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Manufactured Homes in the News 100923

September 23rd, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

THE SANTA MONICA DAILY PRESS reports that Santa Monica officials have found a solution to the City Council’s Arizona boycott dilemma. After passing a ban over that state’s controversial illegal immigration policy, the city council rejected a low bid from Cavco and all other proposals and then authorized city staff to sidestep the normal bid solicitation process in order to negotiate directly with home manufacturers on the open market. This week city officials said the move paid off: the low bid has been matched by California-based Golden West Homes. Based in the Inland Empire city of Perris, Golden West is also 310 miles closer to Santa Monica than Cavco, so as the report indicates, the new proposal would also cut down on carbon emissions generated during the homes’ delivery.

U.S. HOUSE PRICES fell 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from June to July, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index. The previously reported 0.3 percent decline in June was revised to a 1.2 percent decline. The unusually large revision mainly reflects the addition of new data from late June that show considerably weaker prices than earlier in the month. For the 12 months ending in July, U.S. prices fell 3.3 percent. The U.S. index is 13.8 percent below its April, 2007 peak.

The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses backing mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Modular homes in the news…

NEWS1130 IN VANCOUVER, British Columbia reports that city is considering an innovative way to deal with homeless people on their streets. Council has put out the call for modular home designers to pitch their ideas. Councilor Kerry Jang told the reporter the homes would not be only for the homeless, but also for people on low incomes who need time to save up enough money in order to buy a home in the future.

“Up next, Manufactured Housing in the News…

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

Precision Capital Funding, on the Web at CaptiveFinance.net. Precision Capital Funding earned the MHI 2010 Service Supplier of the Year Award.

For more information, email Kenneth Rishel at kennethrishel@captivefinance.net or call 217-971-3968.

Now, back to our stories.

Manufactured Homes in the News…

KCCI 8 IN DES MOINES reports the end of a flooding nightmare is in sight for residents of two mobile home parks in east Des Moines. The city extended the homeowners a buyout offer after approving a $7 million buyout plan with the Department of Economic Development to buy and demolish the parks. According to the report, the first step is a voluntary purchase of the homes, although residents who choose to stay won’t have water or electricity.  City Manager Rick Clark said in the report the federal money for the buyouts is contingent on the city maintaining both properties as empty open space in the future.

FROM THE PAGES of the Muskegon Chronicle we find a letter calling for help. The owner of a manufactured home in Holton Township writes that he has not been given the chance to bring it up to new standards because the new code in Holton states that a manufactured home must be less than four years old when being installed. Joe Ferrier says in the letter that he went before the zoning board of appeals and even though the first statement of the ordinance says, “Nothing in these ordinances shall prevent a home from being repaired,” the ordinance was violated. “They feel I must remove the home and put in a new one because of the date of the home,” Ferrier writes. A hearing on the matter was being held Wednesday. MHMSM.com will follow up.

FROM ELLSWORTH, MAINE, Sargent’s Homes is celebrating sixty years. According to the article, the founder, the late Fay Sargent, had an international truck dealership when a friend in Bangor suggested he might try to sell a few mobile homes in Ellsworth. Today third generation is at the helm. Sargent’s sells modular homes, multi-section, single-section and vacation homes and assists with bank financing and land development. About 10 percent of Sargent’s business today is in manufactured homes.

FROM PENNSYLVANIA and the Echo Pilot, Pennsylvania residents building new homes in 2011 will need to install sprinklers. A new law takes effect January 1. The 2009 International Code Council set regulations which were adopted by the PA Department of Labor and Industry on Dec. 10, 2009. Now part of the state’s Uniform Construction Code, one clause requires in-home sprinkler systems, with sprinkler heads in the ceiling of each room. In Pennsylvania, sprinklers will not be required in manufactured homes, unless they are placed on basements, in which case the basements will be required to have sprinklers. For more on this topic, see our InFocus report entitled As a January Deadline Nears, Some Seek HUD Code Revisions, Others Stand by MH Preemption for Fire Sprinkler Systems.

In Market News…

THE DOW CLOSED DOWN 22 points on Wednesday on the revised numbers from FHFA on home prices. Manufactured housing stocks were mixed, with Deer Valley declining more than seven percent and Global Diversified Industries declining more than 30 percent. Meanwhile Drew Industries added 2.3 percent. The manufactured home composite value fell .7 percent.

FINALLY, ABC 10 NEWS in Sacramento reports that a couple bought a bank-owned home built in 1945 only to later discover the house was made of salvaged railroad ties. The unfortunate couple closed on the house late last year and first realized the exterior walls were composed of stacked railroad ties when they began remodeling in March. The construction material didn’t seem to pose a problem until summer heat brought eye-watering creosote vapors inside the home. Property records show the house was repossessed by Freddie Mac in June, 2009. Lenders are exempt from many of the real estate disclosures required by state and federal law. The couple did not order a home inspection report.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
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Modular homes in the news 100922

September 22nd, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

EVER NOTICE that reports of crime don’t often mention the construction method of where the event occurred, unless it happened in a “mobile home?” Just this week, a half dozen or so stories have come through the wires on crime, fires or other events that specify the type of home in the headline or text. The worst came Tuesday from Southern Maryland Online with the title of “Puppy Perishes in Manufactured Home Fire.”  [Erin, don’t read the website; it will be for the print version only.] http://somd.com/news/headlines/2010/12464.shtml

The type of home is not referenced in the article, only in the title. If you see a story that unfairly depicts manufactured home products, or incorrectly uses the words “manufactured”, “mobile” or even “modular”, let us know. We’re actively working to help inform the media on proper use of terms and to help fairly portray manufactured housing products in reports.

THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT’s U.S. Census Bureau today released data on new residential construction in August 2010.  Permits for new housing units rose 1.8 percent in August. The increase centered on multi-family permits. Analysts expected little change in total permits. Housing starts increased 10.5 percent to its highest level since April, well above private-sector expectations. “Today’s data on housing activity is welcome positive news,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “We’re headed in the right direction, but we know that the housing market is tied directly to jobs and incomes. That’s why this administration will continue to pursue policies, such as the new business investment tax break, that will spur growth and help put more Americans back to work.”

Manufactured Homes in the News…

ACCORDING TO THE HERALD TRIBUNE in Sarasota, Florida, last week, taxes were going up about 18 percent for residents of Bay Indies Mobile Home Park. This week, they are going down. That’s after a resident outcry was heard loud and clear by the Sarasota Country Property Appraisers Office. The 2010 estimated value has been lowered from $42.2 million to $38.3 million. Staff members visited the community to confirm the vacancy rate was about 10 percent, negatively impacting income projections.

ANTHONY WESTBURY, a columnist for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, told the story recently about Jean Donohue, a former resident of the Pleasure Cove Mobile Home Park in Fort Pierce, who was evicted when the community closed. According to the report, Donahue wasn’t alone; 180 others—mostly elderly, many in poor health and with little in the way of savings, lost their homes. The plan was to build 900 townhomes on the site, but that was at the peak of the development boom. The plan didn’t materialize and the property was repossessed by the bank. Today it’s an empty lot. Donohue now lives in another manufactured home at a community called Golden Ponds in St Lucie County. She was one of the lucky ones. As Westbury commented, 180 lives were disrupted and several deaths may be attributed to the stress from disruption. “What a waste,” he wrote.

“More Manufactured Housing in the News”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

LifeStylist.com – Lifestyle Driven Designs by Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber. Furniture, Decors and Model Homes designed for your budgets and your customers’ lifestyles.

Email them at answers@lifestylist.com, visit them on the Web at LifeStylist.com or call 214-941-8341.

Now, back to our stories.

FROM THE WINNIPEG FREE PRESS comes the story of Keith Bowes, who according to the article, built his first mobile home 61 years ago and is owner of Bowes Polar-King Homes on the Trans-Canada Highway. A phone call, however, confirmed the company produces manufactured homes. In the article, Keith Bowes said the homes he manufactures can easily hold up to a Manitoban winter. This is because manufactured homes are insulated on the bottom—where a third of the energy often escapes. As to why—in a city like Winnipeg, with an extremely low vacancy rate for apartments—more mobile home parks aren’t opening up with more people buying the units, Bowes said he knows the answer. “People just don’t know the facts,” he said.”Ours are built for our climate.”

NEBRASKA’S YORK NEWS-TIMES reports that hometown plant manager at Champion Homes, Jerry Haggadone has been inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame Class of 2010 on August 2. Haggadone worked just short of 45 years with the company in numerous management positions. He has been a key leader in getting legislation to bring Modular Homes into acceptance throughout the North Central region.  He served for over 22 years as a Kansas City MH Show board member and helped to establish the Omaha MH Show.

Also inducted were:

Jim Boyts, Skyline Corp, Elkhart, IN, housing manufacturer

Morris Hylton, Jr. Hylton Homes, Ivel, KY

Jess Maxcy, California MHI, Rancho Cucamunga, CA

Jeff Wick, Wick Building Systems, Mazomanie WI

Bill Garpow, Executive Director of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association was introduced as Chairman for the next two year term. The RV/MH Hall of Fame, established in 1972, has honored more than 300 industry leaders. It maintains a museum and library of industry history and archives at its 80,000 square foot headquarters in Elkhart, Indiana.

Modular homes in the news…

BCPROGRESSNEWS.COM ran another story on the new homes coming to a site on School Street in Chilliwack, British Columbia. The 33 modular housing units begin to arrive this week. Chilliwack was one of six B.C. communities to be awarded a share of the 330 modular units used to house Olympic athletes in Whistler during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The L-shaped building on School Street will eventually have 11 apartment units on the second floor and 22 units on the top two floors for adults challenged with mental health and addictions. The ground floor will feature office space for Youth Services and other amenities.

FOLLOWING A HIGHLY PUBLICIZED DISPLAY at the World Financial Center in New York City, the Country Living 2010 House of the Year has moved to Crystal Springs Resort in Hardyston, New Jersey.  The home has been reassembled and will re-open on September 24th as the Country Living Green Modular Home Design Center at its new and permanent “country” location. Surrounded by thousands of acres of preserved woodlands and lakes, the design center will be open to the public daily. Promoters say the Country Living Green Modular Home collection offers a range of historically-inspired designs that reflect the comfortable, warm and inviting style found in the pages of the magazine.

In Market News…

IT WAS A SEESAW OF A DAY on Wall Street Tuesday with the Dow ending up seven points in the green. A statement by the Federal Reserve today indicated the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months. Also Tuesday, the Labor Department revealed the employment picture has gotten worse in 27 states including Michigan, California and Nevada. After Kentucky and Georgia joined the list, 13 states had unemployment rates above 10% in August, as opposed to 11 the previous month. Manufactured housing stocks were mostly lower, but that didn’t stop Barnes Group and Skyline Corp for logging small gains. The manufactured housing composite value was down a half of a percent.

“On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. G’day!”

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Modular homes in the news 100921

September 21st, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH decided today that the Great Recession ended in June of 2009. That reassurance only goes so far. The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) reported that builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes held unchanged in September. According to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), neither a component gauging current sales conditions nor a component gauging sales expectations in the next six months budged in September from their low readings in the previous month. Regionally, HMI readings fell two points in the Northeast and three points in the Midwest. The South posted a two-point improvement while the West held unchanged. For now, we can at least erase fears of a double-dip in the recession. The economists say any future downturn would be a new recession and not a continuation of the one that began in December of 2007.

THERE WAS SOME GOOD NEWS on the housing front Monday that helped with markets. Site builder Lennar reported a return to profitability with a 14 percent jump in revenue coupled with a decline in construction costs. The company also reports, however, new home orders in June through August fell 15 percent. June was the worst. July and August were referred to as a “little less horrible.”

FANNIE MAE announced Monday that more than 29,000 owner-occupants have purchased homes in neighborhoods across the country through its First Look initiative over the last year.  First Look is designed to promote owner occupancy and provide both owner occupants and public entities an advantage in submitting offers on Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed properties without competition from investors.

Manufactured homes in the news…

ANOTHER STORY about the sour economy boosting manufactured home sales comes from the High Point Enterprise in North Carolina. According to the report, sellers of manufactured and modular homes say year-to-year sales have seen double-digit increases. The article references the 22 percent increase at Clayton Homes Sales.

REALESTATEJOURNAL.COM reported that Grandbridge Real Estate Capital’s Milwaukee office originated and closed an $8.15 million, 10-year, fixed-rate loan secured by Ferrand Estates, a 420-site manufactured home community located in Wyoming, Michigan.  Funding for the transaction was provided by AIG Asset Management. Grandbridge senior vice president Jim Cope arranged the financing on behalf of Hometown America, Inc.  With a portfolio in excess of 54,000 home sites, Chicago-based Hometown America, Inc. is one of the largest manufactured home community operators in the country.

“Manufactured Homes in the News continues…”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

MHMSM.com/solutions.

Do you have vacant homes or sites? Does your financing, market, sales or management need a boost? From high Return on Investment online marketing, to public relations, sales, lead and management systems and more, make us your Solutions Resource. When you are ready for the answers to your needs, visit MHMSM.com/solutions.

Now, back to our stories.

FROM OREGON, the Upper Rouge Independent reported that more than 100 residents from manufactured home communities in both Jackson and Josephine Counties learned that the proposed Manufactured Home Community Preservation Act of 2011 is about rent justification, not rent control. A panel that included Peter Ferris, Executive Director of Oregon Manufactured Homeowners United, helped to explain the difference: Rent control caps the amount rent can be increased with no exceptions. Rent justification is a mediation process. The legislative bill requires landlords (community owners) to open their books to justify a rent increase if there is a complaint from a tenant (community resident). The bill also addresses cost: every resident in a community would pay only $5 a year towards the process and landlords would put in $5 for every home in their community, generating about $600,000 annually.

FROM THE RAPID CITY JOURNAL in Iowa – the city is in the midst of a major overhaul of manufactured home community regulations, the first time the city has revisited those rules in at least four decades. City officials say creating a single set of rules will eliminate confusion and encourage real safety and quality of life improvements to the city’s many aging mobile home parks. But community owners and residents have expressed concerns, among them licensing cost.  Licenses cost community owners $50 a year, plus $1.50 for every home space in excess of 10. Under the first proposal, those license fees, which haven’t increased since 1968, would go up to $200 a year, plus $5 per home. The spacing between homes also spurred a number of questions. Pre-1968 requirements in Rapid City specify a 15-foot setback side to side, which increased to 20-feet. The new regulations would mandate 20 feet as homes are replaced.

IOWA MANUFACTURED HOUSING ASSOCIATION President Joe Kelly had a letter to the editor published in the Des Moines Register about the paper’s September 8 story highlighted on MHMSM.com’s News at Noon. In response to Strapped West Des Moines Trailer Park Residents Worry About Rising Rent, Kelly wrote that Western Village is an excellent community with a vast majority of happy residents. The story, he says, is about a management company making a decision – the sub-metering of waste water – that will pay off both for residents and management and makes it easier and faster to find leaks in the water system. That makes it both a cost containment and water conservation measure, Kelly writes. Without an effort to manage water usage, there will be constant pressure to raise rents to make up for the costs.

Modular homes in the news…

CUSTOM MODULAR BUILDER Barvista Building Systems recently announced that it is continuing indefinitely its successful Factory Tour and $500 incentive promotion. The Barvista Factory Tour program began in April of this year as a way to invite the general public into their facility to see for themselves how the process works. Known for its custom modular construction throughout the Rocky Mountain region, Barvista has already had customers not only attend tours but also take advantage of the incentive by receiving their $500 after their home was built. The general public is invited to Barvista’s facility in Berthoud, Colorado, on the second Saturday of every month.

DELAWARE ONLINE reports that a nonprofit organization proposing a controversial affordable housing project outside Laurel, Delaware, has appealed Sussex County’s rejection of the plan.  The project ran into stiff opposition from would-be neighbors, but the developer also argued that opponents’ claims of a negative effect on property values – echoed by the commission in its denial – doesn’t make sense. The 50 homes would be owned by their residents, but the land under them would be leased from the land trust under 99-year leases. New Horizons was originally proposed in 2007 as a manufactured-housing community, but later changed to stick-built homes. The advantage for residents is that they can buy a home without the cost of purchasing land. If approved, it would be open to residents who earn up to 80 percent of the county’s median income, with some homes set aside for households earning up to 50 percent.

In Market News…

STOCKS TOOK A GREAT LEAP FORWARD into the new week with the Dow rising almost 150 points. Some manufactured home-related stocks also recorded strong gains. Palm Harbor Homes was up four and a half percent, Equity Lifestyle Properties was up more than three and a half percent and the Barnes Group was up more than two and a half percent. The manufactured housing composite value ended the day 1.3 percent higher. Referred to in our earlier story, site builder Lennar ended the day eight percent higher.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Manufactured Housing in the News 100920

September 20th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

ACCORDING TO THE MHI Week in Review, on September 15, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises held a hearing on the future of housing finance and the status of Government-Sponsored Enterprises.  In his testimony, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Edward DeMarco indicated that a principal focus of the FHFA conservatorship role has been to maintain the GSE’s secondary mortgage market role “until legislation produces a resolution of their future” and minimizes losses, limits risk exposure and ensures GSEs price their services to adequately address their risks and costs. DeMarco also stated that while in conservatorship, GSEs will be “limited to continuing their existing core business activities and taking actions necessary to advance the goals of conservatorship.”  In June, FHFA issued a proposed rule indicating that FHFA would not consider manufactured home loans secured by personal property as part of the GSEs’ “duty to serve” obligations.

Manufactured Housing in the News

TV-STATION KCRG REPORTS that an Iowa levee that would protect factory-built housing has been shelved. A temporary levee built by residents and volunteers currently protects the homes in Thatcher Mobile Home Park, but state funds for a permanent structure didn’t materialize.

The city had asked for $2.1 million in state I-JOBS funding, but it was not among the projects selected by the I-JOBS Board Wednesday. The city planned to use $1.9 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds it has to pay for the rest of the project. There are about 160 factory-built homes and 400 residents combined in flood-prone areas.

FROM DELAWARE, the Cape Gazette reports that a local resident wants to review the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association (DMHOA)’s financial records. By federal law, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, members of a 501(c)(3) organization – and the public at large – can inspect the annual report of financial activity as well as all IRS documents, including the three most recent annual information returns. According to DMHOA’s charter, the organization is considered a 501(c)(3) corporation and falls under IRS guidelines. Fred Neil at the DMHOA told the paper the association is awaiting word from its attorney on the next step in providing the records.

A NEW EMPIRE STATE program could provide a boost to the manufactured home industry and provide residents there with new energy-efficient homes. WSYR-TV in Central New York reported that non-profits in that section of the state would be getting $1.4 million to help qualifying residents with older mobile homes replace them for free. Applicants must also be low-income and own both their home and the land it sits on. Applicants meeting all those requirements may qualify for $50,000 to buy a new manufactured home. Nancy Geer, executive director at New York Housing told MHMSM.com that the new homes have to be Energy-Star qualified. Look for a full report at MHMSM.com soon.

“Manufactured Housing in the News continues…

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

CommunityDASHinvestor.com.  Tap into Excellence, your ONE-STOP Resource for the Manufactured Housing Industry, the Leader in Land Lease Communities information!

Tap into Excellence – visit on the Web at CommunityDASHinvestor.com or call 317-346-7156.

Now, back to our stories.

THE TIMES &TRANSCRIPT in New Brunswick, Canada reported on the prospect of a new recreation center at the Pine Tree manufactured home community there. The completed project will consist of two playgrounds, a walking trail, outdoor ice rink, beach volleyball court, green space and seating areas for picnics. Killam Properties has put forward $50,000 for the initial phase of the project and the City of Moncton will install the playground equipment, while the province has donated $15,000 for the project. The community consists of some 824 homes.

THE CHARLESTON REGIONAL BUSINESS JOURNAL reports that new tax credits in South Carolina encourage the purchase of energy-efficient manufactured homes. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recognized South Carolina’s incentives for Energy- Star-labeled manufactured homes as one of 18 programs across the country in its “States Stepping Forward” awards program. The tax credits are managed by the S.C. Budget and Control Board’s South Carolina Energy Office in conjunction with the S.C. Department of Revenue. The incentives include waiving the $300 sales tax and providing a $750 nonrefundable state income tax credit.

In Business and Market News…

A.M. BEST CO. has downgraded the financial strength rating of Standard Casualty to B++ (Good) from A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating to “bbb” from “a-.” The outlook for both ratings is negative. Standard Casualty is a subsidiary of Palm Harbor Homes, Inc. The company says the downgrading of Standard Casualty’s ratings is based on the continued deterioration in the capital position and financial performance of Palm Harbor, which in A.M. Best’s view is not consistent with a parent of an “A-” rated insurance company. The ratings and outlook also reflect the uncertainty in Palm Harbor’s credit facility, debt obligations and liquidity requirements, which may result in a potential burden on the insurance operations.

THE SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE reported Friday that RV industry giant Thor Industries announced its purchase of an Elkhart County towable camper maker, Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC. Thor paid more than $200 million in stock and cash for the company. Heartland will continue under its current name, retain its brand portfolio and remain headquartered in Elkhart. Earlier this year, Heartland purchased the remaining trademarks of the towable brands of bankrupt Fleetwood Enterprises in February.

STOCKS ENDED THE DAY FRIDAY thirteen points higher. The biggest movers among manufactured home related stocks went into the red with Deer Valley Corp declining ten percent, Skyline down almost six percent, Palm Harbor down more than four and a half percent and CAVCO off nearly three percent. UMH Properties ended the day up nearly five and a half percent. The manufactured housing composite value was down nearly three percent.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Manufactured Housing in the news at noon 100917

September 17th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

NEW YORK GOVERNOR David A. Paterson recently announced 23 awards totaling more than $6 million to not-for-profit housing agencies and local governments in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley that will help to build, rehabilitate or modify 371 homes for low-income families, people with disabilities and frail elderly homeowners and tenants. This year, three awards totaling $1.5 million in HOME funds were used to support the Manufactured Home Replacement Initiative (MHRI) in the Capital District. MHRI is a new program created to address the growing crisis of outdated, dilapidated and dangerous mobile and manufactured homes in New York. The state says manufactured homes are an extremely important part of the state’s affordable housing portfolio. More than 500,000 New Yorkers live in manufactured homes, more than twice the number in Mitchell-Lama Housing, which is the state’s largest housing program. The funding will help local program administrators replace dilapidated mobile homes with new, state-of-the-art, ENERGY STAR qualified manufactured homes.

CNN REPORTED THURSDAY that the number of properties entering the foreclosure process has dropped, and now nearly matches the number of repossessions. Realtytrac reported the number of homeowners falling enough behind on their loans to attract initial notices of default was down 30 percent in August. An AP story took a different lead from the report, however emphasizing that lenders took back more homes in August than in any month since the start of the U.S. mortgage crisis. In all, banks repossessed 95,364 properties last month, up 3 percent from July and an increase of 25 percent from August 2009 according to Realtytrac. More than one million American households are likely to lose their homes to foreclosure this year.

REP. SCOTT GARRETT (R-NJ) Wednesday delivered the opening statement during the House Financial Services Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee hearing entitled “The Future of Housing Finance: A Progress Update on the GSEs.” Garrett commented that it has been more than two years since Fannie and Freddie were put into conservatorship and the discussion was beginning much later than it should have. “Fannie and Freddie are continuing to hemorrhage billions of dollars each quarter and with the possibility of a double dip recession and further home value declines, there is currently no end in sight,” Garrett said. “We need to be taking concrete steps right now to reduce the ongoing financial risk that Fannie and Freddie pose to the American taxpayer. One of those steps is to more rapidly increase the wind-down of the entities’ retained portfolio.”

IF YOU ARE ONE of the small businesses looking at using social media for promotion, you may be interested in a new report by eMarketer. Daily Twitter users who followed a brand were more than twice as likely as daily Facebook users who “liked” a brand to say they were more likely to purchase from the brand after becoming a social media follower. A February 2010 survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey also found that Twitter followers were more likely than Facebook fans to say they had an increased chance of buying or recommending the brands they connected with in social media. Be sure to read Bob Stovall’s Feature Article entitled “Online Marketing 1-2-3, Part 3 – Social Networking” now available at mhmsm.com.

“Up next, Manufactured Housing in the News…

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

Precision Capital Funding, on the Web at CaptiveFinance.net. Precision Capital Funding earned the MHI 2010 Service Supplier of the Year Award.

For more information, email Kenneth Rishel at kennethrishel@captivefinance.net or call 217-971-3968.

Now, back to our stories.

Manufactured Housing in the news…

A VERY UPBEAT TELEVISION REPORT on manufactured and modular homes recently aired on News 14 Carolina. According to that report, the economy is helping to fuel a boom in the sales of modular and manufactured homes. The report touted the quality construction, high-tech advances in appliance efficiency, insulation and price advantages of modular and manufactured homes. Billy Peeples, the General Manager of Oakwood Homes in Greensboro, North Carolina, told the reporter sales there were up 28 percent since last year. Dr. Andrew Brod at the Bryan School of Business commented that lower-priced alternatives were expected to do well in a down economy. One resident said her electric bill is about a quarter of what it was in her older rental home, which was smaller.

FROM YAMHILL COUNTY IN OREGON comes another report that while home sales are in a slump, lower-cost manufactured homes are selling. The Yamhill Valley News Register cited Clayton Homes and Liberty Homes. Clayton reported a 22 percent increase in sales, and Liberty says production is beginning to pick up. According to the Oregon Manufactured Housing Association, however, the number of units actually manufactured in the state has fallen from more than 25,000 at its peak in 1998 to about 2,500 so far this year. Liberty official Ben Roche told the reporter the industry is supporting federal legislation that would offer rebates for owners of pre-1976 units to trade up to new units carrying Energy Star certification. He said it is hoping to get a rebate provision incorporated into the American Clean Energy and Security Act as an amendment.

WILSON HOMES OF ARKANSAS was named “2010 Sales Center of the Year” by the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA) during the organization’s 39th Annual Meeting and Convention, held recently in Little Rock, AR. The family-owned-and-operated retail sales facility received the state trade association’s highest business honor for outstanding service to the industry and the organization. Wilson Homes was recognized, in part, for the great pride that its personnel take in the appearance of their sales center. Nominations come from AMHA members, and qualified entries are judged upon: overall appearance of the operation, business activity, professional and community involvement and service to the Association.

FROM TAMPA BAY ONLINE we learn that power was restored Wednesday afternoon to a mobile home park that was found to have electrical safety violations. The trouble began when Tampa Electric Co. went to the Easy Living Mobile Home Park to activate power to a mobile home, but discovered exposed electrical boxes instead. The company then cut power to 23 homes in the community. A spokesperson for the utility company told the paper that the property owner had removed 40 homes, but left meter sockets exposed. The issue has been corrected.

THE ILLINOIS MANUFACTURED HOUSING ASSOCIATION will be holding a Finance Seminar October 21, 2010, at the Northfield Inn and Suites in Springfield, Illinois. Registration is open to members and non-members alike. Greg O’Berry, CEO of Hometown America and in-coming chairman of the National Communities Council will be the keynote speaker speaking on the State of the Industry. Registration can be found by calling the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association at 217-528-3423 and requesting a registration brochure.

In Market News…

STOCKS BEGAN THE DAY THURSDAY lower, but turned around in the last hour of trading to end up 23 points. Most manufactured housing stocks on our watchlist ended the day lower with Palm Harbor Homes closing down more than seven percent, Skyline Corp closing down more than five percent and All American Group off more than 13 percent. The Barnes Group and Deer Valley closed higher. The manufactured housing composite value was off more than three percent.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Manufactured Housing in the News at noon 100916

September 16th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

AN EXTENSION to the SBA floor plan lending program is included as part of the Small Business Jobs Act, HR 5297 that passed a key vote in the Senate this week. Elizabeth Shappell at Congressman Donnelly’s office confirmed that a three year extension of the financing program, as well as an increase of loan caps to $5 million, is included.  “We will now wait to see if the House takes up the exact Senate bill or makes changes before there is a vote in the House on this package,” Shappell says.  Bailey Wood at the National Association of Automobile Dealerships, who initially confirmed the floor plan financing renewal and extension was in the bill, sounded optimistic, but   told MHMSM.com the legislation’s future in the House is uncertain.  “With the President looking for a pre-election victory in Congress, there is a great deal of pressure on the House to pass the Senate version quickly,” Wood says. The Act would also create a $30 billion fund run by the Treasury Department that would deliver low-cost capital to community banks and provide $12 billion in tax relief for small businesses.

ACCORDING TO MHI’s monthly economic report, 4,257 new HUD Code homes were shipped in July, 2010, down 3.8 percent from July, 2009. Trends by housing type varied with multi-section home shipments down compared with the same month last year, while single section home shipments showed an increase. In looking across the first seven months of 2009, 2010 started off with a 17.4 percent decline in January, February numbers that were essentially flat then gains in March, April, May and June. Over the period, total industry shipments stand at 30,659 homes compared with 28,822 homes in 2009, a year-to-date increase of 6.4 percent. Texas, North Dakota and Florida saw the biggest increases. Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama recorded the steepest declines.

MORE THAN TEN YEARS of federal preemption bolstered by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000 – and it remains untested as to whether the HUD code preempts local regulations including zoning and aesthetic requirements. MHIA was said to have bolstered the reach of federal preemption and to have helped the ability of manufactured homes to be placed anywhere a site-built house could be placed. Find a special InFocus report on federal preemption by Reporter Eric Miller available now at mhmsm.com.

CNN REPORTS that real estate values in California are on an upswing. Home prices are rising in virtually every corner of the Golden State, climbing for nine consecutive months, and in July posting a 10.4 percent gain year-over-year. San Francisco posted the biggest gain of any U.S. metro over the past year, rising 14.3 percent. San Diego climbed 11.2 percent and Los Angeles jumped 9.2 percent.  Analysts there say most of the subprime-related distressed properties are gone and when a foreclosure does hit the market, it is snapped up.

CONNEXION TECHNOLOGIES announced this week it has partnered with Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management to showcase their work with Manufactured Housing Land Lease Communities, mobile home parks and manufactured home developers.  In addition to single-family, multi-family, high-rise, resort and hospitality properties, Connexion Technologies will now serve manufactured housing communities. Connexion will manage telecommunications infrastructure for these properties and enable the same quality of internet, telephone, and television services as those available at its other properties.

“More stories continue…”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

LifeStylist.com – Lifestyle Driven Designs by Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber. Furniture, Decors and Model Homes designed for your budgets and your customers’ lifestyles.

Email them at answers@lifestylist.com, visit them on the Web at LifeStylist.com or call 214-941-8341.

Now, back to our stories.

REAL·ESTATE·RAMA reports the National Association of Home Builders’ Multifamily Market Indices show that current and expected demand for rental apartments improved significantly in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the first quarter. The current indices for Class A, Class B and Class C apartments rose to 59.5, 57.6 and 56.6, respectively, increases of more than 15 points when compared to the first quarter and the highest level since 2007. David Crowe, NAHB’s Chief Economist says as the supply of additional units declines and pent-up household formations re-emerge when the labor markets improve, demand for traditional rental apartments will rise.

Manufactured Housing in the News…

SENIOR HOUSING NEWS reported recently on the Energy-Efficient Manufactured Housing Act, which would entice owners of mobile homes constructed before January 1, 1976, to trade up or retrofit their existing homes with energy efficient features. The proposal restricts rebates to owners of dated manufactured homes that are used on a year-round basis as a primary residence that will be destroyed (including appropriate recycling) and replaced in the same general location with an Energy Star qualified manufactured home.

FROM GEORGIA, the Free-Times Press reports that a new law in that state means Murray County can’t keep out old mobile homes, but it does require they be inspected.  Murray had barred older manufactured homes from entering the county. County Commissioner David Ridley said in the report the county will still try to limit where mobile homes can be placed. For a $50 fee, county inspectors will travel to look at homes before they’re moved in. If the home fails inspection, owners can make repairs and ask for a recheck.

Modular Housing in the News…

THE PALM BEACH POST reports that city officials and neighbors watched as a home was lowered by crane onto a long-vacant lot, a move the city hopes will help revitalize the neighborhood. It’s part of a program bolstered by a federal grant to bring 18 new homes to Coleman Park. The modular homes, built in a factory in Plant City and then shipped to West Palm Beach, range in price from $118,153 to $177,748 mortgages, half of which will be picked up by the city for qualified buyers.

In Market News…

Healthcare and technology companies led the Dow higher on Wednesday, but many manufactured housing stocks ended the day down. Palm Harbor Homes was down more than six percent, Skyline Corp was down nearly three percent and Nobility Homes ended the trading day 3.6 percent lower. The manufactured housing composite value was off nearly two percent.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Modular Homes in the News 100915

September 15th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

THE SENATE VOTED TUESDAY by a 61-to-37 margin to move the $42 billion Small Business Jobs Act forward, which means back to the House of Representatives for approval before it reaches President Obama’s desk. The House passed its own version of the bill nearly three months ago. A Senate summary indicates the initiative could create 500,000 jobs.  But the bill met opposition in the Senate, where Obama has been lobbying hard for support. The act authorizes the creation of a $30 billion fund run by the Treasury Department that would deliver ultra-cheap capital to community banks.

CNBC REPORTS that numbers to be released by Realtytrac later this week will show

the nation’s banks repossessed a record number of homes in August. The network reported its sources confirm the number of repossessions will come in just shy of 100,000 for the month—the highest since the site began tracking in 2005. Notices of Default, which are the first step in the foreclosure process, are up slightly, but mostly thanks to a jump in California, where the numbers had been artificially low of late, as banks tried to modify borrowers.

Modular Homes in the News…

THE ISSUE WILL VERY LIKELY come back to the Senate floor. A story from New Bedford, Massachusetts, in South Coast Today tells the story of a local fire official who has made tightening modular home regulations his mission. Acushnet Fire Chief Kevin A. Gallagher was recently appointed to the state’s Board of Building Regulations and Standards, an 11-member board, which adopts regulations of the state building code. Gallagher is taking aim at two practices common in modular home building: the use of a glue (made from polyurethane-and-air), without metal fasteners such as nails and screws, to attach gypsum wallboard to wood framing in ceiling and walls. The second is the presence of expansive void spaces between the first-floor “box” of a modular home and the second. Gallagher contends that when the heat causes the glue to fail, a fire could spread much more quickly. Gallagher also told the reporter the state should also study the third-party inspection of modular homes, which he says can be less hands-on than inspections performed by local inspectors on-site.

FROM VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, schools could be built using modular methods. Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman told Business in Vancouver that modular school structures would provide the province with more flexibility because the structures could be easily moved if the student population were to drop at one school and swell at another.

“Modular Homes in the News continues…”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

MHMSM.com/solutions.

Do you have vacant homes or sites? Does your financing, market, sales or management need a boost? From high Return on Investment online marketing, to public relations, sales, lead and management systems and more, make us your Solutions Resource. When you are ready for the answers to your needs, visit MHMSM.com/solutions.

Now, back to our stories.

A TEAM OF STUDENTS from [Parsons The New School for Design], [Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy] and Stevens Institute of Technology have announced they will develop a solar-powered home for residents of the District of Columbia, working in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C., and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development. The Solar Decathlon is an international competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy that challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses, which will be exhibited on the National Mall in October, 2011. Also, for the first time, the Empowerhouse team will take the competition beyond the Mall, by also designing and constructing a solar-powered house in the Deanwood neighborhood of Washington.

In Business and Market news…

NOBILITY HOMES announced sales and earnings results Tuesday for its third quarter ended July 31.  Sales for the third quarter of 2010 were up 41 percent to $4,351,040 as compared to $3,082,551 recorded in third quarter of 2009.  Income from operations for the third quarter of 2010 was $27,229 versus loss of $299,019 in the same period a year ago.  Net loss after taxes was $132,546 as compared to income of $21,862 for the same period last year.  The company reported for the first nine months of fiscal 2010, sales were up 26 percent to $11,352,443 as compared to sales of $9,032,850 in the first nine months of 2009.  Loss from operations for the first nine months of 2010 was $621,292 versus loss of $1,703,084 in the first nine months of 2009.  Nobility says its financial position during third quarter of 2010 remains strong with cash and cash equivalents, short and long-term investments of $10,460,210 and no outstanding debt.  “Sales and operations for the third quarter of 2010, were adversely impacted by our country’s severe economic uncertainty and the low manufactured housing shipments in Florida, plus the overall weakness in Florida and the nation’s housing market,” company president Terry Trexler stated. “Lack of retail and wholesale financing, increasing unemployment and home foreclosures, slow sales of existing site-built homes, very low consumer confidence and a poor economic outlook for the U.S. economy are just a few of the challenges  our country,  our industry, and the company faced.”

Although the overall housing picture, financial market and economy have not improved significantly during the past nine months and the immediate outlook for the manufactured housing industry in Florida and the nation is uncertain, the long-term demographic trends still favor future growth in the Florida market area Nobility Homes serves. Job formation, immigration growth and migration trends, plus consumers returning to more affordable housing should favor Florida.  Nobility Homes, Inc. has specialized for 44 years in the design and production of quality, affordable manufactured homes at its plant located in central Florida.

STOCKS WERE HIGHER for most of the Tuesday trading day, but closed down 17 points with financial share declines overwhelming technology share increases. The manufactured housing composite value was down half of one percent. Publicly traded manufactured home stocks also declined.  Palm Harbor Homes being was a notable exception, gaining more than three percent. Nearing the September 30 end of the fiscal year, UMH Properties, Sun Communities, Skyline Corp., Equity Lifestyle Properties, Deer Valley and the Barnes Group are currently showing gains.

FINALLY, it was brought to our attention that the FHFA web site lists only 465 responses to a proposed rule on Duty to Serve, not the “more than 1,000” reported by MHMSM.com. While 465 responses are listed on the FHFA web site, many of the links provided contain multiple letters, with several individual links containing more than 100 letters. FHFA has not as of yet responded to our request for an actual count of individual responses, but a rough calculation indicates there may have been well over 1,000 responses. The responses were solicited by a coalition outreach effort by MHMSM.com, MHI, MHARR, Hometown America, American Land Lease and Captive Finance News.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Manufactured homes in the news 100914

September 14th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

IN AN EFFORT TO INFORM the current discussion on the future of the housing finance system, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released data on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Monday that compare the credit quality and performance of the loans they acquired relative to loans financed with private-label mortgage-backed securities. Key findings include an analysis of credit scores that showed eighty-four percent of single-family mortgages acquired during 2001 to 2008 were made to borrowers with FICO credit scores above 660, while 5 percent were made to borrowers with FICO scores below 620. In contrast, 47 percent of mortgages financed with private-label MBS originated during this period were made to borrowers with FICO scores above 660, while 32 percent were made to borrowers with FICO scores lower than 620. Regarding loan-to-value ratios, more than 82 percent of Fannie and Freddie-acquired loans had LTV ratios at origination of 80 percent or less, while two-thirds of mortgages financed with private-label MBS had LTV ratios at or below 80 percent. Moreover, eighty-eight percent of Fannie and Freddie-acquired mortgages were fixed-rate loans originated between 2001 and 2008 and ranged from 79 percent for 2004 originations to 96 percent for 2001 originations. Finally, roughly 5 percent of Fannie- and Freddie-acquired, fixed-rate mortgages and 10 percent of acquired ARMs were over 90 days delinquent at some point before the end of 2009. Roughly 20 percent of fixed-rate mortgages and 30 percent of ARMs financed with private-label MBS were over 90-days delinquent at some point before year-end 2009.

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOMEBUILDERS (NAHB) has begun defending homeownership amidst talk in Washington of bolstering programs that subsidize renting. After a recent Time magazine cover story “Rethinking Homeownership” questioned the desirability, the organization has called owning a home a cornerstone of the American Dream. NAHB CEO Jerry Howard traveled to New York to meet personally with TIME magazine editors and provide what it calls a rational view of the many benefits of homeownership.

Manufactured homes in the news…

FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, the Times and Democrat reports Orangeburg County’s zoning official says three manufactured home subdivisions adjacent to the Calhoun County line are incorrectly zoned. The subdivisions are all zoned residential single-family, which does not allow for manufactured homes. It was requested the properties be rezoned for forest/agriculture, which allows manufactured homes.

FROM NORTH CAROLINA, the town of Sedalia is looking into designating specific areas for manufactured homes. Town Clerk Cam Dungee told WFMY News that the proposal is to keep single and double-wide homes in a certain area of the town. The town would need to hold a public hearing to approve the addendum’s to the Town’s Ordinance prior to any changes.

“Up next, Modular Homes in the News

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

CommunityDASHinvestor.com.  Tap into Excellence, your ONE-STOP Resource for the Manufactured Housing Industry, the Leader in Land Lease Communities information!

Tap into Excellence – visit on the Web at CommunityDASHinvestor.com or call 317-346-7156.

Now, back to our stories.

Modular homes in the news…

THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD in Maine reports that a Portland architect is teaming up with a modular home builder to create a series of modular houses with the capacity to generate as much energy as they use. The net-zero homes, which combine super insulation, efficient heaters and solar energy to produce all the power they need on an annual basis. Prices will start at $205,000 for a small, two-bedroom house, excluding the cost of land, utilities and solar panels.

MORE ON THE NEW HOME of world-renowned Everglades’s photographer Clyde Butcher—from the News Press in Fort Myers, Florida. An Estero, Florida-based contractor began installing his modular home in Harbor Lights, a manufactured home community in Venice. The 1,000-square-foot home features a white metal roof with solar panels, high insulation ratings and energy-efficient air conditioning. It will be anchored to a 14-foot-high concrete structure and be able to withstand 150 mph winds.

In markets and business news…

UMH PROPERTIES announced that it will present to the Philadelphia Securities Association on Wednesday, October 6. The Forum will be held at the Union League of Philadelphia located in Philadelphia, PA. Eugene W. Landy, Chairman of the Board, and Michael P. Landy, Vice President – Investments, will present an overview of the company followed by a question-and-answer session. The presentation will be available on the company’s website umh.com.

THE PRICE OF TEA IN CHINA may not seem as removed as it once did. Stocks rose on Monday after China’s industrial output surged, and regulators gave banks as much as eight years to meet capital requirements. Also today, billionaire investor and Clayton Homes owner Warren Buffett said his businesses are growing and ruled out a second recession in the U.S. “We will not have a double-dip recession at all,” Buffett said at the Montana Economic Development Summit. “I see our businesses coming back almost across the board.”

OTHER NOTABLE COMMENTS at the event came from GE CEO Jeff Immelt who said the economy since the 1970s has been driven by consumer credit and a misguided notion in building a “lazy” service economy. Today Immelt says manufacturing, with an aim to reduce the trade deficit, is the key. “It was just wrong. It was stupid. It was insane,” Immelt said of the push for a service-based economy. “The future of our economy has to be as an exporter.” Immelt also notes his company is finding it profitable to build manufacturing and service centers in the United States rather than overseas.

STOCKS CLOSED 82 POINTS HIGHER Monday with some manufactured housing related stocks also recording gains for the day. Leading the way in terms of percentage increase were the Barnes Group, All American Group and Drew Industries. Cavco, Nobility Homes and Skyline closed lower. The manufactured housing composite value ended more than one percent lower. In contrast, the residential construction composite value was up more than two percent.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here


To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Modular Housing in the News at noon 100913

September 13th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

MORE CALLS came late this week to eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Led by Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, House Republicans say they’re eager to curb government’s involvement in the housing market, starting with eliminating Fannie and Freddie. Dallas Mayor and U.S. Rep. Steve Bartlett, president of the Financial Services Roundtable, told the Dallas Morning News that almost everyone agrees we’re going to do away with the organizations; “the issue becomes, what do you replace it with?” Mark A. Willis, resident research fellow at the Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy at New York University told the paper that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages would be more expensive without a federal guarantee.

In Manufactured Housing News…

FROM THE MHI WEEK IN REVIEW comes notice that after a month-long Summer Recess, a four-week session of Congress opens next Tuesday, September 14th. MHI says with the economy and jobs continuing to make headlines, and with many vulnerable Congressional Democrats feeling pressure at home in an election year, several initiatives related to economic and fiscal policies are expected to be at the forefront, including tax relief and jobs. Specifically among the possibilities MHI sees being debated are a tax extenders package, a proposal to increase small business lending, and the appropriations bills where it appears that Congress will likely enact continuing resolutions to fund the government at 2010 budget levels for the time being. The group says with elections less than two months away, it will be difficult for any major agenda items to pass. MHI says it will be focused on getting two of MHI’s top priorities – the extension of 45L (the Energy Star tax extenders), and the pre-1976 replacement home legislation, both of which will help stimulate the industry and economy as well as provide much needed jobs – passed in the Senate. Congress has fewer than four weeks of work left before lawmakers break to campaign for the November election.

A SEPTEMBER 8th WASHINGTON UPDATE from the Manufactured Housing Association from Regulatory Reform reports that consumer finance reforms are being ignored by regulators. With total industry production this year not far from 2009 levels, the lowest since 1949, action on FHA Title 1 improvements and Duty to Serve are essential. The Washington Update is available under MHARR news at www.mhmsm.com.

FROM CANADA, the Edmonton Journal reports that a court has approved an extension of the creditor protection order for insolvent Edmonton-area modular home builder Winalta Inc. The company filed for creditor protection in April when it couldn’t meet debt obligations. Recently-sold assets include a manufacturing plant, gravel pit leases and residential properties.

FROM THE MAIL TRIBUNE in Southern Oregon comes a report that a rent control bill proposed for the 2011 legislative session could face stiff opposition from the manufactured home industry. Don Miner, executive director of the Oregon Manufactured Housing Association told the paper that rent control will only force some property owners to eventually sell off their land for other purposes, forcing the closure of manufactured home communities. Peter Ferris, executive director for the Oregon Manufactured Homeowners United, pointed out that rents in some landlease communities have gone up as much as 55 percent.

“Up next, Modular Housing in the News…

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

Precision Capital Funding, on the Web at CaptiveFinance.net. Precision Capital Funding earned the MHI 2010 Service Supplier of the Year Award.

For more information, email Kenneth Rishel at kennethrishel@captivefinance.net or call 217-971-3968.

Now, back to our stories.

Modular Housing in the News…

ACCORDING TO BIV BUSINESS TODAY, successful conversion of an athletes’ village into social housing for seniors and people who are mentally challenged has spawned the purchase of modular homes in a Phase 2. The British Columbia government spent $20 million to convert 320 units into 156 permanent homes, a significant savings over the $30 million it would have cost to build from scratch. Another $124 million is being spent to build 1,308 modular housing units to enable seniors to stay in small communities.

In Business and Market News…

2010 MARKS Connexion Technologies’ second consecutive year on the Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest growing private companies. Fewer than 25 percent of companies on the list are those making second appearances, but rapid and consistent growth since 2006 enabled its return. The list is featured in Inc. Magazine, as well as online and in a variety of other media outlets. “Fast growth at any time is a big achievement; fast growth during the past few years is just short of miraculous,” said Inc. editor Jane Berentson. Connexion Technologies customizes and manages advanced communications networks in residential properties nationwide. The company selects and manages providers that offer entertainment and communication applications, including enhanced television, telephone and internet services over Connexion’s provider-neutral networks.

RESEARCH AND MARKETS has announced the addition of the “Manufactured Housing” report to their offering. The company says the US manufactured housing industry includes about 200 companies with combined annual sales of about $3 billion. Major companies include Cavco, Champion Enterprises, Clayton Homes and Palm Harbor Homes. The profile indicates the industry is highly concentrated: the top 20 manufacturers account for about 80 percent of revenue. Demand is driven by population growth, the cost of alternative forms of housing and the availability of credit. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and access to dealers. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing and distribution. Small companies can compete successfully in local markets.

OSCAR WILDE said the basis of optimism is sheer terror, but it was optimism about the recovery that carried the day on Wall Street Friday and saw the Dow gain 47 points. As CNBC Staff writer Jeff Cox expressed, the market is getting a lift from things being not as bad as they seemed. The manufactured housing composite value was up point four percent for the day and many related stocks on our watch list gained. These include Nobility Homes, up more than 13 percent to close at $10 a share. Skyline Corp. and Equity Lifestyle Properties also recorded gains.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

Listen to Podcast Here

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Categories: news-at-noon Tags:


Modular housing in the news 100910

September 10th, 2010 Comments off

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

ABOUT HALF OF AMERICANS who claimed the tax credit on their 2009 tax returns will have to return the money. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 created a new First-time Homebuyer Credit equal to 10 percent of the purchase price of a first-time homebuyer’s home, limited to a maximum amount of $7,500, which initially served as an interest-free loan to be repaid over 15 years. Subsequent laws expanded the credit and eliminated the repayment requirement, except in those instances in which the home is sold or is no longer the taxpayer’s primary residence within 36 months. TIGTA’s study found that an estimated 73,119 (4.1 percent) of the approximately 1.77 million individuals receiving the Credit had incorrect purchase dates recorded at the IRS. Of those, 59,802 had purchased their homes in 2009, but the IRS incorrectly recorded the purchases as 2008 or the years were not recorded. These taxpayers could incorrectly receive notices requiring repayment, TIGTA found. The report also found that $10.1 million in Homebuyer Credits were claimed by 1,326 taxpayers who were identified as deceased by the Social Security Administration. The IRS did not allow 528 of those individuals to receive over $4 million they claimed for the Credit. The inspector general also reported that 1,326 single people listed as dead by the Social Security Administration claimed more than $10 million in credits.

MORTGAGE RATES are off their historic lows. Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan was 4.35 percent, up from 4.32 percent the week before, only the second rise in 12 weeks. Last week’s was the lowest number since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications to refinance home loans fell 3.1 percent last week, reducing overall loan applications by 1.5 percent.

FROM THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, Fleetwood Enterprises lives on through a donation by its founder John Crean. A ten-million-dollar donation from the Crean Foundation of Newport Beach to Chapman University’s school of health and life sciences was announced Wednesday. The money will help in the ground-up construction of a building to house the Crean School of Health and Life Sciences, along with two other schools within the Schmid College of Science. John Crean died in 2007.

Manufactured Housing in the News…

MANY STATES AND MUNICIPALITIES are currently faced with sprinkler mandates for newly-constructed, single-family housing, including manufactured housing. The International Residential Code (IRC), including the fire sprinkler requirement, has been adopted by California, Pennsylvania, Maryland and South Carolina, with many other states and local jurisdictions planning to consider this requirement when they update their codes. While some say federal preemption should keep fire sprinkler systems from being mandated in manufactured housing, interpretations by HUD conclude federal preemption does not cover fire sprinklers. Meanwhile several of the states where the IRC has been adopted have received a perhaps temporary reprieve from the sprinkler requirement. Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association Executive Vice President Mary Gaiski explains that in her state only the basements of manufactured homes set on foundations will be required to have sprinkler systems. Find the full INdustry In Focus report now at MHMSM.COM. [Bob: short link please]

“More Manufactured Housing in the News…”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

LifeStylist.com – Lifestyle Driven Designs by Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber. Furniture, Decors and Model Homes designed for your budgets and your customers’ lifestyles.

Email them at answers@lifestylist.com, visit them on the Web at LifeStylist.com or call 214-941-8341.

Now, back to our stories.

ANOTHER COUNCIL CANDIDATE in Johnsonville, South Carolina has weighed in on an effort by that city to restrict the placement of manufactured houses. David Eaddy told the Weekly Observer, “some people cannot afford big, nice homes, so they elect to go to mobile homes or manufactured housing.” He favors public meetings and discussions before rezoning to exclude the homes.  Look for an upcoming report at MHMSM.COM on federal preemption by the HUD code and how it might impact situations like this one.

THE ATHENS BANNER-HERALD reports that county commissioners there have removed age restrictions on manufactured homes brought into the county. A new Georgia state law bans restrictions on moving manufactured homes into a county based on the structure’s age.

THE DAILY COMET in LaFourche Parish, Louisiana reports zoning laws in the city of Thibodaux [TIH-bih-dough] are outdated. A study commissioned by the city council also referred to the laws as vague, confusing, arbitrary and in need of a comprehensive update. The study says confusion exists over the differences among modular, mobile and manufactured homes. The report says city officials have temporarily banned modular homes in areas zoned R-3, but may not be any more clear than the zoning laws. Errol Price, Thibodaux’s building inspector, told the paper his office refuses permits for all homes delivered on wheels in R-3 districts. But unlike mobile and manufactured homes, modular homes do not have permanent wheel chassis. Look for an upcoming article at MHMSM.COM that will clarify the differences of these and other manufactured housing terms.

Modular housing in the news…

BOSTON-BASED CUSTOM HOME BUILDER Sterling Homes Development Corporation has launched a new web site that features a section explaining the benefits of modular homes. Russell Busa, president of Sterling Homes, explains there are many misconceptions in the marketplace about modular construction and that today’s modular homes can be built in virtually any design, are energy efficient, and often go up in a fraction of the time of a traditional stick-built home. The site is online at sterlinghomesdev.com.

In Market News…

STOCKS CLOSED UP with the Dow moving 28 points higher on Thursday. The manufactured housing composite value closed three percent higher, but plenty of related stocks were in the red. Deer Valley closed down nine percent and Palm Harbor closed lower by almost six percent. Cavco, however, was more than three percent higher by the market close and Skyline was higher by more than six percent.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

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