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More Quits May Mean Quicker Recovery

December 8th, 2010 Comments off

Analysts say for the housing market to make any real improvement, employment has to improve. It may seem counter-intuitive, but a larger number of people walking away from their jobs is being taken as an indication the job market is on the rebound. The latest “Take This Job and Shove It” indicator from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that an increasing number of people are quitting their jobs. In October, 2010 two million individuals quit their jobs, up from 1.7 million in October, 2009.

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Categories: Economy, News Item Tags:


Early Rally Ends in the Red

December 7th, 2010 Comments off

After opening 80 points in the green Tuesday, the Dow began to loose steam mid-afternoon and ended the day down three points. Most manufactured home stocks ended the day with little change. The exceptions were Palm Harbor Homes, which ended up three points at 13 cents a share, and All American Group, which ended up six percent at 25 cents a share. The Manufactured Housing Composite Value ended up a third of one percent.

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Arizona Community Recalls History of Palm Harbor Homes There

December 7th, 2010 Comments off

From Arizona, the Casa Grande Dispatch ran a story Tuesday recalling the history of Palm Harbor Homes in the community. The company had both a production plant and retail sales office in Casa Grande until the plant closed in early 2009. The sales office closed early this year. The newspaper reports that all that remains of Palm Harbor’s company-owned facilities in Arizona is a building center in Tempe. Palm Harbor is uncertain how that facility will be affected by the Chapter 11 process. A creditors meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 5 in Wilmington, Delaware, where the petition was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

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Berkshire to Sell $500 Million in Notes to Repay Clayton Debt

December 7th, 2010 Comments off

Businessweek reports that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. plans to sell $500 million of notes to repay debt used by its Clayton Homes manufactured housing unit. The magazine reported on its website that five-year senior notes may be issued through Berkshire Hathaway Finance Corp. and may pay about 87.5 basis points more than Treasuries maturing at about the same time. Proceeds will repay the finance arm’s existing 4.2 percent senior notes. Businessweek also notes Buffett’s firm sells bonds in part to finance mortgages for people who buy Clayton’s factory-built housing. In a letter accompanying Berkshire’s 2009 annual report, Buffett said Berkshire will continue backing the home-loan program.

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Manufactured Homes Triumph in Mississippi Zoning Issue

December 7th, 2010 Comments off

Remember the photo of the farm animals that would be allowed under proposed zoning in Rankin County, Mississippi while manufactured homes would be permitted only with a variance? (http://www.mhmsm.com/blogs/daily-business-news/mississippi-association-goes-to-bat-over-zoning-changes.php) The manufactured housing industry has prevailed, and that will not be the case. As reported by the Rankin Ledger, county supervisors adopted a new zoning ordinance and map Monday, leaving off a controversial rezoning proposal that irked some rural residents. The zoning change would have required a conditional use permit for manufactured and modular homes, among other tweaks that are geared for preserving residential areas.

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Housing Outperforms Stocks for the Decade

December 7th, 2010 Comments off

Housing may seem like it’s in the tank, but a look by Forbes at markets over the last decade tells a different story. The magazine reports that the value of a square foot of housing in the U.S. is up 58 percent from its January 2000 level. New York performed the best, rising on average more than six percent a year (homes in New York now cost 91 percent more per square foot than they did in 2000); Los Angeles and Washington, DC aren’t far behind. Milwaukee had a 43 percent gain. The article notes that both the S&P and the NASDAQ are lower now than they were in January, 2000.

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Survey Says Housing Markets Two Years in Recovery

December 7th, 2010 Comments off

Trulia.com and RealtyTrac released the latest results of an ongoing survey tracking homebuyers’ attitudes toward foreclosed homes Tuesday. Results of the survey conducted online from November 2-4, 2010 by Harris Interactive showed that Americans continue to grapple with uncertainty about the housing market, with 58 percent of U.S. adults expecting recovery to take at least another two years. As a result of the recent robo-signing debacle, half of U.S. adults expressed that they now have less faith in mortgage lenders, banks and the government. Another 35 percent believe the robo-signing issue will delay the housing market’s recovery. Nearly half (48 percent) of homeowners with a mortgage admitted that they would consider walking away if their mortgage was under water, an increase compared with May 2010, when only 41 percent said they would consider walking away if their mortgage was under water. Interestingly, men (57 percent) are more likely than women (40 percent) to consider strategic default as an option for dealing with negative equity.

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Categories: Economy, home buyers Tags: ,


More Signs of Simpler Times

December 7th, 2010 Comments off

In yesterday’s News at Noon, Michigan Retailer Jim Dietrich commented that we may be moving into simpler times. ( http://www.mhmsm.com/blogs/daily-business-news/a-housing-market-report-from-michigan.php  A recent Associated Press story in the New York Times provides what may be additional evidence. According to the article, luxury home builder Toll Brothers report its new home contracts fell 27 percent in the most recent quarter. This is despite a market segment unemployment rate that’s half the national average. The company did report increases in Manhattan high-rises, as well as near Philadelphia and Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Double-digit Declines in Mortgage Delinquency Projected Through 2011

December 7th, 2010 Comments off

HousingWire reports that double-digit declines in the mortgage delinquency rate for all 50 states will occur through next year, according to TransUnion. The company expects the national mortgage delinquency rate to fall by about one-fifth to 4.98 percent by the end of 2011. The company projects the rate at 6.21 percent at the end of 2010, representing a nearly 10 percent decrease from the prior year. Slowly improving employment figures and continued stabilization in housing prices are expected to fuel the declining delinquency rates.

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Smart Appliances on the Horizon

December 7th, 2010 Comments off

Construtech ran an article about smart appliances coming to the construction industry from General Electric. GE Appliances & Lighting plans to launch a portfolio of products that provide insight into energy usage across the home. The article says through a series of products that leverage connected technologies, such as smart meters, consumers will be able to manage and control their energy use and costs more efficiently. GE says homeowners will be able to remotely adjust smart thermostats and alter the consumption of GE Profile Appliances in response to utility price signals. Construtech says the smart home may be closer than you realize. Some manufactured homes feature GE appliances.

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