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Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

April 28th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Let’s begin this report with a clarification of the headline. The term white hats and black hats are metaphorical for ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys.’ We know professionals in our industry who literally wear black hats. That should not be construed as a slam on any of those who literally wear a black hat.

 

That said, ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ are a symbolic case of ‘if the behavioral shoe fits, wear it.’

Furthermore, within firms one might deem to be a black hat operator, there are good people working for them. People may find themselves working at a company, association, or nonprofit with problematic professional ethics for a variety of reasons.  Some may have a difficult time leaving or otherwise navigating an escape.

Now, let’s define for purposes of this analysis the black hats.

For this discussion, a black hat company is one that periodically causes negative headlines or other forms of blowback for the manufactured housing industry.

They may or may not be engaging in problematic practices at all times and places. But they do so often enough we’re the public and/or media impression regarding manufactured housing is a poor one.

Examples of such black hats?

Using the objectively negative media barometer, here’s what Google searches suggest as some.

  • Clayton Homes

 

ClaytonHomesHeadlineCheckManufacturedHousingNews2019-04-27_1454_001

When you are looking to cure an illness, you don’t treat the symptoms. You look for the root causes.

  • Nathan Smith – SSK Communities

SSKCommunitiesNathanSmithManufacturedHousingInstituteChairmanMHProNews2019-04-27_1504_001

  • Frank Rolfe RV Horizons/Mobile Home University

 

FrankRolfeNewsSearchMobileHomeParkInvestingDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeMHProNews2019-04-27_1507

  • As you watch this video by the activist group MHAction targeting Frank Rolfe and his colleague’s “Mobile Home University” boot camp, keep in mind that MHAction has reportedly had dark money funding from Warren Buffett.  Not to defend or attack Rolfe and his partners, but keep in mind, that this kind of protest could be organized against whomever they want to target. These types of protests have attracted negative media coverage.

  • Havenpark Capital, a more recent edition for headlines that arguably spark industry blowback…

HavenparkCapitalNewsHeadlinesMobileHomePark2019-04-27_1512ManufacturedHomesMHProNews_001

  • Cavco, on their SEC travails

CavcoIndustriesJoeStegmayerSECNewsSearch2019-04-27_1516ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIMHProNEws_001

There are others, but that is enough to make the point.

Then look at the MHI Executive Committee composition.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Satirical logo provided under fair use guidelines.

 

Once more, put yourself as an outsider looking in.  How would you see MHI? White Hat, or Black Hat?  Then, for a contrast, take a peek at the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  Fewer headlines, but no black eyes.

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRvsMHI2019-04-27_1524MHProNews_001

MHARR at this time is only open for independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes and certain state associations. But if you wanted an impression of a white hat, which association would you pick? MHI, or MHARR? Right or wrong, many form opinions based on who you are associated with.

 

Why Does MHI Have White Hat and Black Hat Companies?

That said, the question must be asked. What role or function do white hat companies play at arguably black hat dominated MHI?

Here is what years of evidence arguably boils down to:

  • The industry’s smaller firms are caught up – intentionally or not – in the narratives spun by the MHAction white paper, or the John Oliver viral, satirical video, etc. After all, why would Buffett be funding MHAction, if not for a reason like that?  Buffett’s not a masochist. Keep in mind what Kevin Clayton said in the video linked here.  “Warren” would be okay with Clayton losing money for 5 years, so long as they are growing their moat.  Kevin Clayton said it, why not take it at face value?

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

They are formidable, but they can be taken by jujitsu. Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. See a prior Sunday’s report, linked here, for more.

 

Take Buffett at his word, he wants sharks, piranha, and alligators in the waters of his Clayton’s castle moat.

With that vantagepoint, here’s what the evidence trail, ‘follow the money’ and some deductive reasoning suggest.

  • Smaller companies at MHI are the buffet for Buffett and their Big Boy allies.
  • Smaller or modest with firms with a better reputation give cover to MHI’s black hat firms.
  • Small companies are helping pay for what the bigger companies want to do.
SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

 

Keep in mind that when MHI produced those ‘story telling’ videos a couple of years ago, only a handful of firms were represented.  Unless you were one of those, how did you or your firm benefit from that spending?  That’s just one example out of many possible.

 

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Keep in mind too that just as taxes and regulatory hurdles are barriers to entry, maintenance, or exit, so too is public perception of your product or service. Rephrased, the value of your business is depressed by the blowback caused by the black hat operators.

Within that context, consider what Alan Amy said.

 

A top gent at one of the industry’s rising star firms said at to us as we toured Tunica words to this effect.  ‘You guys (MHProNews) lay out the facts and evidence step-by-step in a logical manner that makes it easy to follow.  I’m just glad that you’re taking aim at Clayton and company, and aren’t taking aim at us [i.e. his company].’

Black hat behavior arguably by high-profile companies makes it harder for white hats to do business.  But never forget, there are ways to jujitsu that, as we reported on a prior Sunday.  ICYMI, see that linked here.

With no further adieu, it is time to dive into the headline news from the week that was.

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

mhlivingnews-improvedlivingforle-logo

Ultimate Reporters, Researchers, Affordable Housing Advocates, or Shoppers 3’rd Party Research Reports on Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, and Modular Housing

Warren Buffett, Affordable Manufactured Homes, Expert L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s Clayton Homes Counter

Manufactured Housing – Greener Savings by Design – Earth Day Opportunities Missed?

 

What’s New from MHARR

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

Saturday 4.27.2019

National Academy of Sciences Praise for Industrialized Housing Projects, Research, Profitable Manufactured Housing Lessons Learned

Friday 4.26.2019

 

Climate Change, Greener Manufactured Housing Investing, and Truth Telling

Bipartisan Praise for Manufactured Housing, What’s Next

2020 News: Big Brother, Antitrust – Anti-Monopoly – Manufactured Housing, and You

Thursday 4.25.2019

American Pie – The Parody Project – The Day Collusion Died, and Manufactured Home Investing

FEMA Opens Its First Manufactured Home Community In Disaster Response

Manipulating Manufactured Housing Pros – Caterwauling Mudslinger, Just Write a Check, Pay Cash, Use Plastic, and Shut You Up

 

Wednesday 4.24.2019

YIMBY Action, Extreme Housing Shortage, and Manufactured Homes

“You Cannot Tax People Into Prosperity,” Housing, Taxes, Policy Failures, Plus MH Market Updates

 

Bill Advances New Rules Regulating Manufactured Home Communities, Esther Sullivan Strikes Again

Unique Shipping Container Home, Lessons for Factory Builders, Manufactured Home Professionals

 

Tuesday 4.23.2019

Infographic – Mapping How Much A Buyer Must Earn to Buy Median Priced House

Legacy Housing Corporation’s $10 Million Stock Repurchase, Plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

HUD Secretary Carson to Host Innovative Housing Showcase Featuring Affordable Housing Solutions

Deer Valley Homebuilders Release w/Video Underscores Surprising Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Connections

 

Monday 4.22.2019

B2B Statistics, Trends 2019 – April 2019 Snapshot of Manufactured Home Professional Readers

State of Blue-Collar Workforce White Paper, Plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

“Less Waste, Better Buying” – Earth Day and Manufactured Housing Image-Building

“Baseless Discrimination Against HUD Code Manufactured Homes”

 

Sunday 4.21.2019

Ultimate Victory

TEASER Alert: News Tip – Exclusive Report planned Monday morning.

If you are reading to sign up for the manufactured housing industry’s top emailed headlines news, scroll down to the banner below on the right, and sign up in seconds.

Every deception has a goal.

One common goal of deception is to separate you from your God-given rights and your money.

Thanks for checking in. That’s this Sunday’s fact-checked take on “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Jujitsu – Last Week Tonight John Oliver “Mobile Homes” Video Fact-Check Revelations

 

 

 

 

NRDC, ACEEE on DOE Energy Rule Proposals – Analysis – Helpful or Harmful for Consumers, Manufactured Housing Industry?

September 2nd, 2016 Comments off
NRDC-ACEEE-DOE-ManufacturedHome-MHHousing-EnergyControversy-DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-

Logo collage, each logo is the property of their respective organization, and is used here under fair use guidelines. Photo, Dennis Raper, chain saw artist and supervisor at Sunshine Homes, with Energy Star home under construction in the background (credit, still from video on MHLivingNews.com).

Lauren Urbanek, writing for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is among the recent writers and policy advocates expressing their support for the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed revised standards for manufactured housing (MH).

Building on a report on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) done by Senior Policy Advisor Lowell Ungar, Ph.D., Urbanek mimics Ungar’s findings in touting projected benefits for manufactured housing and its potential home owners.

LauraUrbanek-credit-NRDC-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-But who is the NRDC?  How accurate is the information (ACEEE) that they’re basing their claims on about manufactured homes?  Are there facts that have been glossed over, ignored or overlooked by NRDC, ACEEE, the DOE and others?

And will this specific type of media attention harm or help manufactured housing and its recovery from the bottom hit in 2009?

NRDC’s Self-Description

From the NRDC’s website, “We combine the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.”

Headquartered in New York City, NY, they have other offices in:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chicago, IL
  • Bozeman, MT
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Beijing, China

Clearly, this is a significant organization shining its light on the manufactured housing industry, and the energy efficiency of our HUD Code MH producers’ homes.

But the sheer scope of this organization doesn’t mean that clean air, less-waste and thus greener and energy-saving manufactured home professionals should be intimidated by their influence.

Rather, their scope ought to be a call to action to by professionals to engage this group, and encourage them and others to take a closer look.  Only by truly understanding the realities of what today’s HUD Code manufactured homes already are, can move advocacy groups from being skeptics or critics and advance to becoming natural allies (pun intended) for the MH Industry, and millions of potential homeowners.

ACEEEDrLowellUngerMobileHomesManufacturedHomesEnergyEfficiency-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage from ACEEE article by Lowell Unger, Ph.D. Text graphic by MHProNews.

Non-Profits, Media and Manufactured Housing

MH Industry professionals have seen this kind of non-profit pushed, media-geared promotional efforts before.  One vivid example is the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008), which gave the nation and manufactured housing the SAFE Act as well as “Duty to Serve.”  How did that work out for the MH Industry and its professionals?

The Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has repeatedly raised the warning flags against this DOE proposal.

Initially embraced by members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), more recently that Arlington, VA based group have said in their soon-to-be-retired communications email, the Week in Review, that they too are now urging restraint on the Department of Energy (DOE – see their letter, linked here).

The NRDC’s headline is the first clue that advocacy is at play, “Standards for Manufactured Housing Will Mean Higher Quality and Better Comfort.” But that misses a key fact. Manufactured housing has had performance-based federal standards for over 40 years.

StandardsManufacturedHousingHigherQualityBetterComfort=NRDC-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-

Collage from NRDC, text graphic, by MHProNews.

LowellUngerSeniorPolicyAdvisor-credit-ACEEE-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-Ungar’s ACEEE pro-DOE proposal post fails to cite sources or to use proper terminology.  When someone who has had the rigorous academic training needed to obtain a doctorate fails to get the basics correct, what is to be expected of the rest of Unger’s work?

Dr Harold Hunt, Ph.D, in an article found on MHLivingNews, has cast a favorable light on modern manufactured housing, its green features, including energy savings. See Hunt’s report, linked here.

DrHaroldHuntPhDTXAMResearchEconomist-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews

Collage above is from the article posted on MHLivingNews, by Dr. Harold Hunt. To see the article, click here or the image above.

A review by MHProNews’ Daily Business News of what is going understated by these advocacy-driven media reports is this; that the estimated costs for implementing these rules are higher than is expected to be recouped in a typical 7- to 10-year ownership period common for most homebuyers.

To rephrase, the cost-benefit numbers are upside-down for potential buyers. The ROI may be there after 12 to 20 years of ownership, but they are often lacking for 10 years or less. During that long window of time, what advances might occur that makes the current proposal or needs obsolete?

Also underplayed or ignored are those MH Industry voices that say that this proposed regulation, as is true of any other, will fall disproportionately harder on smaller, independent builders.

formaldehydefreeInsulationBlownBattsManufacturedHousingUnderConstructionSunshineHomes-MHLivingNewsVideo-postedMHProNews-

Formaldehyde-free insulation is being used in the Energy Star rated home shown, still from video below. This producer is now building only to Energy Star standards.

The Daily Business News recently reported on the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) in-depth study on the impact of regulations on their builders, see that link here, which includes a link to the NAHB’s so-called Priced-Out Report.

The NAHB Priced Out report demonstrates that hundreds of thousands of prospective home buyers would be knocked out of the opportunity to buy, in this case, all in the name of an energy plan that does not pay for itself in a timely fashion.

JerryKarenMcKibbenEngineerCustomerServiceParisTNArrowheadHomeSalesSunshineHomesManufacturedHomeLivingNews1com-

Jerry and his wife Karen McKibben are featured in the video shown below. Jerry is an engineer by trade, and both praised the construction, quality, appeal and the energy savings in their manufactured home. They previously owned an conventional house, as well as a pre-HUD Code mobile home.

What Do Manufactured Home Owners say?

Perhaps no one in manufactured housing today has done more third-party video interviews with manufactured home owners than is found in the Inside MH Road Show series, found on MHLivingNews.com.  One of the common questions interviewed homeowners are asked about is regarding their utility bills.  How does the manufactured home they now own compare to their prior housing in energy costs?

MH homeowners routinely report that they are paying less for their utility bills then when they owned conventional, site-built housing.

 

 

Such points ought to lead objective researchers to what appears to be a critical oversights by each of these well-meaning advocates who are pushing the DOE proposed rule on manufactured housing.

Perhaps the biggest fallacy of this entire DOE proposal is that it doesn’t respect the consumers right to choose.  Energy Star rated manufactured homes are already available. Some manufacturers specialize in energy saving, and some even offer “net zero” factory-built homes. Upgraded insulation can already be ordered from almost any producer by any consumer who wants it.

Why not let the consumer choose for himself? Isn’t that the American Way?

Going into this Labor Day weekend, manufactured housing ought to tout itself for what it already is – greener than conventional, on-site housing construction, and often half the cost of conventional building, backed by warranties and federal performance and state/federal installation standards.

When even frugal millionaires are buying manufactured homes, doesn’t that speak volumes?

The NRDC, ACEEE and others ought to revisit their report in the light of a better, more global understanding of what manufactured housing has already accomplished for some 20 (+/-) million Americans. The DOE in turn should heed the concerns of manufactured housing industry professionals. The proposed cure could cost the industry and potentially tens of thousands of renters and housing shoppers every month a golden opportunity at becoming homeowners.  ##

(Image credits as shown above).

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

(Editor’s Note: As the insightful report yesterday by Joe Dyton reflects, MHProNews is welcoming periodic guest writers. ICYMI, Matthew Silver is taking some much needed and well-earned time off, and L. A. “Tony” Kovach will be helping fill the Daily Business News role in the interim).

Article submitted by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.com.

 

NAHB Report – High Cost of Regulations Impact Housing – and Manufactured Housing

August 29th, 2016 Comments off
NAHBHousingEconomicsLogos-creditNAHB-postedDailyBusinessNews-textby-MHProNews

Image credits, NAHB and HousingEconomics logo are the property of the NAHB, used here under fair use guidelines; text graphics added by MHProNews.

A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) indicates that an average of some 24.3 percent of the price of a new house can have that cost traced back to regulatory impact.  The NAHB study reflects costs of regulations from all levels of government: local, state and federal.

14.6 percent of the final price of a house is caused by regulations imposed during development of a home’s lot. 9.7 percent is caused by costs incurred by the builder beyond the costs involved in the lot.

RegulationsCostShareHomePrice-creditNHAB-postedDailyBusinessNews-ManufacturedHousingIndustry=MHProNews-com-

Source, NAHB study, linked as download, below.

When these facts are considered against the backdrop of a previous NAHB study MHProNews has referenced – their “Priced-Out” report, which shows how many tens of thousands of buyers are knocked out of qualifying per $1000 in price increase – the impact on potentially millions of home buyers becomes more clear.

AvgCostofRegulatinsInHomePrice-2011v2016creditNHAB-postedDailyBusinessNews-ManufacturedHousingIndustry=MHProNews-com-

Source, NAHB study, linked as download, below.

As MHProNews has observed in previous reports, a similar principle would hold true for factory-home builders.

While manufactured housing as an industry lacks some of the detailed studies and reports that other, larger industries have, the charts below from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) provides useful insights for HUD Code manufactured and modular home builders.

regulatory-compliance-costs-for-manufacturers-source-national-assoc-manufacturers-posted-masthead-mhpronews0-com-_001-575x298

Source, NAM.

As has been previously noted on the Masthead, housing has historically been a driver of economic activity and post-recession recoveries.

The relatively tame recovery since 2009 – and the harm done most notably to people with lower or middle class incomes, black or Hispanic ethnic groups and others – makes this information timely and important considerations in the upcoming 2016 election.  In following the lead from the Bush-Obama years, the Clinton campaign generally favors more regulations, while the Trump campaign has pledged to cut burdensome regulations to spur economic activity and job growth.  Trump’s video address to home builders is linked here.

regulatory-costs-by-business-size-manufactrurers-association-posted-mhpronews--575x335

Source, NAM.

The download of the entire NAHB report cited above, is linked here.

The download of the NAHB Priced-Out report, is linked here.

It should be noted that zoning – one of the forms of regulation NAHB is referencing – has also been cited as contributing to the affordable housing crisis.  Recent examples of that directly impacting manufactured housing are linked as follows in Lowell, MA and Georgetown, SC.

EdShaferGovtAffairsDirectorManufacturedHousingInstituteSouthCarolinaMHISCProgessiveTownsUrbanInfillManufacturedHomes-postedIndustryVoices-MHProNews

Quote from an extended statement to MHProNews on zoing related efforts by Ed Shafer, click image above to read more.

Ed Schafer, of the South Carolina Manufactured Housing Institute, in commenting on the Georgetown zoning case linked above, said: “…the South Carolina association’s focus is to move beyond killing bad zoning proposals and working to reopen areas that have been closed to manufactured homes for many years.”

Sunshine_Homes__credit

Residential style Sunshine Homes single sectional, with finished drywall and 8′ sidewalls, energy star package.  Photo credits still from Inside MH video and ManufacturedHomes.com

In some areas it’s been easy,” explained Shafer. “Progressive planning officials in several towns have been very interested in using manufactured homes for “urban” infill.”

ClaytonFusionNewDurhamEstates-WestvilleIN-

Clayton Fusion model, New Durham Estates, Westville, IN.

Shefer went on to state, “Here’s a case where the people of Georgetown actually petitioned to allow manufactured homes.  Sometimes citizens have a better understanding of the role manufactured homes can play in meeting local needs for work-force housing than many officials.” Schafer’s entire statement, is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

(Editor’s Note: Matthew Silver is taking some much needed and well-earned time off, and L. A. “Tony” Kovach will be helping fill the Daily Business News role in the interim).

l-a-tony-kovach-daily-business-news-mhpronews-

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

Article submitted by L. A. “Tony” Kovach, to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Danny Ghorbani warns of consqequences for Manufactured Home consumers from increased regulatory burdens

October 14th, 2014 Comments off

danny-ghorbani-president-manufactured-housing-association-for-regulator-reform-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-The national trade group, Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), says in a Journal  OpEd by their CEO emailed on October 14th of the potential risks related to government actions to expand laws currently regulating HUD Code factory-built home industry.

Efforts to implement further regulations on Manufactured Homes (MH) have already begun, says MHARR president, Danny Ghorbani, stating these include, among other things the convergence of the final, mandatory implementation of expanded in-plat regulation coupled with new Subpart I requirements, including extensive new ‘at least monthly’ documents reviews, and a new, 156% higher label fee…

In other words, recent events suggest increased prices for potential MH buyers and can effect small, independent manufacturers, allegedly without creating any further benefits for consumers.

Current regulations have met their goal of ensuring abalance and equilibriumbetween MH cost effectiveness, safety and quality, Ghorbani says. He points to studies and market research by the U.S. Census bureau showing MH are “the nations most affordable single-family detached housingwith an average cost 53% less than any other new site built home, noting the costs does not include land in either case.

In addition to being quality affordable housing, MHs now provide homeowners with better experiences and unequalled safety and quality results. Ghorbani says the law Title VI from as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) reached the goals the Congress was trying to attain when the Act was passed. Thus MHARR’s president insists on warning manufactured home businesses as well as consumers of the dangers linked to further federal regulatory intrussions. ##

(Image Credits: Danny Ghorbani, MHProNews; MHARR logo) 

(Article submitted by Lucine Colignon to Daily Business News – MHProNews)

TV ad buys down, Online Digital Media Up, Marketers say

August 28th, 2014 Comments off

tv-digital-devices-icon-credit-graphicdesignjunction-posted-mhpronews-In a trend with implications for manufactured homes and other housing marketers, the U.S. TV industry has seen its first big drop in ad buys since the great recession of 2009. More is being allocated to internet based strategies, FT  tells MHProNews. The Wall Street Journal has previously reported on this trend, which according to Media Dynamics saw a 6% drop in the last quarter to $18.1 billion.

I think that you’re definitely seeing more compelling growth in advertising spending on new media platforms,” noted Bob Iger, chief executive of Disney, which owns of ABC and ESPN, on an earnings call this month. TV still commands the biggest share of advertising spending, at 38 per cent, according to eMarketer.

More consumers are moving to smart phones, tablets and computers to do their shopping. “I just think that advertisers see that they have more options now than they ever have in the past,” said Randy Falco, CEO of Univision. “I don’t think digital is scaled up enough yet to sweep . . . a lot of the dollars off the table. But advertisers are increasingly looking for these transmedia deals.”

The facts underscores what National Association of Realtor (NAR) members, such as our recent Daily Business New report on SILVAR, say is a trend in marketing that can’t be overlooked by serious housing professionals. NAR studies indicate that 90-94% of home shoppers are doing some or all of their research online.  

“We do much, but not all, of our marketing online for manufactured housing clients,” L. A. “Tony” Kovach said, “With YouTube, social media, websites and more, there isn’t a lot that you can’t do online for a lower cost than TV.  This is one of many reasons why now is a good time for the industry members to engage the full range of housing shoppers with strategies that will win them over to factory built housing options.” ##

(Icon credit: GraphicDesignJunction)

New Home Sales Rise in August

September 26th, 2013 Comments off

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports August sales of new, single-family homes rose 7.9 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 421,000 units, offsetting a slight decline in July resulting from a rise in mortgage rates. Says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe, “We are only about halfway back to what would be considered a sustainable level of activity in a normal economy, and the ongoing housing recovery continues to be slowed by consumers’ concerns about interest rates, as well as weak job growth and uncertainty about what’s happening in Washington.” As MHProNews has learned, regionally new home sales in the South increased 15.3 percent, 19.6 percent in the Midwest, and 8.8 percent in the Northeast. Only the West experienced a decline, falling 14.6 percent.

(Photo credit: Reuters–new home sold)

Panoramic’s Kennedy says, best and worst of times

August 29th, 2013 Comments off

epoch-times-micro-apartment2-daily-business-news-manufactured-housing-pro-news-com-ani1-Panoramic Interests CEO Patrick Kennedy says that for San Francisco developers, this is the best and worst of times. Epoch tells MHProNews that for those building in currently under-supplied market, it’s a good time. But costs are high, which are ultimately passed onto consumers. So Panoramic used modular construction for an infill recently to do a micro-apartment built offsite by Pankow and designed by ZETA Design+Build. “We wanted to use this as an example of how to use hyper-dense, hyper-green, hyper-efficient urban development,” Kennedy said. “The micro-apartments by their very nature use far fewer materials to satisfy basic housing needs; they’re also super efficient in terms of energy consumption. I think our typical apartment’s electrical bill is less than 15 bucks a month,” Kennedy said. The next project will be 120 units. ##

(Image credit: Panoramic/Epoch)

ABA Blasts CFPB for blanket requests for sensitive information

August 29th, 2013 Comments off

american-bankes-association-logo-posted-daily-business-news-manufactured-housing-pro-news-The American Bankers Association (ABA) blasted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for a system they say lacks transparency in data collected from consumers. Law360 tells MHProNews that the CFPB also fails to sate how it plans to use the data to shape their policies. This comes on the heals of Senate Republicans concerns about the CFPB’s data gathering. The ABA alleged the CFPB’s request for a “generic clearance” new surveys of potentially sensitive consumer information. ##

(Image credit: ABA Logo)

American Banker Interviews Richard Cordray

August 20th, 2013 Comments off

While bankers fear the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under Director Richard Cordray may be too aggressive, he assures them he is balancing safety and soundness with consumer protection. In a wide-ranging interview with American Banker, he says despite the fight over his initial recess appointment, he and his staff prioritized their mission: Protect and empower consumers in a financial marketplace. He says the Bureau recently received its 200,000 complaint, a statistic he says indicates the protection is being effective, as MHProNews has learned. Responding to a question regarding the biggest challenges of the agency, he referred to the four D’s: Deceptive and misleading marketing of products; debt traps like payday loans and deposit-advance products that can garner up to 390% interest; discrimination—treat all consumers the same; and dead ends, like debt collection, loan servicing, and possibly student-loan servicing and other instances in which the consumer is between two institutions. For the complete interview, please click here.

(Image credit: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

Iowa Climbing Back from Low Manufactured Home Sales

August 5th, 2013 Comments off

While the manufactured housing industry continues to recover, it still has a long way to go, according to Troy Hames of Hames Homes in Marion, Iowa. Noting the company has sold manufactured homes for 44 years in east central Iowa, Hames says new home sales in the state were 2,200 in 1996 but only 220 in 2012 and are expected to rise to 280 this year. The company also owns five manufactured home communities with a 90 percent occupancy rate, about 1,200 families, but 80 percent of sales are for previously-owned homes, thegazette informs MHProNews. Joe Kelly, executive vice president of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA), states financing has always been tough for manufactured home buyers, but the economic downturn combined with consumers taking advantage of low mortgage rates to buy site-built homes has made matters worse. Kelly says while there is pending legislation in Congress to ease lending for manufactured homes, he does not expect matters to change anytime soon.

(Photo credit: Adam Wesley/thegazette–Troy Hames entering a manufactured home)