ⓘ Clayton Homes


ⓘ History of Clayton Homes

Clayton Homes is the largest builder of manufactured housing and modular homes in the US. Clayton Homes is owned by Warren Buffetts Berkshire Hathaway.

Claytons corporate headquarters are in Maryville, Tennessee. Its subsidiaries include Vanderbilt Mortgage, 21st Mortgage, the nations largest manufactured home lender, and insurance company HomeFirst Agency.


1. History

Clayton Homes was founded in 1956 by Jim Clayton. In 1974, Clayton Homes established its own mortgage company, and added a manufacturing division in 1975. The company went public in 1983, trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Each year from 1989 through 1992, Clayton Homes was named on the Forbes list of the best small companies in America. Kevin Clayton, Jim Claytons son, took over the company in 1999.

In 2002, Clayton earned a revenue of $1.2 billion. It was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in 2003 for $1.7 billion. Cerberus Capital Management also expressed interest in bidding for the company. The certificate of merger was filed in Delaware, and Clayton stock was removed from the New York Stock Exchange. In 2007, Clayton Homes revenue was $3.66 billion.

Clayton Homes sold its land-lease communities business to Denver-based Yes Companies LLC in 2008. The deal involved 65 properties in 11 states. The i-house brand was introduced in May 2008 as a green, energy efficient home. By 2009, Clayton Homes had sold over 1.5 million homes. In 2009, Clayton launched the eHome as a more affordable version of the i-house.

In 2015, Clayton worked with Oak Ridge National Library and architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to produce a 3D printed house and car which share a single energy unit. Clayton Homes expanded into the traditional home building market with the acquisition of Georgia-based homebuilder Chafin Communities in 2015, and Tennessee-based Goodall Homes in 2016.

Clayton acquired River Birch Homes, based in Hackleburg, Alabama, in April 2016. The following month, Clayton hosted its first Birmingham-based home show. The show had 492 attendees and featured 27 homes from 27 facilities. That same month, Clayton announced that it would partner with nonprofit Next Step to build a modular duplex in Waco, Texas on a lot owned by NeighborWorks Waco in order to create affordable housing in the Greater Waco area.

In 2016, Clayton Homes was recognized as number 292 on Forbes list of Americas Best Employers. The company introduced a line of tiny homes during fall 2016 with the debut of its "Low Country" prototype in North Carolina. The designer series received media acclaim from USA Today, The Post and Courier, among others.

On July 10, 2017, Clayton Properties Group announced the purchase of home building operator, Birmingham, Alabama-based Harris Doyle Homes. With this purchase, Berkshire Hathaways Clayton unit lands its fifth site-build purchase, showing emerging synergies among Warren Buffetts housing ecosystem of companies.

Berkshire Hathaways Clayton Homes division, known for its factory-built houses, is expanding into the site-built, $250.000-and-under housing market, as reported on July 30, 2017. Since October 2015 Clayton has acquired homebuilders in Atlanta; Nashville, Tennessee; Kansas City; Denver; and, earlier this month, Birmingham, Alabama, and is building homes on-site at a rate of 2.500 to 3.000 a year.


2. Operations

Clayton Homes produces homes under the brand names of Buccaneer Homes, Cavalier Homes, Clayton Homes, Crest Homes, Giles Industries, Golden West Homes, Karsten Company, Marlette Homes, Norris Homes, Schult Homes, and Southern Energy Homes. Clayton Homes also owns retail brands Oakwood Homes, TruValue Homes and Luv Homes. In 2016, Clayton acquired G&I Homes, a family-run company based in New York.


3. Hope for the Warriors

In 2015, Clayton Homes released the Patriot home model and partnered with the Hope for the Warriors veterans assistance group. Clayton gave a check for $33.600 to the organization in January. Hope For The Warriors works with veterans from all branches of the military as well as post 9/11 active duty, National Guard, and reserve service members. In May 2016, Clayton presented a $100.000 check to the organization.


4. Controversies

Clayton Homes was involved in a lawsuit in 2011 with FEMA after providing trailers as part of Hurricane Katrina relief which were found to contain formaldehyde. Afterwards, one of 12 prefab shelters provided to Haiti through the Clinton Foundation after the 2010 earthquake was found to have a formaldehyde level of 250 ppb, "a very high level" according to a scientist specializing in indoor pollutants at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

In 2015, a news story claimed that Clayton Homes unfairly targets and exploits minority home buyers. Clayton Homes was further criticized for its alleged use of corrupt business practices. The company has denied discriminating against its customers or its workers. Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, defended Clayton against predatory lending claims in an interview saying: "We have 300.000 loans on the books and in the last 3 years Ive not received one letter of complaint from anybody."