Posts Tagged ‘2018’

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies 2018 – Affordability, Manufactured Homes, and Modular Housing Report

June 28th, 2018 Comments off


Since 1988, our annual State of the Nation’s Housing report has provided an overview of housing market conditions in the U.S.,” said Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) to the Daily Business News via a press release.


As we mark the 30th anniversary, this year’s report not only examines recent trends, but assesses whether and how key metrics have changed over the last three decades and serves as a yardstick to measure whether or not the nation has met its goal of producing decent and affordable homes for all,” said the JCHS statement.


JCHS’ Executive Summary

The inaugural State of the Nation’s Housing report in 1988 noted that the majority of Americans were well housed and some conditions have improved since then. More than 40 million units have been built over the past three decades, accommodating 27 million new households, replacing older homes, and improving the quality of the nation’s housing stock,” said the Harvard researchers’ statement.

Homeownership rates among young adults are even lower than in 1988, and the share of cost-burdened renters is significantly higher, with almost half of all renters paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing,” said the 2018 JCHS report.

Soaring housing costs are largely to blame. The national median rent rose 20 percent faster than overall inflation between 1990 and 2016 and the median home price rose 41 percent faster,” per the JCHS.  “While better housing quality accounts for some of the increased costs, higher costs for building materials and labor, limited productivity gains, increased land costs, new regulatory barriers, and growing income inequality all played major roles as well.”

To help busy professionals manage the length of the 44 page report – and keep it as relevant and useful as possible for manufactured housing industry professionals, investors, and researchers – what will follow are a series of unedited ‘pull quotes’ from the JCHS report.

Fair warning. Modular housing gets very little attention, essentially a modest mention.

HUD Code manufactured housing fares significantly better. Still, there’s not a lot of details in what follows that a well informed MHProNews reader wouldn’t already know.

So why bother?


4 Reasons for Factory-Built Home Pros to Read This JCHS Report:

The above noted, why read this? Simply because it’s a million-dollar road map for a variety of reasons, but let’s note 4 of them:


  • As noted, the university level data is like a road map – a gold-mine of the opportunities – for manufactured housing or other factory-crafted housing professionals to explore. Almost every page is a description of possible opportunities for the industry.
  • The State of the Nation’s Housing 2018 gives an independent review of data compiled by a respected institution – Harvard – has been doing for 3 decades. Rephrased, it has credibility.
  • It largely confirms or clarifies dozens of reports previously shared on MHProNews from a variety of other sources.
  • It will be an anchor for several planned reports by MHProNews that manufactured housing advocates, investors and others will be able to rely upon.

What will follow are pull quotes, without commentary. The headings will often be our phrasing, not JCHS’. While the Daily Business News will skip some sections, the meatiest material for our audience is covered in the quotated statements below.

The 2018 JCHS entire report, complete with an array of graphics and charts, will be provided at the end of this article.  We’ll conclude with a hyper-brief analysis of our key takeaway from the document. Let’s dive in.


Housing Costs

“Another factor is the low level of single-family construction. Despite six consecutive years of increases, single-family starts stood at just 849,000 units in 2017, well below the long-run annual average of 1.1 million. Indeed, only 610,000 single-family homes were added to the stock annually in 2008–2017…

Along with limited land, respondents to builder surveys cite rising input costs as adding to the difficulty of constructing entry-level homes. As a result, the share of smaller homes (under 1,800 square feet) built each year fell from 50 percent in 1988 to 36 percent in 2000 to 22 percent in 2017. Of this latest drop, 9 percentage points occurred in 2010–2013 alone…


Unlike single-family homebuilding, multifamily construction ramped up quickly after the crash as rental demand surged. From a low of 109,000 units in 2009, construction of multifamily units peaked at 397,000 starts in 2015 and accounted for more than half the gains in housing starts over that period. However, the multifamily construction wave is now moderating, with starts down 1 percent in 2016 and 10 percent in 2017…

This slowdown comes in response to both weaker overall rental demand and increasing slack at the upper end of the market…

Indeed, the cumulative effect of strong growth in housing costs and modest gains in household incomes has left nearly half of today’s renters with cost burdens, including a quarter with severe burdens. The rising cost of homes for sale also raises downpayment and closing costs, making it more difficult for individuals and families to make the transition to owning…


National efforts are necessary to close the affordability gap. Housing policymakers have many opportunities to address the cost side of the equation, including the increasing size and quality of homes; lack of productivity improvements in the residential construction sector; escalating costs of labor, building materials, and land; and barriers created by a complex and restrictive regulatory system. However, tackling this broad mix of conditions will require collaboration of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in a comprehensive strategy that fosters innovation in the design, construction, financing, and regulation of housing…

But even if successful, these efforts will not produce decent, afford- able homes for the millions of households that simply cannot pay enough to cover the costs of producing that housing. For these families and individuals, there will always be a need for public subsidies. The federal government’s failure to respond adequately to this large and growing challenge puts millions of households at risk of housing instability and the threats it poses to basic health and safety. Many state and local governments are doing their part to expand assistance, but a more robust federal response is essential to any meaningful progress in combatting the nation’s housing affordability crisis…”



Page 8 Before Manufactured Housing Gets Mentioned

(Bold Added for Emphasis. one editorial note is made)

“Nonetheless, entry-level housing still accounts for a small share of new construction. Only 163,000 small single-family homes were completed in 2016, or 22 percent of single-family construction— down significantly from the 33 percent share averaged in 1999–2007. Moreover, manufactured home shipments totaled just 93,000 units in 2017, far below the 291,000 annual average in the 1990s and even the 137,000 annual average in the 2000s


The only JCHS graphic that specifically mentions manufactured housing.

“Modest-sized homes are considerably more affordable for first-time and middle-market buyers. According to the Survey of Construction, the median price for a small home sold in 2016 was $191,700. The average sales price for a new manufactured home in 2017 was even lower, at $72,000. By comparison, the median price for all other single-family homes was $324,700 in 2016…

“With few additions of smaller units, most modestly priced homes are found in the existing housing stock. Indeed, small homes make up nearly half of single-family homes. In 2015, there were 37.3 million single-family homes under 1,800 square feet. The stock of small homes is generally older, with nearly two-thirds (65 percent) built before 1980 compared with 43 percent of larger homes…”

Manufactured housing is prevalent primarily in the South, where some 58 percent of the 6.6 million units nationwide are located. Another 21 percent are in the West, 14 percent in the Midwest, and just 7 percent in the Northeast. Nearly two-thirds of manufactured housing shipments between 2009 and 2017 were also to the South.”

Daily Business News Notice: A more common figure used for all pre-HUD Code and post-HUD Code MH is roughly 8.8 million units.  What possibly explains the difference?  Because about 1 out of 5 MH are mobile homes, not manufactured homes.  We’ve reached out to Harvard and ask for that number to be clarified, and will update once received.

As a result, manufactured homes make up 9 percent of the total housing stock in the South, with especially large shares in South Carolina (16 percent) and in West Virginia and Mississippi (14 percent each). While the share in other regions is only 4 percent, a few states also have high concentrations of manufactured housing, including New Mexico (17 percent) and Wyoming (13 percent). Manufactured housing also provides 14 percent of homes in non-metro communities, more than double the share in the country as a whole.”


4 Prime Factors Hamper Housing Growth

“First is the shortage of skilled workers. In a 2017 survey of homebuilders, 82 percent of respondents cited the cost and availability of labor as a significant problem…

Second, the cost of building materials has risen…”

Third, developed land has become scarcer. Metrostudy data for 98 metro areas indicate that the number of vacant developed lots declined from 1.26 million in 2008 to just 802,000 in 2017…

Finally, local zoning and other land use regulations can reduce the amount of new construction by constraining the type and density of new housing allowed…



Modular housing, constructed in factory conditions before being transported and assembled on site, could provide at least part of the answer. Including the value of land, the median price for a new modular unit was $217,200 in 2016—nearly $90,000 less than for a new site-built home. To date, however, homebuilders have been slow to adopt this innovation, with only 15,000 modular homes added in 2016. Indeed, modular housing has never accounted for more than 4 percent of single-family construction in the United States. By comparison, modular housing accounts for 9 percent of new homes in Germany, 12–16 percent in Japan, and 20 percent in the Netherlands.”


It is interesting to note that the rate of home ownership began to rise during the time after the 2016 election. Several confidence surveys have reflected growing consumer and business confidence, which has yielded more home purchases vs. renting.


Housing – The Outlook

“The housing sector faces significant challenges in the short term. Labor shortages, rising materials costs, limited land availability, and land-use regulations are all holding down growth in new residential construction. Meanwhile, inventories of existing homes for sale are at all-time lows, pushing up prices and making homebuying more difficult, especially for low- and moderate-income households…

With its oldest members now in their late 20s and early 30s, the millennial generation is forming new households in greater numbers and moving to different states in search of opportunity. At the same time, nearly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, raising the average age of US households. Although wealth is growing, homeowners and those at the top have captured most of the gains, and millions of households have little or no wealth. Going forward, immigration will become an increasingly large, albeit unpredictable, source of population growth and therefore housing demand…”


Immigration and Housing

“According to Census Bureau data, the number of foreign- born households more than doubled from 7.7 million in 1990 to 17.8 million in 2016, accounting for more than a third of the growth in households over that time…”


Housing and Minorities


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“Minorities made up half of the nation’s low-wealth households in 2016, up from 39 percent in 1995. They also accounted for more than three-quarters of the growth in low-wealth households between 1995 and 2016. Indeed, as the number of minority house- holds increased over this long span, the shares with low wealth remained consistently high at 52 percent for blacks, 49 percent for Hispanics, and 30 percent for Asians and other minorities. Meanwhile, the share among whites also remained steady at a relatively low 22 percent…”


Interstate Migration

“Resuming past trends, total net domestic migration to the Southeastern states of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas rebound- ed from a low of 86,000 in 2009 to 317,000 in 2017. Meanwhile, domestic outflows from the Northeast and Midwest continued to increase in 2017. The three states with the largest net domestic outflows—California, Illinois, and New York—lost 443,000 residents to domestic migration in 2017, more than double the 207,000 net losses in 2011…”


Homeownership Rates


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“The national homeownership rate ticked up in 2017 for the first time in 13 years, buoyed by growth in the number of homeowner households. Despite the ongoing rise in home prices, low interest rates have helped to keep monthly housing costs relatively affordable for new homeowners. Still, the upward climb of interest rates, limited inventory of homes for sale, widespread increases in student loan debt, and insufficient savings for downpayments raise important concerns about the ability of many potential buyers to access homeownership…”



Rising Prices but Relative Affordability

“Continuing a steady upward climb, the nominal median sales price of existing homes increased from $233,800 in 2016 to $247,200 in 2017…


In the high-cost Los Angeles market, for example, a household with the area median income would be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments on only 11 percent of recently sold homes. And because these homes include studio apartments and other small units suitable for only one or two people, the affordable options for families are even more limited. By contrast, even a low- income (bottom-quartile) household in Pittsburgh would be able to afford 26 percent of recently sold homes. Such dramatic differences in affordability contribute to large disparities in homeownership across metro areas. Of the nation’s 50 largest metros, Pittsburgh has the highest homeownership rate of 70 percent, while Los Angeles has the lowest rate of 48 percent…”



“The FHA and VA shares of home purchase loan originations have also leveled out in recent years following a significant jump during the foreclosure crisis (Figure 24). Indeed, even as the number of 1–4 unit, first-lien, owner-occupied mortgage originations rose from 2.7 million in 2013 to 3.5 million in 2016, the FHA share remained near 20–25 percent. While down sharply from the high of 41 percent in 2009, the FHA share is still well above the 6 percent low in 2005. The VA share held at 10 percent in 2016, up from 2 percent in 2005. Meanwhile, the conventional share of originations stayed close to 60 percent…”


As a reminder to MHProNews readers, the GAO reported that manufactured housing is less costly than typical rent, so this type of data, while troubling for the nation, is an opportunity for manufactured housing industry professionals and investors.

Rent vs. Own

“…However, survey evidence points to continued strong interest in homeowning. The 2018 Survey of Consumer Expectations found that 67 percent of renters would prefer or strongly prefer to own homes assuming they had the financial resources to do so. Only 19 percent would prefer or strongly prefer to rent. Moreover, 61 percent of renters think buying a home in their ZIP code today is a somewhat or very good investment, and just 12 percent believe it is a somewhat or very bad investment…

The Survey of Consumer Finances shows that the median net worth of renters was just $5,000 in 2016, about the same in real terms as in both 1995 and 2007. Moreover, fewer than one in three renters had more than $10,000 in financial assets, and only 21 percent had more than $25,000. As a result, only a small share would be able to cover even a 3.5 percent downpayment and 2 percent closing costs on a median- priced home, which amounted to $13,596 in 2016…”



“There are signs that the rental market is cooling, although primarily at the upper end. The number of multifamily starts declined slightly over the past year, and expanding supplies of new luxury apartments pushed up vacancy rates, helping to slow rent growth. Although the number of high-income renters is still growing, lower rentership rates among key groups—particularly younger households—may indicate a turn toward homeownership. Meanwhile, the supply of rentals affordable to the nation’s lowest- income households continues to shrink…

The Survey of Construction indicates that nearly half of the rentals completed in 2016 were in buildings with 50 or more units, compared with just 13 percent in 1999. Most other new units were in buildings with at least five apart- ments. In addition, 86 percent of new apartments in 2016 were in properties with swimming pools, up from 69 percent in 1990. Some 89 percent of new units in 2016 also had in-unit laundry services, significantly higher than the 61 percent share of existing units with this amenity…

Both rising construction costs and added amenities have pushed up asking rents. The nominal asking rent for new apartments increased average rents for new units in certain major metros (including Chicago, Miami, and Washington, DC) were $2,000 or higher.”


Several sources have pointed to appreciation in manufactured housing too, but that isn’t addressed in this report.  There is a marked rise in the value of manufactured home land-lease communities in recent years, but that is also not mentioned in this report..

Easing at the High End of Rentals

“The national vacancy rate for all rental units averaged 7.2 percent in the year ending in the first quarter of 2018, up 0.3 percentage point from a year earlier. But the rate for rental units built since 2010, as measured by the Housing Vacancy Survey, hit 21 percent in 2017. While not unprecedented compared with the rates for similarly new units in 2007 and 2008, this high vacancy rate far exceeds the 15 percent reported a year earlier…”


Shortfall in Lower Cost Rentals

“The nation’s supply of low-cost rental housing shrank significantly after the Great Recession and has remained essentially unchanged since 2015. A National Low Income Housing Coalition study found that for every 100 extremely low-income renters, only 35 rental units were affordable and available in 2016—a nationwide shortfall of more than 7.2 million units (Figure 29). Conditions for very low-income renter households were little better, with 56 affordable and available rentals per 100 households…”


Housing Cost Burdens

“More than 38 million US households have housing cost burdens, leaving little income left to pay for food, healthcare, and other basic necessities. As it is, federal housing assistance reaches only a fraction of the large and growing number of low-income households in need. Between the shortage of subsidized housing and the ongoing losses of low-cost rentals through market forces, low-income households have increasingly few housing options. Meanwhile, the rising incidence and intensity of natural disasters pose new threats to the housing stocks of entire communities…

About a third of the households in metropolitan areas struggle to find affordable housing (Figure 35)…


Threats To The Affordable Supply

“The National Low Income Housing Coalition reports that the gap between supply and demand for rental units affordable and avail- able to very low-income households is 7.7 million…”



“HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report shows that nearly 554,000 people were living in shelters or on the street on a given night in January 2017…”


State and Local Initiatives

“According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition database, about 100 state and local programs provide either tenant-based assistance or capital support for affordable rental housing development…”


Housing Losses to Natural Disasters

“The 16 major disaster events in 2017 caused a record-setting $306 billion in damages. These events caused destruction of hundreds of thousands of homes and widespread displacement of households across California, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Texas. In Puerto Rico alone, storms destroyed or severely damaged an estimated 472,000 housing units…

FEMA direct assistance filled some of the gaps for households without flood insur- ance, providing financial help for 1.6 million households…

The rebuilding process has its own challenges. The three states with significant disaster damage last year—California, Florida, and Texas—have large populations of undocumented immigrants, households that are unlikely to apply for assistance in fear of depor- tation. In Puerto Rico, relief is complicated by the fact that much of the housing stock was built without permits or without regard to building codes…

Recovery will no doubt be long…”


MHProNews Analysis in Brief

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun has noted before that the nation needs some 8.3 million housing units.  What Harvard’s annual report indicates are an array of other facts that point to tens of millions of possible opportunities for forward thinking HUD Code manufactured housing and modular builders.



Collage by MHProNews.


Earlier today, in the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) noted their request to have multi-family housing units approved by HUD.

Manufactured Housing Program Review Addressed by HUD Secretary Carson during Oversight Hearing

Harvard didn’t in this report look at specific issues such as acceptance, financing, political, zoning, or any other reasons why manufactured housing wasn’t performing better than it is. That said, their report uses correct terminology, and is on balance, respectful of the industry. Harvard’s Eric Belksy has been cited before as saying he expected manufactured housing to surpass conventional housing by 2010.  We know that didn’t happen, some of the debatable reasons why are linked in related reports below.

But the bottom line is this.  There are millions of housing units needed now, and millions more that will be needed in the years ahead.  With the proper approaches, the opportunities are available. With hundreds of billions in capital pouring into the U.S. the best time in about 2 decades to tap those opportunities may be right now.

The entire report is available at this link here.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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Related Reports:

Celebrate National Home Ownership Month, with 26 Cool Prefab Cribs, a $1 Billion Dollar Hybrid Mansion, 4 Fun Videos

Evolutionary American Dream, from Tiny Trailer Houses, Mobile Homes, to “Amazing” Modern Manufactured Homes

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Manufactured Housing – “Giants vs. Independents” – Tunica Talk – “You’ve Got to See This”

March 22nd, 2018 Comments off


An independent manufactured home retailer walked up to the Daily Business News team in Tunica Wednesday to say, thank you” for the depth of coverage of the industry’s news.

A HUD Code home producer said, “I wish you’d tone it down a bit,” on the controversies, while expressing “appreciation for the unrivaled coverage of industry events not found anywhere else” in the manufactured home industry’s trade media.

Another independent retailer and his family approached the MHProNews squad during the lunchtime hospitality. He wanted to give his family and team members a chance to discuss what’s been taking place on finance related issues, such as the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Duty to Serve (DTS).


A long-time Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member said, “you [MHProNews] were right about HUD, Pam Danner, and Lois Starkey,” but took exception to the controversy surrounding the so-called “new class” of manufactured homes that MHI is promoting.


Meanwhile, a veteran factory-built housing professional that had previously been “open minded” about MHI’s project for a “new class” of manufactured homes has after reading and doing his own research, turned against the plan (see Related Reports, linked below, for more details about these hot topics, plus more from the 2018 Tunica Show).

Rephrasing, the comments and reactions to the industry’s issues have run the gamut. From management team members in the industry’s biggest companies, to mom and pop operations and all others in between, the data and engagement reflects the pragmatic respect given to this MH Industry trade media resource.


We are not wearing bold branded t-shirts, ball-caps or neon signs in Tunica. Part of what’s noteworthy is that lacking any identification of MHProNews other than the Tunica Show’s badge – which the wind routinely whips around – many professionals are eager to engage and express their views to the manufactured housing industry’s most popular and independent trade news.



You’ve Got to Read This…”

Walking through a display model for a new HUD Code producer, a retailer and his colleague from Texas engaged with us. “I used to forward your news emails to” his partner, with the message – “You’ve got to read this.”  Then he shared later email news updates, saying, “You’ve got to see this and read this one too.” That went on for some time, until his colleague signed up for his own email news.


That same Texan said “We’re giving the giants a run for their money” in his market area.

They were looking for a non-Clayton producer to buy new homes from. “Why?” was our question. “Because of the issues raised in stories you’re reporting on, like the long-lead times” post-Harvey in Texas.


You sure do keep it stirred up,” opined a straight-faced industry professional, who paused – adding “keep it up – followed by a slight smile.

Tony, I read every emailed news update, from top to bottom” said another retailer, with exhibitors and community professionals often saying something similar.



Upbeat, But Aware…

Attendance is up slightly over last year, say show sources.


Independent producers are becoming more aware than ever of the trajectory of the industry, the causes of that trend, and are taking steps to address it, say industry sources.

Rain on Tuesday didn’t dampen traffic in the display homes, said several manufacturing exhibitors.  Wednesday was windy, but warmer and sunny.  Traffic in the homes was brisk.


Tamas Kovach (pronounced like “TahMash CoVatch), is part of the MHProNews MHLivingNews family, with a Tunica Show attendee. Numerous such photos are taken during the course of the event.

The mood of attendees has been overall upbeat, association executives, and exhibitors told the Daily Business News. Comments from attendees made directly to the MHProNews confirmed those observations.

We’re more upbeat about the industry in some ways, but we are also more aware of the trajectory of the industry toward consolidation,” said an attendee.  “Those who don’t plan according to reality are in denial.”



Everyone Knows Your Name…

As one attendee said after another industry mom and pop couple stopped us to say hi, “It’s like a line out of the TV comedy, Cheers – where everyone knows your name.


Stopping to chat with industry professionals in Tunica, happy to have their photos shared.

Your son is getting taller, and stronger” said one after getting a hand-shake from Tamas Kovach.



The industry’s professionals “are hungry for real news, not happy talk” explained a factory-producer.


Note: the photos are randomly placed, and should not be construed to match the commentary.

One attendee pointed to stacks of a new trade publication in high-visibility racks near the exhibit hall.  They appeared to be untouched.  “It’s not ‘rah rah’ that will help a company navigate the challenging waters of the industry,” said an exhibitor.


There are several websites and trade media that are de facto surrogates for MHI ‘news,’ per industry sources.  Those media routinely have far less engagement from the industry than what readers say is our “hard-hitting coverage on issues that matter to investors and professionals.” The proof is shown dramatically in images like the above. Racks like this posted near the entrance of the exhibit hall looked untouched, with every glossy magazine going unread. MH professional readers vote with their time, browsers and engagement – or lack of engagement.

The feedback in many ways confirms what calls and messages to MHProNews between events likewise reflects.


Naturally, not everyone agrees with everything that is spotlighted by our pro-industry publications. But reader feedback, along with analytical data, reflects the dominance of MHProNews over other trade mediaCandid, fact-base reports and analysis are reasons routinely cited by pros.


The quality and appeal of today’s manufactured homes continues to rise. While prices are going up, so too are costs for conventional housing, so the percentage savings for a consumer buying a manufactured home vs. conventional housing remains favorable and strong. A rep from Fannie Mae told MHProNews that as a newcomer to the industry’s product, he is impressed with the quality and value. 


A post-Tunica report will be coming soon, which will break new ground on issues ranging from:

  • manufactured home lending,
  • association related,
  • new class of homes,
  • ongoing “consolidation” of the industry – and possible steps to address that challenge,
  • HUD and regulators at all levels,
  • marketing, sales, and image related issues, plus more.


It’s part of manufactured housing’s leading Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.” ©

The Tunica Show in 2018 has thus far confirmed what the Louisville Show did earlier this year. With the affordable housing crisis raging, how is it possible that the manufactured home industry sunk to such a low ebb?  Why are HUD Code manufactured homes  only rising slowly from it’s bottom in 2009?

It was summed up late last year by an industry executive, who said. “Tony, if MHProNews is writing about it, I want to know about it.” ## (News, analysis and commentary.)



Finance related news was made Tuesday in Tunica, click the image above or the link here to learn more.

Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, Photo Report, Day One

Tunica, Nashville Trade Shows and Manufactured Housing Glory Days

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform Demands Clarification on “New Class” of HUD Code Manufactured Home

4 F’s and True Believers

4 Concerns of Homebuilders Have Impacting Every American

(Third party images, cites are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, Photo Report, Day One

March 21st, 2018 Comments off


Rain and dreary weather outside did not keep hundreds of manufactured home retailers, communities, builder/developers and others from coming to the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show yesterday.



Board members from the SEMH trade group that ‘owns’ the show have given positive reviews and upbeat feedback from exhibitors and attendees.


A good look at the seats and room tells the tale from Tunica in 2018. </I.

Warm smiles, an upbeat attitude was in abundant evidence.


New products and exhibitors were evident in several displays.

Just a few photos from the event hall where exhibitors were on display, yesterday.


One of several exhibitors who reported good, healthy traffic.





More updates from the 2018 Tunica Show are planned.  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)


Tunica, Nashville Trade Shows and Manufactured Housing Glory Days

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“More Dangerous…Decisions” – Unlocking the Industry Professional’s Potential Power in 2018

January 1st, 2018 Comments off


It’s not about political labels.


It’s about a search for the truth that alone informs and sets people free from the poverty of ignorance.


When you surf to the right-of-center Forbes website, or read your left-of-center New York Times emailed news, they both feature quotable quotes.


Those pithy expressions often capture in a few words or sentences an essential truth that won’t be grasped as clearly any other way. Then, one must apply ethics and reason to those quotes, and see if they are worth applying.


To kick off 2018, MHProNews continues its multi-year tradition of bringing insights, information and inspirational knowledge to the factory-built industry.

Understanding, principles and knowledge properly applied are the only silver bullet that has routinely worked.


Many of these quotes would be politically incorrect. We shared some of these years before, others more recently or for the first time today.


Warren Buffett and Donald Trump share this belief.  You should know all that you can – read, learn and apply – on things impacting your life.

Monday Morning Sales Meeting, What Warren Buffett & President Donald Trump Profitably Agree On

The quote ought to be pondered, and then the lessons applied.


Scientia potentia est potentiale.” = Knowledge is potential power.”


Without a search for understanding, and ways to improve, all that people are left with is whining, the slavery of the rut, and being a victim.



9 years ago, MHProNews launched on the premise found in our original tag line in the logo below.


As this platform matured and grew, so did the tag line, shown in the logo below.



Our new year’s wish begins by thanking our sponsors and those who use our professional services, which makes it possible for us to serve our thousands of daily readers.



Our moral traditions developed concurrently with our reason, not as its product.” – Friedrich A. Hayek.


A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.” – Friedrich A. Hayek.


There is no market report today.


The same principle that Dr. Thomas Sowell spotlighted in the quote above -prior to ObamaCare going into effect – on why federalized healthcare could not work, applies to other aspects of charitable services operated by government. 


Dr. Sowell’s is why private, faith-based charities are routinely proven to be more efficient than government ones.


L. A. ‘Tony” Kovach took the photo at the right for

From our family to yours, may your new year be prosperous, healthy, and bright.


## (Thought provoking, new year greetings, analysis, commentary.)

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Manufactured Housing Industry Tips, Documents, News-Talk; Christ, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump – Flashback, Fast-Forward 2018 Analysis

December 30th, 2017 Comments off

It was a document read into the Congressional Record.


It was first published by MHProNews.


The document originated from a reader who sent it in as a news-making tip.

As in last night’s report, industry veterans will rapidly ‘get it.’

The two “Smoking Gun documents from 21st Mortgage were sent in as a reader tip to the MHProNews. Will Democrats and/or Republicans – or bureaucrats – introduce them into the federal record in 2018 or 2019?

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

Numerous other items, news tips – verbal and documented – have come into this pro-consumer, pro-industry trade media from third-party sources.

We review those through the lens suggested by industry veteran, Marty Lavin, JD – shown below.


Lavin is an MHI award winner, and a success story in communities, retail and finance.


Federal Hearings, Investigations and D.C. Politics in 2018

Hearings and research are expected that could impact manufactured housing on issues such as:

  • finance,
  • antitrust (anti-monopoly),
  • racism,
  • energy,
  • corruption,

and more.

FHFA Publishes Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Underserved Markets Plans for Duty to Serve (DTS) Program


Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

MHARR vs. MHI on DOE Energy Rule, Pushback Pay$ Off?

Some of those may begin under the guise of a partisan, political issue.

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

But partisanship on some issues as big as affordable housing can rapidly become bi-partisan, as an infrastructure bill may remind the nation in 2018.

From Senator Elizabeth Warren to the 45th president, monopolies are on the minds of Americans.


Maxine Waters specifically raised the topic of monopoly with respect to Berkshire Hathaway’s manufactured home brands – Clayton Homes, and their lenders – Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, and 21st Mortgage.

Post-Charlottesville, CfA’s Hunts Evidence of Racism, Steering, Predatory Lending Against Buffett’s Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage, and 21st Mortgage

So too have pro-manufactured housing advocates like Prosperity Now (formerly CFED), or industry pros such as George Allen.

If they all magically changed their tune tomorrow, one would still have to ask the questions that a good journalists should, like – Why?

Research on affordable housing – including manufactured housing – related issues have been, and are being done by the CFPB, per Congressional and other sources.

The CFPB has already publicly referenced in a report MHProNews as a source.

Website software – which doesn’t know specifically who is on the site – does ‘sniff’ a .gov, .edu, .mil, .org, and other extensions that become data which inform our operations and management that a healthy percentage of researchers are on the MHProNews and MHLivingNews websites daily.

There is an increasingly referenced “deep state” in Washington’s “swamp.” Senator Bernie Sanders, and the President of the United States (POTUS), Donald J. Trump, are not the only ones who’ve spoken about the “rigged system.”

President Raises the M-Word, “Monopoly,” Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Market Update$

There is a new sheriff in town who can’t drain the swamp and deep state overnight. But he has already taken on the establishments of both political parties several times.

On a variety of issues, the president has won. All signs are, POTUS is willing to pivot as needed, and that he is relentless.

With anti-monopoly (anti-trust) obviously on President Trump’s and Democrats minds,

  • and given the aspirations of the American Dream,
  • look for researchers across the partisan divide to be digging into affordable housing,
  • including manufactured homes (MH).

Monopolies have long been seen as harmful to the interests of the vast majority of Americans. How are monopolies playing out in our MH industry?

Video Crash Course on Monopolies, Plus Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President Richard A Dick Jennison Video

Media and Political Influence

Pew. Harvard. The Media Research Center. Sharyl Attkisson.

Commentary, news, and other research across the left-right political divide have focused on issues of media tilt, bias and agendas – or other matters that impact or included manufactured housing industry professionals by the thousands.

Reports, Reflections on Media Tilt, Bias, Ignorance, and Manufactured Housing

Benson Demonstrates How “Propaganda Works” on “Most Americans”

Those same issues impact manufactured home owners by the millions.

Having the most “newsmaker” interviews in the industry, and the most research between our sister sites means that more people are looking for insights on information they find relevant.

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

Multiple sources – public and private – inform the Daily Business News on MHProNews about what’s actually occurring, as well as what may be about to happen, in the foreseeable future.

ELS’ Sam Zell – Compliance Costs Destroys Smaller Businesses = Consolidation

Professional and other reader tips and inputs to those platforms always have and always will, matter.

The Importance and Value of Independent MH Trade Publications

They come because we are the most read, the most independent, and the most trusted news-source in manufactured housing.


Consumers and manufactured homeowners, past and present, also contact MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

Media, attorneys, researchers, investors, professionals – all interact and intersect here.

What’s Wrong, What’s Right

There’s no president who has not invoked God’s name numerous times during the course of their presidency. Candidates for public office do so too.

On the 6th day of Christmas – and in the light of Judge Andrew Napolitano’s interesting editorial point this week – one might ask the following.  What role does God, ethics, and faith play in the lives of presidents and the nation?

Was Bill Clinton Just Wrong, or Did He Lie? MH Impact – Facts, Analysis

What role does God, ethics and faith play in lives of the thousands of industry professionals?  Or the millions being served?

Last night’s Daily Business News item on President Clinton could posit the same type question to any president, public official, or person.  See the Bill Clinton linked story, above.

Paraphrasing former Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, who said that he did not believe in most conspiracy theories. But what Watt did believe in was like-minded people who behave in like-minded ways.

That often looks to be conspiratorial, observed Watt, even if its not.

“Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find,” James Carville, Clinton Strategist

Tug of War for America’s Future, Center Stage in 2018

There is a tug of war over what America will look like in the years and decades ahead.

The principle of limited government – which was the bedrock that the U.S. Constitution was established upon – has arguably been eroded over the years. The general welfare clause of the Constitution was twisted to mean the opposite of what the founders expressly stated in the balance of the federal constitutional charter and the Bill of Rights.

  • Some believe in big government, because it brings them more money, and more power.
  • Others believe that limited government that provides maximum freedom and incentives for Americans will serve the majority, best.

Manufactured Housing is impacted daily by federal, state, and local officials.

The public is clamoring for affordable housing.

“The Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis is Hiding in Plain Sight”

When some 8 million housing units are needed, expect the millions to be heard.  With ever more investors discovering the realities vs. the myths of manufactured homes, the time is approaching when the MH industry could explode onto the political stage.

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

Those looking initially may or may not always recognize that manufactured homes are a solution for affordable homes.

Manufactured Housing Facts 2017, By the Numbers

But millions of homeowners and consumers already know that manufactured homes are their solution.

The recently litigated case, linked below, reminds us all that people are fighting for the right that would not have been questioned in America a century or so ago.

“Mobile Home Ban” Suit Win, “Equal Justice Under Law,” Manufactured Home Owners, Buyers, Industry

Right and Wrong

What’s wrong is that we don’t ask what’s right,” said the brilliant scholar and news columnist, G. K. Chesterton.


To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

Industry. Investors. Public officials – elected and appointed. Researchers. Consumers. Manufactured homes owners. What’s wrong? What’s right? Do eternal principles matter? Will the rigged system be unrigged?

Or will the changing moods of the times, and those with power or money manipulate and hold sway?

Officials, advocates and the people are reading, viewing, and asking questions.

They are making inputs, and providing tips.

2018 MH Initiatives

In the first quarter of 2018, several initiatives, videos, and reports are planned for production and publication.

One is a video done recently with a focus group on affordable housing, and manufactured homes role within it.

Based upon prior history, those are likely to be considered by many sources across the political spectrum.

Change is coming. That’s a given.

Will that change look more or less Godly? More or less in keeping with the American Dream? More or less like the principles of limited government that made America great in the first place?

Stay tuned.

More news, and newsmakers will provide the answers, starting next week, with more MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” ©  ## (Fact checks, flashback, news in review, analysis, commentary.)

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TwitterFacebookLinkedInNew Year’s Resolution: This writer already has one of the largest LinkedIn followings in the manufactured home industry. But we’ve frankly not asked for Twitter, or Facebook followers. That changes, starting today. If you want to keep up with posts relevant to the industry, you can connect via the links below. @LATonyKovach



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We agree with Warren Buffett on the value of the lessons of history, reading and research. Without those deep insights, the wool can be pulled over other people’s eyes.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and
Both are #1 in their categories.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.

Manufactured Housing, 2018 – Will there be a Bipartisan Push to Enact Infrastructure Bill? MH Impact?

December 27th, 2017 Comments off

Still from video, further below on this post/i>

Democrats resisted the GOP on the now-passed and signed into law tax bill.

Will there be bipartisanship on an issue that they often champion, infrastructure?

Energy and infrastructure are the kinds of higher-paying jobs that cause housing companies – including manufactured home (MH) producers – to see more sales.

Several of those specifics – such as roads and bridges – could be near and dear to the hearts of transporters and other MH industry professionals.

Some believe there will be a bipartisan push, but many are doubtful.

The President of the United States (POTUS), Donald J. Trump, is sounding confident.

In 2018 we have a BOLD agenda ahead of ourselves, said a message delivered under President Trump’s name from the White House. “We will build the wall, we will enhance our broken infrastructure, and we will replace our mindless diversity-visa-lottery immigration system where anyone and their cousins can come in with an America First MERIT-based system,” said the statement to the Daily Business News.

The Fox Business video below brings in voices from the pro-Democratic and the pro-Republican camps.

With Bernie Sanders making a widely reported statement that acknowledges that the POTUS Trump/GOP tax bill will in fact help the middle class, but made a caveat that it is temporary vs. the permeant cuts for businesses, there could end up pressure on Democrats to join Republicans in 2018 to make the middle-class tax cuts permeant.

That in turn could become a factor on this infrastructure issue.

The political chess match is on.

Midterm elections are going to be front and center in news that will impact manufactured home businesses, along with all others. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Manufactured Homes Commission Abolished, Effective January 21, 2018

October 4th, 2017 Comments off

AxedPixabayDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIn place for the last ten years, the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission [OMHC] is an independent agency, with a team of trained professionals, knowledgeable about the homes and the way they are built and installed,” said a statement from the Ohio Manufactured Home Association (OMHA) to MHProNews.

The Commission does its job free of political influence, ensuring every home installation is inspected and each one is safe. Now, the rigorous inspection process currently in place in Ohio will be absorbed into the [Gov. John] Kasich Administration’s 800 employee Department of Commerce bureaucracy,” the OMHA said.


The Ohio trade association and several industry groups fought last year to stop the Kasich Administration from abolishing their inspection and regulatory process.  As was reported at the time on the Daily Business News (DBN), the OH House of Representatives initially went with the OMHA and the state’s resident rights home owner group.

But ultimately, Kasich’s efforts to abolish the OMHC succeeded.


Image credits, OMHA, provided under fair use guidelines.

Fingers Crossed in Hope…

tim williams exev vp ohio mfg homes assoc

Tim Williams, OMHA.

Our Association along with the resident…rights group (The Association of Manufactured Homes Residents in Ohio – AMHRO) hope the Kasich Administration will continue to inspect 100% of all new and used home installations without unnecessary delays,” OMHA said.

Kasich, as those who follow national politics know, has become a bit of a wild-card in GOP politics, hinting he may leave the party if it doesn’t change to his liking.


MH Industry sources with ties to the state tell MHProNews that they supported the governor’s political campaign. But those campaign contributions fell on deaf ears when this issue of their state regulatory agency came up.


The Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission will formally end next January, 2018. What will take its place is not yet known. Credit, OMHC.


Photo provided by Andrea Reichman upon MHProNews request.

The manufactured homes industry provides Ohioans affordable homes that are well built and fire safe, helping people regardless of their income achieve the dream of home ownership,” said the OMHA’s statement. “Hopefully the administration will also realize that manufactured homes are safe, well built, and owned by people who care for their properties.”


“OMHA plans to offer more information on the OMHC transfer as information becomes available. Your patience is appreciated as the industry prepares for this new era,” the OMHA said. Credit, OMHA.

We stand ready to assist the [Kasich] Administration in the transition. We hope the Administration will call on our Association and AMHRO during the transition. We also encourage the Administration to transfer the small Commission staff with 88 years of combined experience to the Department of Commerce to ensure continuity in the regulatory program. We look forward to working together to ensure homeowner safety for Ohio’s manufactured home residents,” the OMHA said. ##

Update 10.5.2017 at 9:48 AM ET:

As always, thanks for your interest in the Ohio battle,” said OMHA Executive Director, Tim Williams.

It is worth noting, that the industry support you reference for Kasich’s Presidential bid DID NOT come from OMHA,” Williams stated in an on-the-record email. “I am also not aware of any Ohio industry people directly supporting Kasich’s Presidential bid, though there obviously could be some who did. Regardless, political contributions are not a quid pro quo or designed to be but merely to express support for aspects of the political process supportive of quality affordable and safe manufactured homeownership.”

MHProNews did not intend to imply that OMHA supported Gov Kasich, so we welcomed this clarifying comment,” said publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach. “Our sources for the information were OMHA members, but it was not the OMHA itself.”

It is always the aim of the Daily Business News on MHProNews to get the facts right, and we welcome comments, and make revisions if and as needed.  As it stands, Williams’ comments were a helpful clarification, but did not change the facts as reported. ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

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2018 RV/MH Hall of Fame Call for Nominations

April 22nd, 2017 Comments off

Credit: MH/RV HOF.

Even though six months remain until the deadline, Darryl Searer, president of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation wanted to remind MHProNews, and industry professionals, that if they are considering nominating someone, now’s a good time to begin working on it.

Even though we are intensely planning for the induction dinner celebration for the Class of 2017 on August 7, 2017, it’s really not too early to start the process of nominating a deserving individual to the Hall of Fame for the Class of 2018,” said Searer.

It’s a lengthy process that should not wait until the last minute, so I urge those who are considering a nominee to download the guidelines and forms so their nominee can be considered for the Class of 2018.”

Nomination guidelines state that anyone can nominate a person to the Hall of Fame that meets the eligibility requirements. The only people who may not be considered are those who currently serve on the Hall’s Selection Committee.

In order to be eligible, nominees must be, or have been, an active participant in any segment of the recreation vehicle, campground, or manufactured housing industries for a minimum of 25 years.

Also, beginning with the Class of 2017, Canadians may also be nominated.2018RVMHHallofFameCallforNominationscreditMHRVHOF2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews





The Hall welcomes nominations from all RV and manufactured housing sectors — manufacturers, dealers, campgrounds, housing communities, suppliers, user groups, trade media, associations, etc. — for the class of 2018 and beyond,” said Searer.

The nominating committee is especially interested in receiving nominations for deserving early pioneers who may have been forgotten, passed over or overlooked in the past. The Selection Committee is made up of an equal number of members of the RV and Manufactured Housing industries, and members will only vote on nominees from their respective industries.”

Additional details for Hall of Fame nominations are linked here. For more on Woody Paylor, retired founder of Woody’s RV, the first Canadian inducted into the hall, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Innovative, Affordable Modular Housing Highrise Set for Completion in 2018

November 16th, 2016 Comments off

Credit: Wandsworth SW18.

Wandsworth, a parish in West Yorkshire, England, is the site of an innovate affordable modular housing project.  It is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2018.

Pocket, a London-based builder of “starter homes for city makers” is building the Mapleton Crescent development – a 26-story, 89-home tower built entirely from modular units.

According to wandsworthsw18, the development is the company’s first in Wandsworth and the fourth utilizing the latest techniques in modular construction. Modular techniques see completed living spaces assembled in factories before being transported to sites and installed with cranes.

Pocket says the use of modular construction on the Wandsworth site will shave around six months off the tower’s total build time.

If we’re able to scale up modular construction it has the potential to help solve London’s housing crisis,” said Pocket CEO Marc Vlessing.


Marc Vlessing. Credit: Vimeo.

Factory built modular homes are quicker to build than conventional buildings and result in significantly less disruption to local residents – with 60% fewer trucks coming to sites and 90% less waste.

The 26-story tower is Pocket’s most ambitious project to date, and believed to be Europe’s tallest tower using modular construction.

I’m delighted Pocket’s first Wandsworth-based housing development is now under way,” said Wandsworth Council Leader Ravi Govindia. “These compact starter homes are a superb innovation and offer a new affordable housing option in the heart of Wandsworth town center.

I’m sure they will be a popular choice with local residents and we hope to see more schemes like this developed in the years ahead.


Inside of one of the Mapleton Crescent units. Credit: Wandsworth SW18.

The modular units are being constructed at the Vision Modular Factory in Bedford, where all internal finishes, heating and plumbing installations, windows, external insulation and some external finishes are applied.

At a total cost of 40M Pounds ($49.7M USD), Mapleton Crescent will feature 53 affordable units to be sold outright at a discount of at least 20 percent to first time buyers, as well as 36 private units. The development will also feature a communal roof terrace on the 24th floor.

The building’s design is equally impressive, particularly the green ceramic cladding system which will be another first for Wandsworth. The emphasis on creating such high quality communal areas is another welcome innovation,” said Govindia. ##

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.