Posts Tagged ‘Analysis’

National New HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Data Summary, September 2018 Analysis

November 8th, 2018 No comments


The most recent data collected on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reflects a small dip in new manufactured home production.


According to information and analysis provided by MHARR, the following are the totals for September 2018.

Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 7,519 homes in September 2018, a 0.8% decline from the 7,580 HUD Code homes produced during September 2017. Cumulative industry production for 2018 now totals 74,207 homes, an 8.4% increase over the 68,419 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2017,” said MHARR.  Their full report is found at the link below.


September 2018 Manufactured Home Production Data Shows Slight Flatline


The following graphic reflects the top 10 states, since the date shown.




Sobering Regional and State Data

As MHProNews alone has spotlighted in national manufactured housing trade media, several states are still sliding in shipment levels.  That includes some of the top producing states in the nation.  The industry’s professionals needs to ask and answer the question in their own market(s), with an affordable housing crisis, how can the industry not be doing much better?


New Shipment Data, Top Manufactured Home State, Other MH States Continue Slide


ICYMI, or need a refresher, see those 2 new, separate-but-related regional reports and analysis, at the links above and below.


Another Top Manufactured Home State is Sliding on New HUD Code Home Shipments, More New Data


These are post-production, marketing and sales related issues.


Where is MHI or other industry leading firms on this?  See the related report, linked further below.  That’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and News Pros Can Use.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Manufactured Housing Institute Shipment Data, FEMA, an Inside Look

October 18th, 2018 Comments off


Jenny Hodge, MHI VP and National Communities Council (NCC)

On October 12, Jenny Hodge at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) released the new HUD Code manufactured housing shipment data report. That report was sent to the Daily Business News on MHProNews for analysis and commentary.

Hodge is doing her job. As readers learned from yesterday’s “#Me Too” report, the reins are held tightly at the Manufactured Housing Institute offices. So, this analysis should not be construed as a critique of Hodge.

ICYMI, or need a refresher as to how this relates to a relatively mundane task of providing shipment numbers, yesterday’s inside look at the Arlington offices is linked below.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Women, #MeToo and Insider Information

Hodge began her report with the headline, “9,091 New HUD Code Homes Shipping in August 2018 First 9,000+ Month since 2007.”

It was a great month for production!” is a quote shared from sources which said that Hodge’s point in her headline was underscored by Pam Brillhart, Project Coordinator of Federal and State Programs, Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS). IBTS gathers the data for the federal government, and provides them to HUD and others as a contracted service.

Rephrased, IBTS gathers data, and MHI is one of the sources that obtains that information from them for a fee.

Indeed, the industry has some cause to ‘celebrate’ rising shipment totals. But those totals need to be fully grasped, in the context to the reality that they are still at historically low levels. There were individual producers of pre-code mobile homes and post HUD Code manufactured homes that used to produce that many or more homes per year.

Hodge said that, “In August, 133 plants representing 37 corporations reported production data which is the same as July 2018.”

Compare that with the MHI production company chart history, shown below. It is 73 fewer HUD Code builders than started in 1990. That is fewer HUD Code builders than when Berkshire Hathaway entered manufactured housing in 2003.

Rephrased, manufactured housing was down on the mat. There were individuals who were long time veteran professionals in 2008-2010 that thought the manufactured housing industry was going to go the way of the “buggy whip.” They believed that industry was dying.

Thankfully, that proved wrong.  But the industry was brought to its knees, and that resulted in “consolidations.” Several of those who have sold to Clayton, for example, have told MHProNews that they didn’t get much for their businesses.  Isn’t that in keeping with Warren Buffett’s dictum that he loves a bargain?

Let’s look deeper.

Of the 9,091 homes shipped in August, there were no homes designated as FEMA units,” an apt point because FEMA artificially gooses the number. And as sources are telling MHProNews, there appears to be a move at FEMA away from the use of manufactured homes as much as possible, in favor of RVs or other temporary rental lodging options.

Manufactured Housing Shipments “The SAAR” 

In conventional as well as manufactured housing, there is a SAAR. Here is how Hodge’s report read.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 98,104 in August 2018, up 5.8% from the adjusted rate of 92,694 in July 2018. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.”

Put differently, there were MHI producers who last year expected to do some 107,000 (+/-) new HUD Code manufactured homes. Modular, tiny and other non-HUD Code factory built housing product would be in addition to those totals.

In August 2018, new manufactured home shipments increased 7.9% to 9,091 homes as compared to the 8,425 homes shipped in August 2017,” per MHI’s info from Hodge. “Total shipments for August 2018 are higher by 2,340 homes when compared to the prior month of July. Compared with August 2017, the trend is positive with shipments of single-section homes up by 6.0% and multi-section homes up by 9.5%. Total floors shipped in August 2018 increased 8.5% to 14,174 compared to August 2017.”

What Does it Really Mean?

Look at states like Michigan or Florida, where sizable numbers of units designed to be rentals are being shipped into manufactured home communities. Who else in manufactured housing trade publishing is telling the industry’s independents that factories see a warning sign in the data. What happens when shipments into communities slow down? Given that few new communities are being built, if zoning, finance, acceptance and other issues aren’t successfully addressed, in 3 to 5 years, the industry could plateau.

Winners and Losers, 5 Midwestern States, Manufactured Home Shipment Breakdown

Here is the HUD Code shipment data for August 2018, by state.


Look at the state production data, to realize just how low the numbers can be.


Then, recall that RVs are blowing manufactured housing away.


Dick Jennison and Lesli Gooch were described as “control freaks” in yesterday’s report by MHI office insiders.


As in any office or operation, there are people at MHI that have formed personal relationships. There is chatter outside of the office, not just in it. Even ‘lower level’ staff can hear and share insights with the operation’s several ‘vice presidents.’


There are a growing number of industry voices that believe that BH/CMH and MHI have by various action/inaction has kept manufactured home sales at historically low levels. Evidence? See Related Reports and videos, linked below, which quotes and cites BH, MHI, CMH, 21st Mortgage Corp, and other sources.

It is human nature. People who are “bullied” in an office find ways of dealing with that kind of harsh or “hostile work atmosphere.

One more reminder before closing this report. Sources said what industry readers should already know. The marching orders for MHI comes from the MHI Executive Committee. When one wonders why MHI spent years chasing after Preserving Access, and then abandoned half that goal in favor of the inclusion in S 2011, those marching orders come from the Executive Committee.

There are voices from within MHI’s membership that have asked if it isn’t a conflict of interest for Clayton Homes – which has site built housing and is part of Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate that has deep real estate interests – is exerting influence to keep production at low levels. See the related reports, further below.

Then ask yourself when RVs are roaring, and MH is snoring, why Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison was trying to tell the industry that it should grow slowly? Who does that benefit?

MHARR’s report on the same data was published earlier, and can be found at the link below.

Strong HUD Code Production Growth in August 2018

More in an upcoming report from inside Arlington, VA’s office at MHI in the hours and days ahead. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Media Claims New Story/ICON Builds 3D Printed Housing for $4000, Fact Check & Analysis

October 10th, 2018 Comments off



Different construction methods exist – or emerge – for a variety of reasons.


3D printing of housing, for example, is being tested globally. Some say 3D printed housing is the obvious answer for building housing on the lunar landscape, or other planets.  “It sounds crazy, but it would be a lot crazier to fly sheet rock and 2×4’s to Mars,” Jason Ballard, ICON CEO per Business Insider.

JasonBallardPhotoCofounderCEOIconTreehouseICONLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogo400There are also reasons why independent trade publishing which fact-checks is necessary for the factory-built-housing industry.

When there is a buzz about:

  • alternative construction,
  • emerging, or
  • automated technologies then

investors, homebuyers, policy wonks, and others may ask – ‘why should we mess with HUD Code manufactured homes?’

So, it is obviously an important issue to millions.

With that backdrop, mentally place yourself in the shoes of an affordable housing advocate, hedge fund manager, or housing seeker, and then read the following.


Mainstream media outlet Business Insider (BI) ran what is at best a dubious headline, “These 3D-printed homes can be built for less than $4,000 in just 24 hours.”

The videos by third party are posted by the Daily Business News on MHProNews, and were not part of the BI article.


Here’s how that BI article opens:

Printable homes represent the latest wave in construction, but they’re not always cheap to build.

Earlier this year, Branch Technology, an architectural startup,developed a prototype of a 1,000-square-foot 3D-printed home that would cost about $300,000 — a price too high to be considered a solution to the global housing crisis.

In March, New Story, a housing nonprofit based in San Francisco, and ICON, a construction-technology company that designs 3D printers, unveiled what they said was “the first permitted, 3D-printed home in America”: a 350-square-foot structure that cost about $10,000 and took just 48 hours to build.

At the time, the printer — known as the Vulcan — was running at only 25% speed. That gave the companies confidence that they could build a 600- to 800-square-foot home in just 24 hours for $4,000 or less. Before using 3D-printing technology, it took New Story eight months to build 100 homes, each costing about $6,000.”  Their article is found at this link here.

Note that the printer for these 3D printed housing units is portable, weighing about 2,000 pounds.

Here’s a news video that serves to make the point on why fact-checks and common-sense analysis are not only useful, but necessary. Note how the still emphasizes that same $4,000 price?  It’s the same figure that BI and others in mainstream media are reports on ICON’s and the New Story’s non-profit efforts are using.


But if you listen carefully, ICON’s founder says that the price is for the wall system and framing, not the systems of the house, like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, etc.

Another news outlet said that an ICON project in El Salvador would cost $1,000,000 for 100 homes. Presumably, that is the price of building it there, not in the U.S. If so, that’s $10,000 per ‘tiny house.’

FYI – MHProNews reached out to ICON with questions about what is and is not included in the cost, and received no reply. We plan another outreach in reaction to this article.

So, the Daily Business News turned to another 3D printing builder for their take on this ICON related pricing claims. Here’s what Don Musilli, CEO of 3D Build Systems LLC, Englewood, Florida told MHProNews this week.


3D Builder Sounds Off on ICON, Media Claims

Tony: The prices stated with these printed homes are materials cost. We can print an exterior and interior wall in a 1,000 sq. ft. home for under $10,000.00 materials cost. So these numbers are not really indicative of the sell price of the home plus this home has no HVAC and minimal lighting. No toilet, sink, etc.,” said Musilli.

We [3D Build Systems] believe we can produce a 1,400.00 sq. ft. home, complete, ready to move in for around $100,000.00. That is more reasonable and more accurate,” Musilli said in an electronic statement.

One more point,” added Musilli. “It is our goal to attempt to complete the homes in 30 days or less. We are working on the process for wiring, plumbing and installation of the split heating/cooling system to be done as quickly as possible. The finish is just the concrete wall with a stucco like finish.”

If Musilli’s pricing comes to pass, that would be $71.42 per square foot. That’s considerably less than prior estimates for the same sized home of about $100,000.


Robotics, 3D Printed Housing, Imminent Challengers for Manufactured Homes, Modular Housing – 3D Build Systems CEO Don Musilli


As has been noted above and previously, to achieve more affordable housing, there should be an openness to new as well as proven construction methods, including HUD Code manufactured homes, on an equal opportunity basis.


Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data



What Does the Emerging 3D Printing Mean to Manufactured Housing?

A manufactured home industry veteran told MHProNews today that the industry has a “once in a lifetime” chance to get it right.  The need for affordable housing is so great, and there are numerous media sources that are shedding positive light on HUD Code manufactured homes.  One of several examples from this year is found below.


Bloomberg “New Home for $90,000? Manufactured Housing Is Making a Comeback” Reveals MH Media Challenge


Be that as it may, it is challenges from emerging technologies that are among the reasons our publisher repeatedly warns the industry’s independents against what he sees as the “artificially caused challenges” to HUD Code manufactured home builders, retailers, communities and other industry professionals. One of many such challenges are spotlighted in the article linked below, which can be read later for greater understanding of the issues.


Rumble over Anti-MH Law-State Association, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, and MHARR


The Manufactured Housing InstituteMHI – and their mouth-pieces keep calling for ‘unity’ in the industry.  That’s a potentially loaded term,” says L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.  “Someone can unite an industry by consolidating it. Uniting an industry could in some cases be construed as an antitrust issue, as their own handout says. That said, the point should be that a few players that have purportedly manipulated regulators, aspects of media engagement, public officials and capital could have over played their hand. In the meantime, that process has arguably cost thousands of industry professionals to lose their businesses to closure or a cheaper sale than a normal market condition would have provided them.”

The other side of the coin,” said Kovach, “is that MHARR, MHI and state association like Texas did pull together in a way that benefited everyone.  That should be the test for ‘unity.’ Does it benefit consumers? Does it benefit businesses of all sizes?  Does it work to the advantage of taxpayers? That’s kind of authentic unity is worthwhile. So, the word ‘unity’ must be carefully parsed.  Some unity is good, but other kinds of unity is akin to conquest.”


The comment above was said with respect to another recent topic, but relates to this issue too.

MHProNews will be doing a special report on that topic, to provide an example of how ‘good unity’ has worked before, and can work again.

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“Challenges to Obtaining Manufactured Home Financing,” Urban Institute Report Fact Check, Analysis

July 4th, 2018 Comments off


Is the Urban Institute (UI) attempting to use their “research” to blunt the manufactured housing industry’s steady yet modest recovery?  If so, why?


It’s a debatable point that could be made after a close analysis of the UI nonprofits’ most recent – and once again, problematic – manufactured home industry related research.  The prior report and analysis on manufactured housing, linked below, can be read later for greater depth of understanding on their latest research.

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

In the Urban Institute’s (UI) latest report, attached below, Laurie Goodman and Bhargavi Ganesh are the only two researchers with bylines in their June 2018 document.

Both Goodman and Ganesh were part of a quartet of co-authors who in January 2018 signed onto a report entitled, “Manufactured homes could ease the affordable housing crisis. So why are so few being made?” Edward Golding and Alanna McCargo were not named in the UI’s latest June report. More on that prior research will be touched on later, below.


The two 2018 UI reports are similar in this respect. It isn’t so much the UI statements, but rather:

  • what they didn’t say, which is significant,
  • and how what they did say is phrased in troubling ways, starting with the headline.

Those sum up the issues for manufactured housing professionals, many investors, and intelligent prospective buyers. The one clear positive that should be noted is that they writers used the industry’s homes correct terminology.

Beyond that…? Let’s look at specifics.


Imagine that You’re a Home Buyer, Considering a Manufactured Home…

In the single-family housing market, most homeowners take out a real estate loan or mortgage to finance their home. But in the manufactured housing market, most consumers rely on chattel loans, or property loans, which typically have less favorable loan terms and fewer consumer protections than mortgages. The high costs of chattel financing can dissuade people from purchasing a manufactured home, contributing to the relatively small number of homes shipped,” stated Goodman and Ganesh in their opening few lines.

There were 240,000 homes shipped each year from 1977 to 1995, but only 93,000 homes shipped in 2017. This report examines the challenges to obtaining affordable financing for a new manufactured home,” concludes their opening paragraph.

Rephrased, they are telling media, other researchers, and those savvy shoppers that might read such a report:

  • Manufactured home sales have declined dramatically;
  • Buyers are being dissuaded by high cost chattel loans;
  • Starting with the headline, they make financing a manufactured home sound like “Challenges;”
  • admit to not considering the mitigation of closing costs in their evaluation, saying “Moreover, we have not accounted for differences in closing costs. The up-front costs of a chattel loan might be lower.”

Nor do they mention the hassles that retailers report when a significant percentage of real estate loans may not meet appraisal. The causes? Because appraisers may be ignorant about manufactured housing, or are otherwise hamstrung by guidance which relies on a lack of “comps,” plus other factors that keep manufactured homes in mortgage deals from getting a fair appraisal.


While some 80 percent of mortgage loans make appraisal, said an FHA lender to MHProNews, that still  means that 20 percent don’t.

That appraisal hassle – that ‘roll of the dice’ that may cause a lost sale – causes some retailers to shy away from mortgage loans. Having lost sales for that reason, say some retailers to MHProNews, they are not as enthusiastic about that potential outcome.

Are those factors for the decline in land home mortgages made in manufactured housing since the early 2000s? That’s the kind of question that serious, dispassionate “evidence based” researcher might do.

But UI’s Goodman and Ganesh don’t even raise those issue, nor others.

Who did they interview for this? It’s another unanswered question.

That said, in the prior UI report in January, sources at the nonprofit indicated that Berkshire Hathaway brands, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (NHI) were consulted. If that occurred again this time, what did those sources say? With a week now elapsed since this UI report, why aren’t Berkshire brands, or MHI, raising concerns like those noted herein publicly?



More UI Report Wrinkles

It isn’t until page 4 of their report that the pair from UI mention another reason why buyers may legitimately want a personal property – home only, or chattel loan. That prudential reason? “Moreover, some states have a lower property tax on personal property than on real property.”

  • don’t consider the potential savings in real estate taxes vs. personal property taxes found
  • and they even failed to clearly link to their somewhat more positive, but still problematic report published in January.

For a report that is supposed to examine manufactured home financing, they don’t mention:

  • FHA Title 1,
  • the USDA’s Rural Development program,
  • VA loans,
  • or the role Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) could be making to lower rates via their Duty to Serve (DTS) mandate.

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) Pressing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Fully Engage on Duty To Serve (DTS)

Nor did UI mention that the:

  • Government Accountability Office (GAO),
  • Fannie Mae,
  • and other researchers found that even with higher interest rates, manufactured homes are generally still lower in cost than rent, and significantly lower than conventional housing.

Any serious researcher could find this information, which is from the GAO report on manufactured housing, and is found on MHLivingNews . So why didn’t the UI researchers find and report on this in their latest report?

Interviews with educated, savvy homeowners on MHLivingNews indicated that when they did their own math, they found that manufactured homes made good sense. Again, UI fails to mention any such favorable companions.


UI Acknowledgement – A Head Fake?

Longtime, devoted Daily Business News readers will recall that MHProNews took the Urban Institute to task for not disclosing their funders, trustee, and other apparent conflicts of interest in their January, 2018 report.

Was the Urban Institute Misled, Duped, or Part of a Manufactured Housing Industry Scam?

Perhaps for that reason, UI added an acknowledgement in this report, and used the following disclaimers, shown in brown text below.


The Housing Finance Policy Center (HFPC) was launched with generous support at the leadership level from the Citi Foundation and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional support was provided by The Ford Foundation and The Open Society Foundations.

Ongoing support for HFPC is also provided by the Housing Finance Innovation Forum, a group of organizations and individuals that support high-quality independent research that informs evidence- based policy development. Funds raised through the forum provide flexible resources, allowing HFPC to anticipate and respond to emerging policy issues with timely analysis. This funding supports HFPC’s research, outreach and engagement, and general operating activities.

This brief was funded by these combined sources. We are grateful to them and to all our funders, who make it possible for Urban to advance its mission. 

The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders…”

Convenient? Coincidence?

First. Money is fungible, as an industry attorney noted to MHProNews. To say that prior Berkshire Hathaway or Gates Foundation money has no impact on UI is debatable, or perhaps even laughable.

But equally noteworthy is the presence of the George Soros backed Open Foundation Money in this project. How many other intersections are there between Soros, Buffett, Gates and their interests?



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Summed up, the oversights and omissions by UI are stunning.

The issue of lending falls in the post-production sphere in the association world.

So arguably it is equally stunning that MHI, if they were serious about growing sales or financing options – or the Berkshire brands – haven’t weighed in – per Google search at this date and time – to publicly correct the misleading narrative forged by these ‘researchers.’

Pray tell, why not? Are they serious about promoting accurate facts about the manufactured home industry?

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Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

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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.

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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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Shifting Momentum, Demographics, Women, the 2018 Midterms, and Manufactured Housing

May 23rd, 2018 Comments off


If one takes candidates at their word – which is never a given once they are elected  – it must be noted that candidates Secretary Hillary Clinton, and businessman, builder and media maven Donald J Trump each made a range of stated policy positions.


Last night, the House passed S. 2155, see that report linked below. The bill gives manufactured housing professionals some benefits and relief from Dodd-Frank.  It fulfills part of the 45th presidents pledge to undo what he said was the economic damage wrought by the CFPB and the Dodd-Frank regulatory regime.


That bill which has now been passed by the House and Senate would not have been signed had Ms. Clinton been the president, per her own statements.

By contrast, there is every expectation that President Donald J. Trump will sign the measure that provides relief for the industry on the MLO rule and other fronts.

Also last night, President Trump, addressed the conservative, pro-life women’s group gala, the Susan B. Anthony List. He was welcomed like a rock star.

The video posted will reflect several things that industry leaders, investors, and strategists should consider. Note that the female population is slightly larger than that of men. Note to the charts that will follow.

First, the president is repeating a theme, that the group also spotlighted – “promises made, and promises kept.”

Next, the pro-life group is pledging a serious voter mobilization effort for the fall.

Note that the NRA – the National Rifle Association – has made a similar pledge to the president for supporting candidates that he and his party will back. The president and Vice President Mike Pence are signaling that they will be very active on the campaign trail in much of the rest of 2018.

Reuters’ latest generic ballot has now tipped the midterm race slightly ahead for GOP candidates over Democratic ones. It is a tidal shift from the end of last year.

According to Vote Run Lead, exit polls reported that 53 percent of voters in the 2012 election were women.

In every presidential election year from 1980 – 2008 women have outnumbered men in voting Democratic and the same is true for men outnumbering women voting Republican,” says Wikipedia.

The U.S. Census Bureau tells the Daily Business News that, “Voting rates have also historically varied according to age, with older Americans generally voting at higher rates than younger Americans (Figure 4). In 2016, this was once again the case, as citizens 65 years and older reported higher turnout (70.9 percent) than 45- to 64-year-olds (66.6 percent), 30- to 44-year-olds (58.7 percent) and 18- to 29-year-olds (46.1 percent). However, in 2016, young voters ages 18 to 29 were the only age group to report increased turnout compared to 2012, with a reported turnout increase of 1.1 percent. All older age groups either reported small yet statistically significant turnout decreases (45- to 64-year-olds and those age 65 and older) or turnout rates not statistically different from 2012 (30- to 44-year-olds).”


There is every indication that the president’s popularity is rising among blacks, Hispanics, and women. He already had a strong lock on Evangelicals, and white men.

MHProNews cited the New York Times polling, our own yard sign straw poll of a Florida manufactured home community, and a straw poll of industry professionals at an MHI event as part of our pre-election projections in 2016 that Mr. Trump would do well among manufactured housing residents and professionals.


It was part of our MHProNews broader analysis. These were among the reasons for our projecting that he could pull off an upset on election night.

There is no other known group or media in manufactured housing that made similar projections. We editorially supported the Trump candidacy, as being better for business, workers, investors, and our industry.


While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, the Kovach family and MHProNews supported Donald J. Trump’s candidacy as the best for the industry, small business, and hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those stories ended up on the president’s campaign website, and hundreds of conservative and pro-Trump websites.


Washington Insider Info

While MHProNews doesn’t claim much advantage over anyone else that is willing to dig for data and insights.  We have not yet personally met the president, but we do get several daily media and other briefs from the White House.

There are good reasons to believe that baring the unexpected, the GOP under President Trump’s leadership could pull off yet another surprise in the upcoming midterms.

The president himself is predicting it.

When you listen to the enthusiasm of this crowd from last night, does it remind you of the rallies from his campaign? No ‘entertainment’ was needed.

The theme is “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” It’s a powerful message for a campaign.

Step-by-step, President Donald J. Trump has undone in less than 18 months, much of the 8 year legacy of President Barack Hussein Obama. The Heritage Foundation claims over 60 percent of his agenda is already accomplished.  While that statistic might be debatable, what is certain is that his steady and relentless pace is getting voters to respond.  

Look for our Daily Business News latest U.S. economic report, and how that will play into the manufactured housing industry’s calculations. That surprising snapshot will be published later this morning.  We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Kanye Controversy, Universal Income, Venezuela, President Trump, Manufactured Housing, First Principles, and You


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Largest 50 Manufactured Home Community Operations, per Manufactured Housing Institute, Analysis

April 24th, 2018 Comments off


Sun Communities of Southfield, Michigan, took the top spot with 83,294 home sites under management, followed by Equity LifeStyle Properties of Chicago with 73,700 home sites, RHP Properties of Farmington Hills, Michigan, with 60,163 sites, YES! Communities of Denver with 47,278 sites and MHP Funds of Cedaredge, Colorado, with 31,652 sites.” said the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) National Communities Council (NCC) release to the Daily Business News.


These 50 organizations have a total of more than 693,000 home sites with portfolios ranging in size from more than 80,000 sites to just under 3,000,”said the NCC’s statement.

The prior 2017 list was faulted by MHI/NCC members as double-counting some sites listed by RHP and Brookfield Asset Management, then shown as #3 and #5, respectively.

The NCC serves its members by being an effective advocate before public policy makers, the media and the general public,” is another standard line that has drawn the ire of members, who have told MHProNews that MHI (and by implication, the NCC) is “irrelevant” – ineffective at their own agenda – or fails to defend the industry’s members from flawed media reports.


MHP Funds, currently #5, is a tandem of well known partners/investors headlined by Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds.  While Rolfe has ‘gone quiet’ on critics of MHI late last year, he has not walked back his stinging criticism of MHI in failing to defend the industry, harming all of those in the business.


Bob Crawford, president of award winning Dick Moore Housing, which sold its last community fairly recently, has given MHI a “5 out of 10” – a failing grade – in its lobbying efforts.

Jenny Hodge for NCC

jenny hodge mhi v p ncc

Jenny Hodge photo credit, MHI/NCC.

Jenny Hodge is a talented, well liked and respected member of the MHI team. At one point, she was seen by some as the heir apparent to the “floundering” or worse view held by some regarding their president, Richard “Dick” Jennison.

Jennison has since, say sources, gained the upper hand in the Arlington inner-office struggles.

Hodge’s release said, “With the tens of thousands of communities, we are trying to responsibly identify with this list who the up and coming operators are as we see signs of continued consolidation as the industry evolves into a more mature phase,” said Jenny Hodge, Vice President of Research and Market Analysis for MHI, according to their release.

Hodge added, “We are seeing more interest in manufactured housing from large institutional investors and smaller independent developers as well as individuals who want to live in high-quality affordable housing.”

Each of these statements by Hodge is upon considered examination, accurate.

What her first point obliquely underscore is part of the reason for MHI’s existence, which is to foster consolidation, according to a number of their critics. Thus the spreading nick-name for MHI, “the Monopolistic Housing Institute,” which the “I want them all for myself” statement by Nathan Smith nurtured.  Smith is the former MHI Chairman, a prominent Democratic operative, a NCC member, and a partner in SSK Communities.



MHProNews & MHI – Who is Telling it Like It Is?

It is natural to believe that your side, whichever side that may be, is the ‘right side.’

That said, it is important to note that MHProNews’ publisher has for over a year offered to publicly meet and debate the issues, concerns, and topics raised by MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews.  MHI has ducked, dodged, detracted and declined to accept the invite.

One must ask, why?


The MHI statistics are a mix of accurate and inaccurate. This year’s list appears to be clean and controversy free. The same can’t be said about the statistics that claim there are some 38,000 communities.  Their own members dispute that number, and that goes to the heart of what’s wrong with MHI, or NCC.

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

This isn’t a critique of Jenny Hodge, who is following orders.”  It is a critique of those who are seen as manipulating and “weaponizing” data and messages to their members.

If they had a good come-back, why don’t they present it?

Rather, they dodge those concerns by what a long-time MHI member told MHProNews is “Razzle Dazzle.” While his example was on a different topic, the principle is the same.

“Razzle Dazzle,” Says Former Manufactured Housing Institute Member

There are concerns by some that HUD Secretary Carson might, might by intent or not, give MHI an apparent win, when there is nothing that MHI has arguably done save keep the industry’s growth at lower levels, by failing to accomplish their own claimed agenda. For more details, the related reports will dot i’s and cross t’s that have as of this writing, gone unanswered by MHI, and which their surrogates have used only “razzle dazzle,” hoping to distract people with smoke and mirrors.

It’s a great industry, with numbers of very fine professionals, but some are holding up the industry from within, as Frank Rolfe and others have said.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

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Sunday Morning Weekly Recap – Manufactured Housing Industry Headline News 4.8.2018 to 4.15.2018

April 15th, 2018 Comments off


The manufactured home industry grows both older, and younger.  We pause to remember the passage of ELS’ Howard Walker, J.D.  Our sincerest condolences to all of those touched by his loss.


In the headlines for the week that was, you’ll find new resources on MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

There’s more research, market reports, data, and news stories you won’t find anywhere else – or done as timely, with independence, industry understanding and depth – as you will on factory-built housing’s twin leading trade media.

Let’s dive right in…


What’s New on MHLivingNews


The Ultimate Manufactured Home Industry Fact$, Data, and Insights – Bullets plus at-a-Glance Infographic


What’s New on the Masthead

Happy MH Owners? Good Professional Actors? Overlooked, “Honorable People”


What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

DailyBusinessNewsLogoMHProNewsLogo (1)

Saturday 4.14.2018

Howard Walker, Equity Lifestyle Properties Vice Chair, Passed Away


Friday 4.13.2018

Skyline Reports Results, Including FEMA Manufactured Home Sales, Costs of Pending Champion Deal

Skyline Reports Results, Including FEMA Manufactured Home Sales, Costs of Pending Champion Deal

Zillow Goes Deeper into Housing, “Take Thumb of What’s Holding Economy Back,’ Plus MH Market Updates

Buffett Blasts Trump, via Classic Twist

Buffett Blasts Trump, via Classic Twist

“Sexual Predators” Beware! MH Community Owners! Retailers Warning – New Federal Sexual Harassment Initiative

“Sexual Predators” Beware! MH Community Owners! Retailers Warning – New Federal Sexual Harassment Initiative


Thursday 4.12.2018

City Considers Manufactured Homes on Scattered Lots for More Affordable Housing

City Considers Manufactured Homes on Scattered Lots for More Affordable Housing

Manufacturers Roaring Back, Hiring, Growing, Investing – Plus MH Market Update$


The Ultimate Manufactured Home Facts Summary and Infographic 2018


Evergreen, Manufactured Homes and NIMBY, “Why the Feds Must Step In”

Evergreen, Manufactured Homes and NIMBY, “Why the Feds Must Step In”


Wednesday 4.11.2018

Happy Manufactured Homeowners, Honorable MH Pros – The Untold Story

Happy Manufactured Homeowners, Honorable MH Pros – The Untold Story

Marketers Alert – Galloway on Zuckerberg, FB – Plus MH Market UPdates

Manufactured Home Loan Delinquencies Rising, Per ABA, FED

Trump Administration and the Manufactured Housing Industry

Trump Administration and the Manufactured Housing Industry


Tuesday 4.10.2018

Triad Financial Service’s Parent Company, ECN Capital – First Data Report

Triad Financial Service’s Parent Company, ECN Capital – First Data Report

Criminal Leaks Continue, China’s Xi Signal Eases Tariff Trade Fears, Plus MH Market Updates


$27+Billion Authorized by HUD, Available for Disaster Recovery, Which Manufactured Home Operations Will Be in Line?

$27+Billion Authorized by HUD, Available for Disaster Recovery, Which Manufactured Home Operations Will Be in Line?

UMH CEO Sam Landy Touts and Tempers Manufactured Home Operation’s Expectations



Monday 4.9.2018

Ending Sales Tax on Manufactured Homes, Law Center – Which Praised MH Quality, Importance

CNN’s Fareed, Fox’s Tucker Carlson on Trade, China, & Tariffs, Plus MH Market Updates

‘You Are Either Clayton Homes, or You’re Not’ – Monday Morning MH Sales Meeting

‘You Are Either Clayton Homes, or You’re Not’ – Monday Morning MH Sales Meeting

Media Bias, Ignorance, Manufactured Homes, Agenda Journalism, the Truth About “Fake News”

Media Bias, Ignorance, Manufactured Homes, Agenda Journalism, the Truth About “Fake News”


Sunday 4.8.2018

Sunday Morning Weekly Recap – Manufactured Housing Industry Headline News 4.1.2018 to 4.8.2018

Sunday Morning Weekly Recap – Manufactured Housing Industry Headline News 4.1.2018 to 4.8.2018

And that’s all she wrote… ## (Weekly headline news recap, analysis, and commentary.)

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“Live in a Mobile Home to Buy a House?” – Dave Ramsey Video

February 5th, 2018 Comments off



Relevant background information is important for understanding an issue.


To understand why Dave Ramsey’s take on “mobile homes” [sic] as an “investment” for a home buyers matters to the industry and millions of manufactured home owners, Ramsey’s background matters.


Ramsey doesn’t claim to be a journalist, but everyone should care about using the correct terminology.

The Dave Ramsey Show is a three-hour, self-syndicated radio program and podcast, hosted by the eponymous finance author and speaker, that airs Monday through Friday from 2-5 EST. It is primarily broadcast from Brentwood, Tennessee,” says Wikipedia.

Per the Dave Ramsey Show “Fact Sheet,”

  • More than 4.5 million people have participated in Financial Peace University;
  • More than 13 million radio and digital listeners weekly to The Dave Ramsey Show;
  • More than 600 radio affiliates to The Dave Ramsey Show…”

Against that background, is the video from Dave Ramsey, posted below.

Ramsey’s YouTube page says, “Dave Ramsey explains why buying a mobile home is not a wise investment.”  That’s a problem for manufactured home owners, and for the industry, to the degree that it impacts the public’s perception.



Ramsey’s stock-in-trade is teaching people to get debt free, among other things.

A pair of other Ramsey “Fact Sheet” bullets,

  • More than 25 years of Dave on-air
  • More than 10 million books sold combined

Among his websites milestones,

  • 1992: Self-published Financial Peace
  • 1992: Began The Dave Ramsey Show
  • 1994: Began teaching Financial Peace University
  • 1997: Financial Peace becomes a best-seller
  • 1999: More Than Enough published and debuted a best-seller
  • 2002: The “Dave Says” column is launched in newspaper publications

The point for manufactured housing professionals?

Several, but let’s point to these.

1)    At least during this segment which was posted on  Oct 25, 2017, Ramsey fails to make any distinction between a mobile home, which haven’t been built since June 15, 1976, and a modern manufactured home, though he mentions the terminology.

American Dreamers and HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson; How Millions Could Win by Enforcing the Law

2)    Perhaps Ramsey is unaware of the HUD PD&R that Manufactured Home Living News referenced several times, which documented that manufactured homes appreciated side-by-side with conventional housing.

3)    Or maybe the talk show celebrity doesn’t know the research coming out of the Pacific Northwest, that documents rising manufactured home values.

4)    Nor does Ramsey note – in those cases where mobile or manufactured homes lose value – why they do.  Industry professionals must know these and stand for the facts. Because they mirror the same factors that limit or cause the loss in value of a conventional house.  2008 wasn’t that long ago, when tens of millions saw their conventional housing drop in value.

5)    Where was the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) response to this Dave Ramsey segment?  It is part of the ‘other image campaign,’ that Marty Lavin blasted MHI for in their self-touted campaign.

Since that segment aired, FAU’s Ken Johnson statements that indicate that manufactured homes can be a good investment, even a superior one – using Professor Johnson’s formula.

New University Research Shaking Rent vs. Buy Beliefs in Housing, MH Industry Impact?


6)    Their is also the Urban Institute (UI) issued report that claims that manufactured homes appreciate, but at a slower pace then conventional housing. While that UI report has its own issues, that MHProNews has been fact-checking, that point on appreciation is worth noting.

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

MHLivingNews and MHProNews have promoted the obvious reality that Eric Belsky said.  Ramsey’s an intelligent fellow. Given the opportunity, Ramsey may well see it differently if he understands the combination of factors – including financing – that has limited manufactured homes.


  • Fact-based public education,
  • good lending options,
  • in a healthy economy,
  • with homes in good condition in an appealing location,
  • the law of supply and demand,
  • are what result in appreciation. Each of those are true for conventional and manufactured homes.

See what the lender said in the article linked below.×60-single-section-manufactured-home-selling-for-150000-is-a-bargain/

It should be the national umbrella association’s task to routinely reply to each and every falsehood.  Or to promote each and every good piece of news.  As MHI member Frank Rolfe noted, they don’t do so.

There’s good reason to believe MHI knows that rebutting falsehood is wise.  Their own prior chairman said there’s a good case to be made for that practice.

So why doesn’t MHI promote useful news that they don’t create?  Or why is MHI piddling-around with problematic advertorials, and videos that focus on only 4 members, that are barely getting watched?


As far as appreciation is concerned, it is insightful to see what the lender said in the article linked below.  Because he summarizes the drivers behind gain-or-loss of value in any form of housing, not just manufactured homes.×60-single-section-manufactured-home-selling-for-150000-is-a-bargain/


You don’t have to agree with everything that Frank Rolfe says or does to see the wisdom of having the national umbrella association’s task to include routinely replying to each and every falsehood.  Would that make a difference with widely respected professionals like Ramsey?  Could it hurt?

On the Dave Ramsey Show website, there was an episode where, “Dave speaks out against big taxes on the rich and invites people who disagree with him to call in and go head-to-head. In this hour, Dave argues about why the Warren Buffett rule is a lie and responds to a caller’s claim that many of the wealthy are irresponsible.”


Warren Buffett Wants an MH Shark Tank – Clayton, 21st, MHI, ‘Gift that Keeps Giving’

Based upon that, one might think that Ramsey doesn’t seem to be a fan of the Oracle of Omaha.

So does Ramsey understand the role that Buffett’s “moat” plays in depressing the demand for manufactured housing in ways that benefit the widening of said Clayton/21st/VMF et al moat?

That’s a point that Berkshire Hathaway dominated MHI is unlikely to make.

This is another reason why no matter how nice most people or members at MHI may be, the organization itself needs to have their records forensically examined.  Buffett’s businesses need to have the widest possible array of inquiries. Once those investigations are accomplished, any and all legal action that are warranted should be taken.

That’s a key part of how the industry can break free of its still relatively low production and sales levels.  It is also the fact-based, logical key to making sure that manufactured home owners get the maximum value out of their housing investment.

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Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and


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.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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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.