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“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

July 5th, 2018 Comments off

RichardGenzWhyAdvocatesNeedRethinkManufacturedHomeQualityHarvardGSEHighSatisfactionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are those who slam manufactured housing as being less expensive due to inferior quality. But a “Harvard study refutes that, labeling as “exaggerated” the “concerns about the difference between manufactured homes…and [homes] built to applicable local building codes” (Vermeer and Louie 1995, section IV, 2). The study found that code standards have little to do with manufactured housing’s price advantage.”

 

So wrote Richard Genz in a 22 page research report on manufactured homes for a foundation for a Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE).

The document also stated that:

Housing advocates might find it surprising to walk through a couple of new homes at a dealer’s lot, keeping the monthly payment in mind and mentally comparing the local rental stock available for the same price. Interiors have good light. Insulation standards are solid. Floor plans have come a long way from the time when residents said that living in a mobile home was like living in a hallway.”

RichardGenzManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsWhy take a flashback look now at the 2001 report by Richard Genz for Housing & Community Insight?

Because the report was done for the Fannie Mae Foundation.

It cited sources such as Harvard, Foremost Insurance – plus other third-party, often peer-reviewed – researchers.

While some of the data points have shifted since Genz penned them, it has generally been improvements in the manufactured home product quality, as the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 standards have fully kicked in since Genz published his insightful work.

It’s equally valid to review this now, given the arguable short-shrift Fannie Mae has been giving to the legally mandated Duty to Serve (DTS) implementation. Compare what Genz said then, vs. what Sarah Edelman recently wrote. That linked report below, which includes Edelman’s article for Fannie Mae, can be read later for greater depth of understanding.

“Take the MH Advantage Challenge – Can You Tell the Difference?” Fisk of Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae

Further, because the HUD Code and new home standards keep improving, what was true when Genz said it back then, is arguably as or more accurate now.

NewDurhamEstatesSouthManufacturedHomeLivingNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

That said, the analysis that follows notes that while Genz often praised manufactured homes, he did not turn a blind eye to problems then existing in the industry. That too will be reviewed herein, because manufactured housing cleaned up key issues that Genz identified.

So, while the total numbers of residents and manufactured homes has grown since his report, and pricing has obviously changed, the percentage of savings remains the same. Then and now, the United States Census Bureau has noted consistently similar levels of statistical savings for decades.

SunCommunitiesSUI-InvestorPage11ManufacturedHomeVsSingleFamilyHousingManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Graphic, data, per Sun Communities (SUI).

Thus for a variety of reasons, Genz’s 22 page document merit the careful consideration of the manufactured home industry’s:

  • professionals,
  • advocates,
  • public policy pros,
  • politicos,
  • and investors careful consideration.
SunCommunitiesSUI-InvestorPageComparetoMultiFamilyHousing10ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Graphic, data, per publicly-traded Sun Communities (SUI).  Note that Sun’s rental rates may be higher than some others in the industry..

With that introduction, the Daily Business News will review and analyze key highlights of what Genz unearthed.

It’s a potentially multiple billions of dollars worth of housing insights. Thus it’s a potentially rewarding, and highly insightful, reading experience.  As you read this analysis of Genz, keep the points previously shared in the report below in mind, which can be read or reviewed later for related insights.

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact

 

Stigma and Manufactured Homes

Genz goes after the stigma attached to manufactured homes and their owners early, and often.

Here’s an example.

There is a palpable stigma attached to manufactured homes, dating back to when workers towing trailers moved from city to city, chasing jobs and crowding into muddy, unsanitary trailer parks… However, these serious shortcomings [in public policies, perceptions] are not inherent in the factory-built home itself. Rather, they are the product of laws, policy choices, and business practices that are selling millions of people short.”

Genz notes that while values weren’t the same, he explains that it was because of reasons not connected with the homes themselves.

That’s arguably a valid point then, and now.

The Fannie Mae Foundation researcher also noted that the net worth of manufactured home owners was dramatically higher – even then – than the $5,000 renting households average worth now have, per data cited repeatedly by HUD Secretary Ben Carson last year.

Median net worth is $59,000 for owners of manufactured homes, compared with $102,000 for all homeowners.”

Rephrasing that as a takeaway.  Those who own a manufactured home enjoy a significant improvement in their collective standard of living.  That’s a point that advocates like ROC USA, Prosperity Now (formerly known as CFED), or this trade publisher have often made.

Genz notes another point that MHLivingNews and MHProNews has hammered home repeatedly. It’s this.

One of the industry’s strong points is its appeal to distinctly different market segments. Owners tend to be either very young or elderly (Vermeer and Louie 1995). Although most buyers have low incomes, one segment of the market is quite well off: About 10 percent of manufactured home residents report a net worth of more than $250,000, and another 19 percent are worth more than $100,000 (Foremost Insurance Group 1999).”

Genz added to that point above, “Many of the owners with high net worth live in well- planned subdivision-style communities with recreation centers, pools, and even golf courses. These high-end communities demonstrate the potential of factory-built homes, but also represent a continuing shift away from the industry’s original focus on serving the affordable housing market.”

 

tristar-estates-bourbonnais-il-CreditMHC-MD-com, posted MHPorNews.com.

Arial photo credit, TriStar Estate, credit MHC-MD.com. Note that all of the illustrations shown were provided by MHProNews, not the original document written by Genz.

Stated differently, he makes sure that his readers know that manufactured homes are not just housing for the poor, or those who have no other options.

It’s a key factoid that some in the industry’s association world need to take notice of, and perhaps now will begin to do so?

Despite wide-spread perceptions of low quality and short life, Consumer Reports says that “manufactured housing can last as long as site-built housing,” (“Manufactured Housing ” 1998, 30).”

Readers should keep in mind that the improvements mandated by the industry-sought Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA). So whatever concerns were noted then about installation have since been dealt with.

Industry professionals, policy wonks, officials, and advocates should note that it was the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) that led-the-charge for the MHIA 2000. They did so by aligning the Texas Manufactured Housing Association’s leadership, and then finally found a change in leadership at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) they could work with. That permitted the three to then advance the MHIA through Congress, per our sources.

That segue noted, the review of Genz’s fertile work continues.

Fresh, new, private living space; easy shopping and financing; adequate quality; and homeownership now add up to a powerful appeal, and with a little reflection, it becomes easier to see why manufactured homes have been chosen by an average of 29 percent of new home buyers every year since 1980 (Manufactured Housing Institute 2001).”

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

For newcomers to this website, or otherwise not familiar with modern manufactured homes, you can learn more by clicking the image above or the link here.

That was debatably the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) that was, prior to the power being exercised over the Arlington, VA based trade group by Berkshire Hathaway acquired Clayton Homes in 2003. Their related lenders were acquired too, as were several other industry connected suppliers and other firms since.

Instead of MHI’s allegedly weaponized ‘research’ and maneuvers to promote a controversial, “new class of homes,” and the like – why hasn’t MHI provided encouragement for more such independent study as Genz did?

Or why does MHI fail to publicly mine such useful research today?

Those questions noted, continuing with the Genz’s analysis, there are far more gems to discover.  They are potentially as useful now as then.

 

Not Enough Advocacy, Said Genz

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Richard Genz.

Some consumer advocacy is taking place, but not much in view of the scale of the manufactured housing sector. Government, nonprofit, and philanthropic involvement is strikingly less than in the world of “real homes.”

When one ponders the foot-dragging by the GSEs, apparently brooked by the FHFA, this quote is also noteworthy: “…a majority of buyers have held the same job for 5 to 10 years, a Freddie Mac economist notes that “except for lower incomes, the profile of manufactured home buyers seeking financing does not appear to differ greatly from site-built loan borrowers” (Bradley 1997, 4).

Note that in a systematic fashion, Genz cited his third-party, often peer-reviewed sources. Again, as the Daily Business News analysis above noted, much of what has changed since 2001 have been equally well documented improvements.

So the case made by Genz is still useful.  It is also historic.

Genz provides an independent yardstick to see what the industry’s ‘leaders’ have or have not done.

 

Identifying Valid Concerns

For those who never knew or witnessed sellers loading up customers with years of insurance or credit life, etc. the next quote will be a dose of reality.

For those pros who will recall, it’s a blast-from-the-past that explains some of the stiff losses by the subprime lenders of that era. “[manufactured housing] retailers can and frequently do earn commissions, rebates, or other payments on loan originations, credit life insurance, property insurance, and other services arranged for at the time the loan is closed” (HUD and NAHB 2000, 41).”

That was then, not now. Thus the report by Genz isn’t all glowing, as he takes on some industry practices in lending, some that apparently had a level of MHI support.

Rephrased, this researcher for Fannie didn’t mind questioning MHI.

By contrast today, Fannie and MHI seem to be “playing footsie,” according to several sources in MHI.

Among the examples that have been cited by those sources, MHARR and others, is that Fannie is now a MHI member. Furthermore, Fannie and MHI have reportedly held closed door meetings, without producing for the public those meeting minutes.

What’s there to hide?

Fannie Mae Touts MH Advantage Program, But Manufactured Housing Association Slams Plan as “Illegitimate,” “Bait and Switch”

 

GSE Commitment Canceled?

As recently as last week, Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business at Fannie Mae and others there respectfully declined to provide minutes or any explanation of such meetings with MHI, in inquiries by this publication to the federally regulated mortgage giant.

Note that a communications team member committed to MHProNews that Edelman would answer several questions on-the-record.

Those promised replies to several specific inquiries were later delayed. Finally, the same communications team member at Fannie said they were not going to answer the questions asked.

Why not?

So much for transparency at Fannie today?

It is also worth mentioning for later review that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling has told MHProNews via a statement that he has serious concerns about lobbying by the GSE.  If so, that’s important because it would be in contravention to federal law while they are in receivership under FHFA. That related report can be reviewed later, and is linked below.

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

 

How Many Pre-HUD Code Mobile Homes?

Back to the research by Genz, he stated then that nearly 3 million pre-HUD Code mobile homes were still in service.

According to Gentz, “As many as 3 million homes in the nation’s current manufactured housing inventory were built be- fore the implementation of the HUD building code in 1976, when some homes had a useful life as short as 10 years (Meeks 1995; Vermeer and Louie 1995). Many of these were built in the boom years of 1968 through 1973, when 2.7 million new homes were sold.”

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

Once more an aside is warranted. Because the data that Genz cited demonstrates that the Rollohome experience was not a one-off.

What occurred during the Rollohome era in terms of the rapid ramp up and production of more factory built housing pre-HUD Code could arguably be done today too.

Rollohome, Creating 60,000 Factory-Built Homes in 2 Years

Investors, public officials, advocates, and industry pros? Are you seeing how enormous the manufactured housing industry’s potential is? This is a theme that MHProNews and MHARR have said for years can be accomplished, because it has in fact already been previously proven to be doable.

Given the correct support, the 8.3 million housing unit shortages cited by Lawrence Yun at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) could rapidly be corrected. But if HUD Code producers don’t step up to the plate more seriously, other prefab builders cited at the end of this report have already said that they will.

Potentially tens to hundreds of billions of dollars in business annually is up for grabs.

Once more, it is almost inescapable how these facts point to what award-winning independent retailer Alan Amy said. Manufactured Housing could be the future, which is why he and others have said that the billionaires are gobbling up the industry’s assets.


Ouch, and another Ouch, but then…

Regarding gains or losses in value, “…Consumers Union reports that two-thirds of units depreciate. However, the converse is that one-third of manufactured homes have held their value or appreciated (“Manufactured Housing” 1998). Several other studies establish the simple fact that some manufactured homes increase in value, and some decline.

But Genz uses logic akin to what MHProNews has utilized, noting that “Research is needed to sort out the factors that cause values to go up or down. With better information, policies and practices that build wealth for owners of manufactured homes can be designed.

In fact, Genz has outlined several of the causes of a loss in value. He also suggested some of the keys to supporting value, like no more credit life or others previously noted.

Thus, the initial groundwork for more appreciation – which even the problematic Urban Institute report noted by the Daily Business News said is already underway – is now largely in place.

Rephrased, there are no valid reasons for the GSEs to slow-walk implementation of robust yet sustainable chattel and other manufactured home lending. There is no need for yet another apparent dodge, this time in the form of a MHI’s questionable “new class of homes.”

Secretive “NEW” Class of Manufactured Housing Raises Serious Concerns

So in retrospect, what Genz laid out was this.

marty-lavin-jd-manufacturedhomefinanceexpert-DailyBusinessNews-mhpronews

Marty Lavin, JD.

When insurance is loaded up on a contract at the time of sale, or prices may vary 5k-10k per identical homes in the same market, the natural outcome is those homes ‘lost’ value. That’s similar to concerns that MHI award winner Marty Lavin raised for years.

But it must also be noted that Lavin said in a video interview with MHProNews that the industry cleaned up that act.

So once more, the rationale for slow-walking the potentially robust GSE entry into manufactured housing is missing.

Quite the opposite exists. Genz gave a veritable road map of why and how manufactured housing lending could and should be done successfully in ways that are as sustainable, as Titus Dare exclusively encouraged in statements to MHProNews.

So those abuses Genz reported then were wrenched from the chattel lending system by the lenders who remained in the market during the post-Conseco/GreenTree meltdown.

Rephrased, as Lavin noted, the remaining marketplace lenders corrected the issues.

Said Genz, “The accurate answer to the question “Can manufactured homes appreciate?” seems to be “It depends.” Like the value of any home, the value of a manufactured home over time is contingent on many factors. Unfortunately, the perception that depreciation is somehow inherent in manufactured homes is widespread. It is at the root of disinterest about them among development bankers, advocates, planners, and nonprofit developers. These professionals are rightly concerned that housing should be a foundation for building wealth, but if advocates simply write off the preference of so many home buyers for lower-cost manufactured units, we passively contribute to a problem we should be helping to solve. Available data suggest that depreciation is not a mystery. It can be understood and, in many cases, reversed.”

What Genz did was argue that the industry could reverse much of its image and fortunes.

Make some common sense changes, and much could be done.

More than 8 out of 10 manufactured homes placed in 1998 were titled as personal property, or chattel (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1998).” That number is similar today.

Genz buys into the argument made by those who want to reclassify manufactured homes, forcing all to be real estate loans. That’s a non-starter for most lenders in the industry. It is an example of how the “wheat and chaff” approach must be used with any person, or any organization.

That said, he next makes another point similar to what Marty Lavin has made.

Discriminatory treatment of manufactured home residents flows from the unexamined matrix of law, finance, taxation, land use regulation, and custom within which manufactured housing exists.”

Lavin put it more bluntly, by calling the HUD Code “a discrimination code.”

But discrimination – past or present – could be a motivation in urging industry pros to act for change in the future.

That said, what exists today are policies that can include “…many tax systems automatically depreciate manufactured homes like vehicles, regardless of their actual market value. This practice worsens the budget drain.”

Genz demonstrates how a simple change of mind can yield positive change.

Recognizing the real character of manufactured housing contributes to the asset base of an entire community. For example, the tax assessor of Henderson County, NC, decided to begin taking manufactured homes seriously in the early 1990s. Once values were established, the assessor determined that the use of depreciation schedules had systematically undervalued this stock of residential property. The result was a $53 million increase in the tax rolls over two years,” Genz said.

Then he stated a point routinely made by MHLivingNews and MHProNews. How education by that North Carolina county and discipline in the proper use of terminology could yield positive changes measurable in dollars and cents.

They [local officials] repeatedly had to explain to concerned taxpayers that a “trailer” is something you haul around behind a vehicle and that their increased valuation was based on the actual market value of a home that happened to have been built in a factory.”

Today, there are numerous studies that demonstrate that manufactured homes can and do appreciate for the same reasons as conventional housing. But the way to accomplish that isn’t by creating a problematic, unnecessary, and controversial “new class of homes” promoted by MHI.

Rather, an important part of the industry’s potential progress is achieved by education of consumers on existing homes.

 

 

That education comes in part by speaking with those who know on camera.

Education also can obviously be accomplished in part by engaging the mainstream media.

Retiring MHI Ann Parman previously praised MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach for promoting that plan. But as numerous industry members – like Frank Rolfe, who previously blasted MHI for not properly engaging the media – know, MHI has allowed most slurs, miscues, and errors that slight manufactured housing to go unaddressed.

Rephrased, the facts and legitimate third-party research needed to successfully promote the manufactured home industry are available.

While the Arlington, VA based trade group has done problematic advertorials – which have at times cited ‘facts’ that other MHI ‘data’ contradicts – has posted a few lightly viewed items to YouTube, or social media, there’s been no discernible, systematic and robust effort by them to defend and/or promote the industry as needed.

MHI member MHVillage’s own data proves just how ineffective the efforts to date are.

2018-06-22_0521ConversionRatiosPerMHVillageLogoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Data per MHVillage, collage by MHProNews. 

So it is little wonder that a pair of state associations broke away from MHI, and have announced they are forming a new post-production association.

Rephrased, there is a growing body of evidence and numbers of industry voices that in various ways have alleged that MHI is debatably blowing it for the small to mid-sized operations that make numbers of that trade group’s members.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

As attorney Lavin succinctly put it in the report linked above, the big boys work for the interests of the rest of the industry only to the extent that it benefits the big boys.

 

Genz Makes the Case Concerned Industry Voices Have Advocated

Said the Fannie Mae Foundation’s researcher Genz. “Low- and moderate-income people should not be left to learn about asset-building and the meaning of homeownership from their tax assessor. The protests from mobile home dwellers confirm what our housing system has inculcated in them: that their housing is a depreciating asset, like a vehicle. How many buyers of conventional homes would trade a lower annual property tax bill for depreciating home value?


As a Deer Valley Homes sales manager James McGee, and their current president, Chet Murphree said, “It’s all about education.” as they and others praised the work done here and on MHProNews to educate.

Meanwhile, sources and evidence suggest that MHI, their surrogates and masters, have arguably sought to stymie the education necessary for the industry’s robust growth.

Why?

Warren Buffet has arguably given the correct answer. He likes a bargain.

Best Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Competition, and “the Moat” Video Collection

By choking off other sources of lending, and limiting the capital flow into the industry, Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway has gobbled up large chunks of the industry.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

MHI’s President Richard “Dick” Jennison, and others there or working for Berkshire Hathaway units have declined or ducked public discussion and debate on such vexing questions.

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, or named entities.

Isn’t that a kind of tacit admission that these published concerns are valid?

When The Daily Business News has given repeated opportunities for MHI or Berkshire brands to respond publicly, why have they instead remained silent?

21stMortgageCorpLogoLetterheadJan302009TimWilliamsRetailersBrokersCutSpecifiedLendingMonopolisticPloyConcernManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This document was provided as a news tip to MHProNews. To see the related video with Kevin Clayton, click to read and view – Smoking Gun 3

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

 

Genz’s Finale “Conclusion”

Clearing up misperceptions about manufactured housing and addressing the problems of buyers, owners, and renters should be the first priority for advocates. On a separate front, it should be possible to incorporate the cost advantages of manufactured homes into nonprofit housing developments (Wallis 1991). If stereotypes can be overcome, the nonprofit development community could eventually help reinvent manufactured homes as quality, wealth-building, affordable housing.

The report said that author “Richard Genz is Principal of Housing & Community Insight and a Project Manager with ICF Consulting, Inc.”

Genz’s report was written for the Fannie Mae Foundation.  The entire document is available as a download, linked here.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## ## (News, event, and announcement.)

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

Related Reports:

Manufactured Home Owners – Satisfaction Survey Redux

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

 

Clayton Homes, Top 25 Manufactured Housing Industry Report, Trend Lines

 

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Pouring Gas on PreFab Fire, CNN Report Spotlighted

June 6th, 2017 Comments off

PouringGasPreFabHomeFireModularManufacuredPreFabHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsYou may agree or disagree with CNN’s clearly slanted coverage of President Trump, as even Harvard’s recent media study reported.

But one must give credit where it’s due.

CNN gave solid coverage recently on the growing factory-built home movement.  They even got (most) of the facts and nomenclature right.  What was missing was in their recent article discussion of manufactured homes, but their coverage of modular and “prefabricated” or “prefab” housing was quite solid.

Pour Gas on the Blaze

CNN noted Japanese prefab builder Muji, which MHProNews has profiled several times, among them the column by Sandra Lane, at this link here.

They also drew attention to Joseph Tanney, who’s Resolution: 4 Architecture firm exemplifies the sustained interest in prefab, one paralleling the kinds of higher-end designs by famous designer, Antonio Robbie, PreFab Leader & how Revolution PreCrafted, linked here.

Res4ArchCNNpostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Modular home designed by Res4Arch, credit, CNN.

The interest or the promise of prefab is nothing new, but it’s been reignited, and gasoline continues to be poured on the fire,” says Tanney, a New York-based firm that’s developed modular housing systems since 2002. “And because more architects are participating in this base, the level of design is increasing across the board.”

JosephTanneyRes4ArchitectureNewYorkPouringGasOnPreFabHomeDesignFireDailyBusinessnewsMHproNews

Joseph Tanney, Res4Arch. Credits as shown, text credit and collage by MHProNews.

While many prefab companies focus on both affordable and high-end primary residences, others advertise them as country retreats, backyard workspaces, guesthouses, and in-law suites,” writes Elizabeth Stamp for CNN.

Resolution4ArchitectureModernModularDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Res4Arch – credit, their Website.

 

ElizabethStampCNNprefabwriterDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Image credit, LinkedIn.

The designs are only limited by the maximum dimensions allowed to be shipped on the highways, which in the United States is 16 feet,” Stamp wrote, nailing a detail often missed by others covering the factory-built home industry.

Here’s where Stamp might have pointed to the residential side of HUD Code manufactured homes, but overall, her coverage was solid.

Among the points that Stamp’s CNN column made is that Japan and other nations are doing more in prefab than the U.S. is doing.  This echoes a point made by Sunshine Homes, John Bostick, part of the video below, which featured a veterinarian who purchased a residential style manufactured home in a nice land-lease community.

MHLivingNews has long pointed out that frugal millionaires are buying manufactured homes, as well as the higher priced modular and prefab housing options Stamp’s column covered.

By focusing on stories about the rich, famous and upwardly mobile – not just the lower end of affordable housing, as important as that is and should be – the factory-built home industry elevates its brand by spotlighting ‘good news.’  Being socially accepted and celebrated is valuable.

Thus stories like Stamp’s on CNN should be acknowledged by all segments of the factory-built housing. ##

(News & commentary. Image credits are as shown above.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.com.

 

Harvard Study, Baby Boomers to Spark Affordable Housing Boom

January 17th, 2017 Comments off
WillBabyBoomersbetheSparkforanAffordableHousingBoomcreditFOXBusiness-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: FOX Business.

As “baby boomers” eye retirement in large numbers, builders believe that they could jumpstart an affordable housing boom.

Per FOX Business, a report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing finds that by 2035, more than one in five people in the U.S. will be aged 65 and older and one in three households will be headed by someone in that age group.

The report, entitled “Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Population: Older Adults 2015-2035,” notes the growth will increase the demand for affordable, accessible housing that is well connected to services beyond what the current supply can meet.

Current census data shows that incomes drop significantly after the age of 75, from an average of $54,000 per year to $36,000 per year. Data also shows that this segment spends more than one-third of their income on housing.

Right now, more than 19 million older adults live in unaffordable or inadequate housing, and that problem will only grow worse in the next two decades as our population ages,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of AARP Foundation.

When asked what these numbers mean for the real estate industry, Lukas Krause, CEO of Real Property Management provided this response:

WillBabyBoomersbetheSparkforanAffordableHousingBoomcreditRealPropertyManagement-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Lukas Krause. Credit: Real Property Management.

People currently over the age of 55 have saved only $150,000 for retirement, per Fidelity and Vanguard estimates. This savings amount will generate only $500 per month in income, if the recommended 4% withdrawal standard is followed,” said Krause.

Social Security pays an average of $1,294 in benefits to retirees, so average monthly income will be $1,794 or $21,528 per year. If 34% – 38% is spent on housing, the average retiree will have a housing budget of $610 – $682 per month – half of todays average apartment rental cost of $1,100 per month. This means cohabitation and new forms of housing will be needed in the future.  It also means that retirees who have not already purchased a home, will be unlikely to afford one.

 

Manufactured Housing to the Rescue

As Daily Business News and MHLivingNews readers are already aware, manufactured homes provide the ideal solution to the challenges of affordable housing by delivering high quality quickly, and at significantly less cost than traditional site-built houses.

WillBabyBoomersbetheSparkforanAffordableHousingBoomcreditSFChronMHLivingNews-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

See the video and report by clicking the image above. Photo of Lois Renquist. credit: SFChron. Text credit, MHLivingNews.

Overcoming the challenge of the stereotypes that plague the industry are now front and center in light of the rapidly retiring baby boomer population. Lois Renquist, a poet laureate who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, has had to deal with those stereotypes in response to her recent downsizing.

I’m downsizing for the second time, and some folks think I’m ‘stepping down,’” said Renquist.

Rancho Benicia is a highly rated and gated retirement community (55 and older only), very well kept, with a pool and hot tub, a clubhouse and many activities for the residents. It’s almost crime free. It’s a mobile home park. A block from the Benicia Marina, it’s often seen as another world.

‘Trailer trash? Is that what you’ve come to?’ someone asked.

‘That’s really stepping down,’ my brother, who lives in Idaho, said.

You can find the full story, along with the story of Terry Reynolds, whose home is located in a development with conventional houses that he says range from $300,000 to $400,000, double or more what he has invested in his home. Yet visitors to his home can’t tell the difference between his residence and that of others in the same location, linked here. ##

(Editor’s note: those same stereotypes that hamper manufactured home acceptance with boomers are slowing millennials from accepting manufactured housing too, see a report, linked here.

Fortunately, their are industry leaders who seek to change those realities.  For some examples, see the new report, linked here.)

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Industry Experts Forecast Modest Housing Growth

October 29th, 2012 Comments off

According to Chip Case, professor emeritus of economics at Wellesley College and senior fellow at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the mortgage interest deduction will be on the table after the election as well as other tax reform issues. As WindowFilmMag informs MHProNews, after 44 months housing starts finally surpassed the 800,000 mark, but he is not ready to open the champagne bottle yet. Speaking at the 2013 McGraw-Hill Construction’s Annual Outlook Executive Conference, Case said, “A mini-boom could happen but I don’t think it will have the legs of what we have seen in the past.” Robert Murray of McGraw-Hill Construction said the residential market has grown 26 percent this year. While noting single-family housing is picking up, he said multi-family is a bright spot and should remain strong for two to three more years. “It is a subdued upturn but it is there,” he said.

(Photo credit: Universal Forest Products, Inc.)

Mass. Real Estate Market Improves Slightly

May 24th, 2012 Comments off

BostonGlobe reports for the first time in seven months, prices for single-family homes in Massachusetts rose modestly, 1.1%, as the median price hit $275,000 in April, according to Boston real estate company Warren Group. The number of single-family homes sold in April rose almost 22 percent over April 2011, marking the third consecutive month of increases. Statewide, for the first four months of 2012 sales of single-family homes rose 18 percent over the same period last year. Prices fell 20 percent 2005 to 2009, and Eric Belsky of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, says this is the first time since the home buyers tax credits ended that prices are rising on their own. One real estate broker who focuses on downtown Boston says total sales this year have already surpassed all of 2011. MHProNews.com has learned Michael Goodman, asst. prof. of public policy at the Univ. of Massachusetts, noting the western part of the state is still struggling, says “We are going to really need to see some sustained growth in sales volumes and median prices to declare the downturn is over.”

(Photo credit: MortgageBroker)