Manufactured home shipments for March moved up 4.9% over February. The month-over-month growth was aided by an additional work day and stemmed from a 10.5% increase in multi-section shipments which once again beat single-section shipments for the fourth month in a row. Single-section shipments slipped -0.7% from February.
We’re now past the point where the year-over-year comparisons for a single month should be substantially impacted by FEMA units and March saw a marked -26.8% slowdown in comparison to March of 2018, which was last year’s peak month.
Multi-sections shipments were down -9.8% and single-sections were down -39.5%.
While shipments were soft this month, the early data indicates that retailer sales expanded in February and titles issued thus far for March sales also indicate strong year-over-year growth for that month.
We’ll be watching the titling data as it comes in, but It appears likely that last year’s backlog constraints led retailers to over order and build up a stock of homes in inventory that they are now selling from. If the year-over-year elevated sales continue, then shipments should pick up later in the year as those inventories decline.
|Total for March:||590||661||1,251|
|Change from February:||-0.7%||10.5%||4.9%|
|Change from March of 2018:||-39.5%||-9.8%||-26.8%|
The annual totals reflect the first quarter of 2019 and multi-section shipments are trailing Q1 of 2018 by -0.9%. Single-section shipments are down -36.3% due to both FEMA units and weakened retailer demand.
|Total for 2019 YTD:||1,809||1,901||3,710|
|Change from 2018 (%):||-36.3%||-0.9%||-22%|
|Change from 2018 (Units):||-1,031||-18||-1,049|