Manufactured home sales on the rise nationally

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Muskogee Phoenix
By: Cathy Spaulding
August 6, 2010

When the nationwide manufactured home retailer Clayton Homes reported a 22 percent spike in sales so far this year, the local dealer said their sales spike may not be that steep.

"We were a top producing store last year," said Kirk Freeman, sales manager for Clayton's Muskogee store, 2235 N. 32nd St. "When you're a top producer, it's hard to have a 22 percent increase."

A media release from Clayton Homes Sales Centers said sales in the nationwide company are up 22 percent from this time last year.

Freeman said the Muskogee sales have risen about 10 percent.

"In a tight economy, people are moving away from the site-built homes and turning more to manufactured homes," Freeman said.

Linda Carter, secretary for the City of Muskogee Planning Department, said people may have manufactured homes in a core part of town between 24th Street on the west and Summit Avenue on the east; and between the north city limits and Border and Augusta streets to the south.

"And they have to be built to fit the neighborhood," she said.

Hurd said standards for manufactured homes are as stringent as for site-built homes.

Freeman said Clayton manufactured homes are built on a metal frame which can be bolted to a concrete foundation.

"We set it up to what we call FHA specs," he said.

Freeman showed model homes built with cedar siding on the lot. Inside, the homes featured manmade stone fireplaces and bath trim, as well as open plan kitchens. The homes could use electric, natural gas or propane.

He said manufactured houses could cost far lower than site built houses.

"On a same-sized house, we could cost $40 per square foot while a site-built home could be $90 to $95 per square foot," he said.

"A lot of our customers have three or four kids, they need square-footage, they need size," said John Inman, general manager for the Muskogee Clayton Homes store.

Philip Beck, a partner with Beck Construction, which builds site-built homes, said a site built home does cost about $80 to $100 square feet.

"But the big difference is overall quality," he said. "You're buying a product, picking out your fixtures, it can get as big or as small as you want. And you can have a personal touch."

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