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MH Lending Guru Names President of Credit Union

February 9th, 2011 Comments off

The Credit Union Times reports that San Antonio Federal Credit Union Chief Operating Officer Stephen S. Hennigan has been named president of the credit union. The Trade Journal says Hennigan has been credited with being integral in helping create Credit Union Factory Built Lending, a credit union service organization (CUSO), which is now a division of  the San Antonio Federal Credit Union (SACU) and provides financing options for credit union members choosing manufactured housing as an alternative to traditional site-built homes.

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Industry Shipments Up 0.5 Percent

February 9th, 2011 Comments off
According to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)’s Monthly Economic Report, just under 2,800 new single and double section HUD code homes were shipped in December 2010, down 22.2 percent from the previous December. On the year, total shipments numbered 50,046 as compared to 49,789 for 2009. Total floors shipped in December spiraled downward to 4,406, just under 25 percent less than December, 2009. There were 131 plants working in December, one less than in November. The number of corporations reporting remains at 51.

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Bankers: Government Should Exit Finance Market

February 9th, 2011 Comments off
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan dated February 9, American Bankers Association (ABA)’s President and CEO Frank Keating suggests the government’s primary role be limited to ensuring stability in the event of market failure, and it should gradually exit the primary housing finance market all together, and help reestablish private markets without destabilizing the Federal Home Loan Banks. The ABA says the guarantee fees (G fees) paid to the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) should be raised to help offset losses incurred by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and to enable the private market to better compete with the GSEs. The letter suggests the mortgage finance end result should be a mix of 10 percent FHA and VA loans, 30 percent private business operated with a government backstop, and 60 percent with no government guarantees. In addition to strong regulation for whatever form a future GSE might take, the steps to achieve these goals need to be taken cautiously, given the fragile state of the current housing market.

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Fannie and Freddie Could Be Phased Out

February 9th, 2011 Comments off
In an attempt to reduce the government’s role in the mortgage business, the Obama administration – according to a CNN Money report – is proposing to eventually shut down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and will offer several options as part of its plan. In the pockets of taxpayers to the tune of $150 billion, the two have become a political football. Some Republicans blame them for the real estate bubble bursting, but Democrats say they help lower- and middle-income people buy homes. Options include a more limited role for government overall, more control over the mortgages Fannie and Freddie acquire, the government’s guarantee of loans during tough economic times, increased down payments from customers, and increased fees charged to banks to guarantee mortgages.

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Home Values Post Another Decline

February 9th, 2011 Comments off
Home values in the United States posted their largest quarterly decline since the first quarter of 2009, falling 2.6 percent as the temporary stimulus of the home buyer tax credits wore off, according to Zillow’s fourth quarter Real Estate Market Reports. The Zillow Home Value Index declined 5.9 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter to $175,200. Home values have fallen 27 percent since they peaked in June, 2006. Zillow says accelerating home value declines, as well as a slowdown in the nation’s foreclosure rate following the late-2010 robo-signing controversy, contributed to an increase in negative equity. At the end of the fourth quarter, 27 percent of single-family homeowners with mortgages owed more on their mortgage than their homes were worth, up from 23.2 percent in the third quarter.

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Consumer Companies, MH Stocks Have Good Day on Wall Street

February 8th, 2011 Comments off
The Dow added more than 70 points Tuesday, logging the seventh straight day of gains, on good news from consumer companies like McDonald’s and JCPenney. The Manufactured Housing Composite Value added 2.6 percent. Manufactured housing and related stocks with strong performance include Skyline Corporation, Nobility Homes, Cavco and Universal Forest Products.

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PA Groups Fighting Sprinkler Mandate

February 8th, 2011 Comments off
From Sunbury, Pennsylvania the Danbury Item ran a story this week about that state’s sprinkler mandate. The mandate went into effect January 1 and requires all new one- and two-family homes in Pennsylvania to have an automatic fire sprinkler system. Builders estimate the cost can range anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000. Manufactured homes are exempt from the mandate, unless they are placed on a foundation, then the basement is required to have a sprinkler system. According to the article, a group of housing-related associations collectively called the Safe at Home Coalition continue to argue that the mandate will price potential new-home builders out of some housing markets and that hard-wired smoke alarm systems mandated by the Pennsylvania construction code, gives a better than 99 percent chance of residents surviving a home fire, negating the need for sprinkler systems. Click here to read Eric Miller’s Industry In Focus report on MH Industry fire sprinkler preemption.

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Tradition Stronger than Modular Housing in England

February 8th, 2011 1 comment
Despite the acute housing shortage in England and the lengthy time required for a site-built home, modular construction remains opposed by the conservative home building industry from top to bottom. From The Independent comes the article, “Why is the property industry dragging its feet over prefabs?” While noting modular housing is less expensive and quicker to build than traditional construction, of a higher quality, with a lower carbon footprint and innovative in design, lenders there are reluctant to take chances on the unknown, notwithstanding the current credit crunch, and the report says there is the element of snobbery that resists what is considered mass production. Superior product aside, the deep-seated reluctance to accept a different mode of home construction remains.

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Canadian Builder Moving to Modular

February 8th, 2011 Comments off

From Canada, Karoleena Homes issued a press release this week focusing on the company’s concentration on urban areas and transition from site-built to modular construction. The release says Karoleena is moving toward sustainable construction, walkable communities and future-ready homes. The move to modular is credited as coming from the growing demand for more environmentally-friendly construction methods and a more energy-efficient end product. Modular, the company says, isn’t just smarter and faster, but incredibly forward-thinking.

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Maine Wraps Up Manufactured Housing Show

February 8th, 2011 Comments off
From Maine, the Kennebec Journal ran an article about last weekend’s manufactured housing show. The article focuses on attendees, including Deb Parry and John Harker who came looking for a smaller, more efficient retirement home that allows for low maintenance. They were also looking to save money through energy efficiency. Spending time driving around the state looking at homes, made the couple attracted to the idea of a home show. The Maine Manufactured Housing Show was held at the Augusta Civic Center. MHMSM.com is awaiting feedback on show attendance.

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