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Report: Panelized Sector to Gain

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Report: Panelized Sector to Gain

panelized construction of homes is poised to become a more important part of the prefabricated housing segment over the next few years, a new forecast says.

By Patrick L. O’Toole, Senior Editor November 30, 1999
This article first appeared in the PB December 1999 issue of Pro Builder.


The multi-unit sector of the manufactured housing industry is expected to grow more rapidly than single-unit, a new report says.

Panelized construction of homes is poised to become a more important part of the prefabricated housing segment over the next few years, a new forecast report says.

Though panelized homes presently represent a minority of the 640,000 units of prefabricated housing shipments last year, the report projects 2% annual growth in panelized unit orders over the next four years to 205,000 by 2003. Importantly, these gains will be made during a period when demand growth for the segment as a whole will be much slower than that of the late 1990s.

Published by the Freedonia Group, Cleveland, the report "Prefabricated Housing" says reduced housing demand, as well as a decline in the population of 25 to 34 year old first-time home buyers will have a general flattening effect on home sales over the period. Importantly, the prefabricated segment of the housing industry will likely outperform site-built home building during the period.

Whereas as manufactured housing and modular units are nearly complete when they arrive at the job site, panelized homes consist of walls, floors, roof trusses and stairs that are only about 30% to 60% factory assembled.


Prefabricated Housing Shipments Forecast
  1989 1993 1998 2003 2008
Manufactured 198,000 254,000 373,000 360,000 395,000
Panelized 119,000 129,000 186,000 203,000 244,000
Modular 31,000 33,000 51,000 52,000 58,000
Precut 28,000 25,000 30,000 28,000 33,000
Source: The Freedonia Group, 1999

Manufactured housing, defined as those units that are more than 90% factory built, presently accounts for 58% of shipments in the prefabricated housing segment. According to Freedonia, its share of the segment is expected to decline somewhat during the period even though changes in product mix in favor of multi-section homes will increase revenues for manufacturers and retailers.

In terms of dollar growth, the prefabricated housing segment as a whole is forecast to reach $24 billion, $8 billion of which will come from the panelized sector.

In addition to manufactured, panelized and modular sectors of the prefabricated housing segment, the report also includes figures on the small precut housing sector. Precut units are generally those where structural elements are cut to size, pre-drilled and come packaged with detailed assembly instructions.

For further information about the report contact The Freedonia Group at 440/684-9600.

Also See:
Lumber Prices Decline While Others Climb

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