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Mortgage Applications on the Rise

April 5th, 2012 Comments off

Mortgage Bankers Association LogoFrom Housingwire and CoreLogic, MHProNews.com learns that the number of mortgage applications filed in the U.S. jumped 4.8 percent for the week ending March 30. The reason, the Mortgage Bankers Association concludes, is more people started the process of buying a home. Refinancing was also on the rise with a 4 percent increase from the previous week “Applications to buy a home picked up last week, and are running more than 2 percent above the level reported at this time last year. Home purchase applications for conventional loans are now about 10 percent above last year’s level,” said Michael Fratantoni, the MBA’s vice president of research and economics. “Applications for government loans increased by more than 10 percent over the week, for both purchase and refinance, likely spurred by borrowers seeking to apply before scheduled increases in FHA mortgage insurance premiums at the beginning of April.”

(Image Credit: Mortgage Bankers Association Logo)

Massachusetts Senator to Hold Manufactured Housing Forum

April 5th, 2012 1 comment

Senator Marc PachecoFrom GateHouse News Service, MHPRoNews.com learns that Massachusetts State Senator Marc Pacheco is holding a public forum this week to review manufactured housing law and answer questions about community living. The forum is being held in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Housing and Community Development and is free and open to the general public. Future forums will be held in Plymouth County and Bristol County.

(Image Credit: Senator Marc Pacheco)

Stocks Lower, Yahoo Index Shows Small Gain

April 4th, 2012 Comments off

Wall Street Subway by Eric MillerMost stocks closed lower Wednesday with the Dow off more than 100 points. While most watched manufactured housing stocks also closed lower, the Yahoo Finance Manufactured Housing Composite Value recorded a small gain.

Closing lower were Affiliated Managers Group, down $1.91 (1.66 percent) to 113.28; Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, as well as MH home-building, lending and other housing suppliers parent company Berkshire Hathaway, down $697 (.50 percent) to $121,750; Cavco, down .14 cents (.30 percent) to $47.01; Drew Industries, down .37 cents (1.33 percent) to $27.37; Equity Lifestyle Properties, down .30 cents (.43 percent) to $69.77; Louisiana-Pacific, down .18 cents (1.95 percent) to $9.05; Patrick Industries, down $2.07 (17.11 percent making it the day’s decliner) to $10.03; Skyline Corp, down .26 cents (3.46 percent) to $7.26; Sun Communities, down .42 cents (.96 percent) to $43.16; Universal Forest Products, down .49 cents (1.44 percent) to $33.45 and UMH Properties, down .15 cents (1.29 percent) to $11.46.

Closing higher were Deer Valley, up .08 cents (13.33 percent making it the day’s biggest gainer) to .68; Third Avenue Value, up .09 cents (.20 percent) to $46.06 and Walker & Dunlop, up .19 cents (1.47 percent) to $13.09.

Not changing were Champion, Liberty, Nobility and Palm Harbor Homes.

Manufactured Housing a Bright Spot in Market

April 4th, 2012 Comments off

Manufactured Home For Sale Photo by Eric MillerFrom The Globe and Mail, we find a story depicting manufactured housing a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy housing market. According to the article, manufactured housing shipments in January rose to 60,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up 33 per cent over last year, but still off highs of some 200,000 a year. The article also looks at share prices of manufactured housing stocks showing share price spikes at Skyline Corp and Nobility Homes. It is a spring off a low base, however. Quarterly revenues at Skyline, the article points out, were once as high as 120-million but are now at about $45-million.

(Image Credit: Eric Miller)

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Leading the Nation in Manufactured Housing Demand, Texas Economy Shines

April 4th, 2012 Comments off

Texas State Capital Eric Miller PhotoAs reported by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), Texas leads the nation in terms of manufactured housing shipments. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas helps explain why. Texas gained 24,600 jobs in February after adding 58,900 jobs in January. Current Texas employment stands at 10.72 million with an unemployment rate at 7.1 percent in February from 7.3 percent in January. Existing-home sales increased 2.8 percent in February and are up 16.5 percent year over year. Sales in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio were all up from January levels. Texas factory activity continued to increase in March, according to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, held steady at 11.1, suggesting growth continued at about the same pace as last month.

(Photo by Eric Miller)

MHARR Says Production Increase Trend Continuing

April 4th, 2012 Comments off

Legacy Homes Photo by Eric MillerThe Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the manufactured housing industry rebound evident during the second half of 2011 has continued into February 2012, posting its seventh production increase in as many months. Just-released statistics show that in February 2012, HUD Code manufacturers produced 4,145 homes, up from the 2,892 HUD Code homes produced during February 2011, representing a corresponding-month increase of 43.3 percent. Cumulative 2012 industry production now totals 8,128 homes, up 42.9 percent from 2011 cumulative industry production of 5,688 homes over the same period. A further analysis of the official industry statistics offers a glimpse of the states that have had the highest demand for new manufactured homes since the industry rebound began in August 2011. The top five states include Texas, Alabama, North Dakota, North Carolina and Florida.

(Image Credit: Eric Miller)

Small Business Lending Slows

April 4th, 2012 Comments off

Peter Church [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsWe learn from Reuters that lending to small business in the United States barely grew in February. The news came from the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the overall volume of financing to U.S. small businesses. The index edged up to 98.3 in February from 98.2 a month earlier. According to PayNet, because small businesses generally respond to changes in economic conditions more rapidly than larger businesses do, the SBLI serves as a leading indicator of the economy. PayNet founder Bill Phelan told reporters the company sees this faltering as a sign that there’s caution on the part of small business owners.

(Image Credit: Peter Church via Wikimedia Commons)

ICF International Awarded $6 Million Energy Efficiency Contract

April 4th, 2012 Comments off

ICF International recently announced the company has been awarded a new contract to support the energy efficiency portfolio for a major U.S. utility. Through this contract, ICF will promote increased energy efficiency in the residential market. Efforts will include programs for existing multifamily properties, manufactured housing, new home construction, agricultural efficiency, and benchmarking services. The company will educate homeowners, renters, HVAC and home improvement trade allies, home builders, and various stakeholders regarding the energy savings benefits and value of ENERGY STAR® and other energy efficiency opportunities. ICF’s role will also include marketing support, energy efficiency call management, and processing of rebate applications. The contract has a value of $6 million and a term of 25 months.

(Image Credit: ICF International)

Indexes Close Lower Tuesday

April 3rd, 2012 Comments off

Wall Street Crossroads Eric Miller Photo

Indexes including the Dow and Yahoo Finance Manufactured Housing Composite closed lower Tuesday as fed minutes deflated market expectations.

Closing lower with the broader markets were Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, as well as MH home-building, lending and other housing suppliers parent company Berkshire Hathaway, down $366 (.27 percent) to $122, 357; Cavco, down .07 cents (.15 percent) to $47.15; Drew Industries, down .38 cents (1.35 percent) to $27.74; Equity LifeStyle Properties, down .10 cents (.14 percent) to $70.01; Louisiana-Pacific, down .06 cents (.65 percent) to $9.22; Nobility Homes, down .48 cents (6.15 percent) to $7.33; Patrick Industries, down .89 cents (6.85 percent) to $12.10; Skyline Corp, down .24 cents (3.08 percent) to $7.55; Sun Communities, down .04 cents (.09 cents) to $43.57 and Universal Forest Products, down .71 cents (2.05 percent) to 33.94.

Closing higher were Affiliated Managers Group, up $1.67 (1.47 percent) to $115.20; Third Avenue Value, up .45 cents (.99 percent) to $45.97; UMH Properties, up .35 cents (3.11 percent making it the day’s biggest gainer) and Walker & Dunlop, up .15 cents (1.18 percent) to $12.90.

Remaining unchanged were Champion, Deer Valley, Liberty and Palm Harbor Homes.

(Image Credit: Eric Miller)

Utah Programs Help With Down Payments

April 3rd, 2012 Comments off

Utah State Capital Eric Miller PhotoFrom Salt Lake City, the Associated Press and the Examiner, MHProNews.com learns that Utah Governor Gary Herbert recently announced a plan to help would-be homeowners with downpayments. Two new mortgage loan programs at the Utah Housing Corporation are available to first-time home buyers and repeat buyers with credit issues or a lack of savings. The HomeAgain Loan will allow people to qualify for a second mortgage of up to six percent of the home’s purchase price. In addition a Score Loan is available for buyers with a credit score of 620 or higher to qualify for a second mortgage of up to four percent of the purchase price. Manufactured homes on a permanent foundation qualify.

(Image Credit: Eric Miller)