Monday, June 21, 2021

ilke Modular Homes Has Orders for $275,000,000

WOW! That's a lot of money in housing orders for any modular housing factory. ilke's modern modular factory will soon be bursting at the seams to get these orders processed and built. What a good problem to have.

The North Yorkshire, England-based ilke Homes has a £44m deal with ReSI LP's, for-profit registered provider, ReSI Homes to deliver them "turn-key", a program where investors and developers can purchase complete developments sourced and delivered by the company.

This involves ilke Homes securing land, gaining planning permission, manufacturing the homes, and developing the sites.

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor for Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach. 

Email at

Sign Up to receive the Modcoach News newsletter twice a week

New Modular Factory in Ireland has Irish/American Roots

Leaving Ireland and putting down roots in America doesn't mean that your heart ever left the green of Ireland and that's exactly what has happened to Michael Benn and his family when they decided to start a modular housing factory in Galvone.

This proud Limerick family – firmly established in the New York construction industry – are the builders of 38 homes in Moyross and Southill for the Peter McVerry Trust. “Everything about me is Limerick,” says Michael Benn.

Michael is a partner in Clenn Construction founded by one of his sons, Patrick. Michael joined the army after school and then got involved in the building industry in New York.

So what brings this family business back to Ireland?

“We’ve all heard about the housing situation in Limerick and in Ireland. I said to Patrick, ‘This is crazy - the best carpenters come out of Ireland; how can there be such problems with housing?"

His son, Patrick, says making modular homes is a lot like how a car is built and is “50 to 60% faster than any other traditional builder”.

“It is all indoors so all the materials are kept out of the weather inside the factory so there are no weather delays on site. It is broken down into various specific individual tasks. You have a wall building station, a framing station, flooring station, sheeting, ceiling, electrical, plumbing, etc. You have your sparks (electricians) working at the same time as your chippies (carpenters). It is assembled inside the factory to at least 85% completion. Connection points and some other fixing points are left open."

CLICK HERE to read the entire Limerick Leader story

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor for Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach. 

Email at


Sunday, June 20, 2021

10 Story Modular Apartment Building Set in 28 Hours

To those non-believers that think modular construction is never going to be a major factor in building new homes, apartment buildings, and commercial space, what this Chinese developer has accomplished should change your attitude.

The China-based enterprise Broad Group managed to set a steel apartment building in just over a day. Apparently, the developers used "Living Building System"

In a record-breaking development in China, a 10-story residential building in Changsha city was fully constructed in 28 hours and 45 minutes. The China-based enterprise Broad Group managed to develop a steel apartment building in just over a day. Apparently, the developers used bolt-together modular units known as its "Living Building System".

The developers of the building shared a nearly five-minute-long video on their YouTube channel on June 13, wherein they showed how the entire structure was swiftly erected. Using a pre-fab, modular design, BROAD Group was able to construct a 10-story apartment building in 28 hours and 45 minutes.

The building modules, which look like huge containers, are first constructed in Broad Group’s factory and transported to the building site in trucks and stacked as per requirement.

Be sure to check out the fold-downs and prefabricated parts added to the units on-site and the roll-out windows.

It is easy to transport and install, Broad Group’s “Living Building” system have used component that is able to fit into a standard shipping container. All left is to be bolted together and made into a fully raised building. As part of the system, the Group claimed to have used steel slabs for the structural elements which are 10-times lighter and 100-times stronger than generally used conventional slabs.

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor for Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach. 

Email at

Sign Up to receive the Modcoach News newsletter twice a week

Lumber Prices Just 30 Years Ago!

This 1991 advertisement is from one of eleven M L Claster lumber yards in central Pennsylvania when I was the General Manager for their biggest store. 

Inflation from 1991, the date of this sale, to today is 95%, which means $100 back then would buy $195 worth of lumber today...NOT!

New home prices were $120,000 in 1991. That should be $234,000 today. Here's an interesting fact. In 1991, 51% of the people could afford the median-priced house in their area. 

Today, only 54% of Americans can afford a home priced 20% below the median home price in their area.

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor for Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach. 

Email at

Sign Up to receive the Modcoach News newsletter twice a week

Friday, June 18, 2021

Ireland's Off-Site Housing Predicted to Rise to 60%

Ireland, like every other country, finds itself in need of more housing than site-building alone can provide. Facing the same problems of rising costs, shortages of building materials, and skilled labor the rest of the world is facing, they are doing everything they can to move to off-site housing including prefabrication and modular construction.

The majority of new homes in Ireland could eventually be built in factories off-site, a Construction Industry Federation conference has heard.

With Ireland's chronic housing shortage and undersupply set to continue into the future, the 2021 Digital Construction Summit held recently heard from a number of speakers on ways the challenges in the construction industry could be met.

In his opening address to the conference, the CIF's director of specialist contracting Sean Downey said the industry needed to adjust the way it operates in order to meet the challenges of climate change, the digitization of the sector, and supply-chain optimization through the greater use of off-site manufacturing.

He also cited a report completed recently for Enterprise Ireland UK which shows that 60% of the traditional ‘stick built’ sector will go to an off-site delivery model within five years.

Micheál Keohane, a director with BAM Ireland and Modern Homes Ireland, which specializes in modular homes, told DigiCon that when constructed off-site, a pair of semi-detached houses can be brought to site and are in place in less than a day — 90% complete and fully weather-tight. He said that alongside the speed there was a range of other benefits. 

"There are eight times the off-site quality checks than there ever could be on-site," he said.

Paul Carty, director of construction in Ireland for Ballymore, which has 15,000 homes under constriction in Ireland and the UK, said modular and off-site construction still only forms 7%-10% of the industry.

"It's a very low volume," he said. "However, the private sector isn't able to sustain the modular industry in its own right, so the public sector needs to step in here.

"If running a factory, you need to feed the factory continually. It's very important that the industry recognizes this. 

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor for Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach. 

Email at

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Is Totally Integrated Modular Construction Just Around the Corner?

Modular construction has become not only the newest way for investors and developers to build multifamily and hospitality, it is also about to give them something rather unique that could change the construction industry in the US.

That unique idea is Total Integrated Modular, "TIM".

Today’s developer has entire departments dedicated to designing and sourcing contractors to build out their developments. The hospitality, affordable housing, and even the low-income housing developers across the US usually have the same services in-house.

But what would happen if a developer or investor only had to be concerned with the Master Plan engineering and everything else would become the purview of say, the modular factory or another single source. Everything from structural and architectural design to approvals to manufacture, delivery, set, and finish?

For developers, after the "Net Developable Area" is determined, putting together all the design teams, contractors and manufacturers is much more time-consuming and capital depleting than most would admit.

The commercial investor/developer has all those but may have far less of a demand for unique design than the housing developer.

The biggest problem to overcome is who is this “Superman” of modular construction? Will it be the General Contractor, the people running the modular factories or maybe a new entity that oversees and directs everything.

What would have been sheer conjecture just 10 years ago is rapidly becoming reality. With new technology coming on-stream almost every day enhancing all phases of the project, the idea of one company being the ‘go-to’ source is almost and maybe already is, a reality.

BIM, A/R, CLOUD, Elasticsearch, V/R, video conferencing and almost instantaneous blending of everything from initial drawings to manufacturing, all the way to the final cleaning of the project is now possible for a single entity to control.

And so, this is the “Question of the Week”:

Would Developers and Investors turn over control of their projects to a single source?

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor for Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach. 

Email at

Fire Brings Down Huge Unfinished Offsite Construction Project

A large structure fire in the Millcreek area was seen all across the Salt Lake Valley late Tuesday afternoon. 

The fire was located at an apartment complex under construction flames reportedly reached up to 100 ft. 

Officials said the hot and dry conditions made the building go up in flames extremely quick.

"All the wood is preheated its warm with these heats and humidity drops. No moisture in the atmosphere and the fuels are dry and incredibly and receptive to heat and flames," said Patrick Costin with Unified Fire Authority. "That's why they burn so quickly and so hot."

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor for Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach. 

Email at

Sign Up to receive the Modcoach News newsletter twice a week

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

As Lumber Prices Cool, Home Building Gets Hot!

Good news and a little not-so-good news for the home construction industry means that overall, housing starts are still in a good place. Look for the remainder of this year to show record growth in single-family housing.

Housing starts rose 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.572 million last month, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. April’s reading was revised lower to 1.517 million from 1.569 million. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv had expected housing starts to rise to 1.63 million.

Starts surged 50% on a year-over-year basis in May. Homebuilding rose in the Midwest, South and West but fell in the Northeast. 

The slight increase in homebuilding came as lumber prices topped out on May 7 and fell 22% through the end of the month, finishing below where they ended April. A lumber shortage that developed in the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdowns caused the cost of the critical material to soar, resulting in builders putting off projects and losing confidence.  

Permits for future construction slipped 3% to a rate of 1.681 million units in May, missing the 1.73 million units that economists were expecting. 

The drop in builder confidence was reflected in the latest National Association of Homebuilder’s/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index that was released on Tuesday. The index fell two points in June to 81, a 10-month low which is still darn good!

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor for Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach. 

Email at

Is Modular Construction the Perfect Choice for "Build to Rent" Developers?

One of the new things many developers are looking at is the "Build to Rent" housing market. Prompted mainly by younger homebuyers being priced out of the housing market by ever-increasing prices, developers have seen an opportunity to help them move into a new home.

The "Build to Rent" developer focuses on small rental homes, located in areas well served by public transport and in cities with great economic dynamism and a great demographic movement. Many renters are choosing long-term rental as their option. 

The working-from-home crowd is moving to rentals since they don't have to uproot their family when and if they change employers. Working from home means security for them.

The majority of single-family home rentals in the US are privately owned and managed with only +/- 3% being under professional management. Under the build-to-rent model, a community of single-family homes is developed with the intention of appealing to the rental market, and the community operates similarly to a traditional multifamily asset. 

The real innovation in the build-to-rent space lies in the improved experience for tenants. BTR provides tenants with all of the best aspects of single-family rentals and upgrades the experience by developing all homes inside a professionally managed, amenity-rich community all without burdening residents with HOA costs.

Not only will young people begin accepting this type of housing but Boomer's downsizing will be attracted to renting over owning as well. Families thrive in Build to Rent properties because each property features a private backyard, providing each family with ample space to raise their kids.  

Unlike the multifamily developer that rents apartments and townhouses, the single-family rental developer will have more of an investment, especially in meeting single-family home zoning requirements for their area. Many will be required to have garages rather than carports.

Look for higher rents for these homes but I'll bet people will be lining up at the door wanting to rent one as the word about this type of community spreads. 

For the modular housing industry, this could prove bigger than Hurricane Sandy when thousands of modular homes were built in a short period of time. This could actually see many new modular factories being opened simply to build a limited number of standard plan single and two-story homes being built.

If you are a "Build to Rent" developer and haven't looked into modular yet, be sure you do as getting your homes up and rented will never be faster than going with anything other than modular!

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor for Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach. 

Email at

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Lumber Prices are Falling Back to Earth

Futures for July delivery ended Monday at $996.20 per thousand board feet, down 42% from the record of $1,711.20 reached in early May. Futures have declined 14 of the past 15 trading days, the last two by the most allowed by exchange rules.

Cash lumber prices are also crashing. Pricing service Random Lengths said Friday that its framing composite index, which tracks on-the-spot sales, dropped $122 to $1,324, its biggest ever weekly decline. The pullback came just six weeks after the index rose $124 during the first week of May, it's mostly on record. Random Lengths described a chaotic rout in which sawmill managers struggled to provide customers with price quotes.

Economists and investors have wondered if sky-high prices for wood products would doom the booming housing market. Builders raised home prices and many stopped selling houses before the studs were installed, lest they misjudge costs and sell too cheaply. Lumber became central to the inflation debate: whether a period of runaway inflation was afoot or high prices were temporary shocks that would ease as the economy moved further from lockdown.

The rapid decline suggests a bubble that has burst and the question now is how low lumber prices will fall. Even after tumbling, lumber futures remain nearly three times what is typical for this time of year. Lumber producers and traders expect that prices will remain relatively high due to the strong housing market, but that the supply bottlenecks and frenzied buying that characterized the economy’s reopening and sent prices to multiples of the old all-time highs are winding down.

CLICK HERE to read the entire June 15th Wall Street Journal article

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor for Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach. 

Email at

A Personal Tour of Lindbäcks Modular Factory in Sweden

This a must-see video tour of one of the largest modular factories in the world presented by Dave Cooper, the off-site construction industry's leading "live" vlogger. 

If you are currently in the modular construction industry, this is a view of where our industry heading. If you are a developer or investor looking at modular to give you an advantage in time and labor, you really need to watch this.

But don't think for a moment that the US isn't using Lindbäcks success to build new factories. Several are already up and running here. All of these modular factories are geared for fast production which means that if you build custom modular homes, these may not be the factories to use. They are best suited to investors and developers.

So grab a light refreshment, sit back and enjoy Dave Cooper's walking tour of Lindbäcks.

At DaveCooper.Live our goal is to engage with industry thought leaders, share their stories and move forward the conversation around disruption in the new home construction industry.

Be sure to subscribe to Dave's YouTube Channel for more of his hundreds of "live" video tours and chats with some of the most influential people in our industry.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Neighborhood Housing Codes Changing to Include Everything From RVs to Yurts

Many towns and counties are considering how to incorporate small homes into the community. These include tiny houses, both on wheels and off, Auxiliary Dwelling Units, and even RVs in some instances.

Some are even considering a new use for urban RV parks by designating permanent residence status. 

A unique situation has arisen in the RV market since COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and people begin returning to the workplace instead of working remotely. Many of those workers bought RVs and Motorhomes and traveled while still being able to work remotely.

That is changing as evidenced by the number of websites popping up offering to buy used RVs and motorhomes. 

While that is a good move for many former work-from-home employees, others are trying to move them into RV parks and even into their backyards where they will become rentals.

While many local and county governments don’t think this will ever be a long-term solution, they think that it’s a better option than the street. But once those Residential Housing Codes are amended to include all those small alternative housing types, will it ever be reversed?

According to officials in some areas that have already made the change to allow them into R1 neighborhoods, they don’t have to meet the stringent building codes for new homes but rather meet a more lax “health and safety” inspection...whatever that is.

While tiny homes are compact structures, they can come in many forms. These homes can vary from being on wheels like RVs, converted buses, or vans to stationary homes like yurts, shipping containers, and cabins. Even older R1 neighborhoods with large homes may soon see tiny houses popping up in backyards to bring in additional income.

These new small homes can also be used as Airbnb rentals, homeless housing, Section 8, and halfway houses. There doesn’t seem to be any restrictions against this within the codes many communities are adopting.

The US housing market is changing and zoning and codes are changing to meet it. Unfortunately, it may have a detrimental long-term effect on traditional single-family neighborhoods.

Gary Fleisher
is the Managing Director and contributor for Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach. 

Email at