expect the rolling 12-month total to fall to around -570 with the eventual inclusion of October and November sales, and based on the strength of December shipments could come up slightly to around -520 if the data comes in as forecasted.
This won’t mark the first time a calendar year came in with a rolling sum that low, as we were at -720 at the end of 2019, but that was after what appeared to be an oversupply run of shipments in 2018.
January of 2021 started out with no such glut of retail inventory, so sales in 2021 could be facing supply constraints if production capacity tops out soon.
Our forecast for January shipments is 1,403 (+/- 276).
|Total for December:||564||715||1,279|
|Change from November (%):||5.6%||0.1%||2.5%|
|Change from November (Units):||30||1||31|
|Change from December of 2019 (%):||-2.3%||18%||8.1%|
|Change from December of 2019 (Units):||-13||109||96|
|Total for 2020 YTD:||7,326||8,565||15,891|
|Change from 2019 (%):||-0.9%||5.3%||2.3%|
|Change from 2019 (Units):||-64||428||364|
Here are the annual totals for manufactured home shipments in Texas from 2012 through 2020.