Posts Tagged ‘home construction’

Modular Homes and Nuclear Power Plants have Common Building Techniques

August 14th, 2013 Comments off

Nuclear power plant construction and building aircraft carriers utilize the same methods as modular home construction. Ron Jones, of South Carolina’s energy company SCE&G says, “When modules are built for a home assembly, the pipes, conduit, etc. are already in there. It’s not just walls and floors. It’s the same thing with the nuclear modules. The modules contain pipes, pumps, tanks, conduit and other components. This is a factory type approach to construction.” Using modular building techniques to construct the two nuclear power plants near Jenkinsville, SC, just northwest of Columbia, will save about $500 million dollars on the project. As heraldindependent informs MHProNews, aircraft carriers have been built module by module for many years.

(Photo credit: Skip Dickstein/timesunion–module being loaded onto ship)

Fannie Mae: Manufactured Housing has Challenges to Overcome

June 27th, 2013 Comments off

In its latest Housing Insights report, Fannie Mae notes that while overall home construction fell by 70 percent between 2006 and 2011, manufactured housing (MH) began declining in 1998, falling nearly 90 percent. In 2012 MH accounted for 7.4 percent of total home construction, a substantial drop from 20.2 percent in 1998. The report says, “Given manufactured housing’s modest share of the total housing stock, the decline in manufactured home production might not seem important. However, manufactured homes account for an outsized share of low-cost housing, particularly among owner-occupants. Whereas manufactured homes account for approximately 7 percent of all owner-occupied homes, they represent 16 percent of owner-occupied units with monthly housing costs of less than $500.” As informs MHProNews, the average price per square foot for a manufactured home in 2012 was $42, less than half the square foot cost of a new site-built, single-family home. The report cites several barriers the industry must overcome, including limited conventional financing options due to titling of most manufactured homes as personal property, an underdeveloped secondary market for manufactured home loans, and pending financial regulations that could further curtail manufactured home lending.

(Photo credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters–Fannie Mae headquarters)

Bi-partisan Measure Introduced to Ease Tight Credit

March 20th, 2013 Comments off

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to ease credit for the nation’s home builders. Sponsored by Reps. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Gary Miller (R-CA), H. R. 1255, the Home Construction Lending Regulatory Improvement Act, would address regulatory obstacles to builders’ ability to obtain construction loans. Jobs and taxes are being lost in the wake of tight credit resulting from the housing downturn. The construction of 100 new homes creates over 100 full-time jobs and generates $8.9 million in local, state, and federal revenues. As MHProNews reported April 10, 2012, Rep. Miller co-sponsored the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act that was intended to rescind provisions of the Safe Act and Dodd-Frank that hamper financing for would-be manufactured home buyers.

(Photo credit: HousingWire)

The Fed Says Housing Market Slowly Rising

March 7th, 2013 Comments off

HousingWire informs MHProNews the Federal Reserve’s February Beige Book of growth in economic activity indicates the real estate market in almost all the districts recorded strong improvement as inventories shrank and home prices rose. While in Philadelphia low-end prices were firm or rising and the prices of high-end homes were falling, the districts of Boston, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, San Francisco and St. Louis showed modest gains overall. Home construction rose in most districts except in Kansas City where it remained unchanged. Multifamily building increased in several districts, but financing problems have stymied Atlanta and Cleveland in that regard.

(Photo credit: benzinga)

Two Modular Habitat Homes Rise in SC

December 10th, 2012 Comments off

IndependentMail reports from Seneca, South Carolina a volunteer crew from Foothills Community Church of Seneca helped site and finish two modular Oconee County Habitat for Humanity homes. The church is donating $25,000 towards the cost and 100 volunteers from the congregation are helping complete the homes. Bill Banholzer, modular home construction manager for Oconee County Habitat for Humanity, says, “With their help we will give two more families on our waiting list a home this year. By 2013, the Jaymory Way community of 12 homes — on-site build and modular — will be completed.” MHProNews has learned Seneca is located in the far northwestern corner of the state.

(Photo credit: IndependentMail–Foothills Church/Habitat for Humanity)

Betting with Buffett

November 9th, 2012 1 comment

Further evidence that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is poised for the worst housing slump in 70 years to end, he has been buying real estate brokerages around the nation and is partnering with a Canadian real estate brokerage to double the scope of his business. Partnering with Brookfield Asset Management, which works under Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate brands, the new name will be Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. Last year the combined brokerages did a sales total of $72 billion in 2011, $32 billion of it from Berkshire. According to BusinessInsider, the network is comprised of more than 53,000 agents in 1,700 locations across the nation. Says Brookfield CEO Bruce Flatt: “The strength of the Berkshire Hathaway name, coupled with the operational excellence of HomeServices and the franchising experience of Brookfield, positions Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices®as a leading real estate franchise in the U.S., building on our traditions of exceptional client service and innovation.” As MHProNews knows, Berkshire owns several companies involved in home construction including a brickmaker, a roofing supplies firm and a carpet company, as well as Clayton Homes, the largest producer of manufactured homes in North America.

(Image credit: Clayton Homes)

Morning After

November 7th, 2012 Comments off

Bloomberg tells MHProNews the Dollar Index, which tracks American currency against that of six of our trading partners, rose 0.3 percent to a seven-week high on the news of President Obama’s re-election, a sign of a weakened dollar. The index hit 80.83 after touching 80.92. Investors are concerned the president will not deal effectively with the looming fiscal cliff crisis, which could send the country back into recession. Andrew Wilkinson of Miller Tabak in New York, says, “What we’re seeing very clearly is a dose of risk aversion. Nothing says that the fiscal cliff is not going to get dealt with, but this is a domino effect stemming from equities, and one of the bricks in place is a stronger dollar.” Challenger Mitt Romney disagreed with the Federal Reserve’s stimulus policy and had said he would replace Ben Bernanke when his term expires. “Obama’s re-election is likely to boost expectations of continued easing by the Fed,” said Junya Tanase at JPMorgan Chase in Tokyo. “If it leads to lower U.S. yields and higher stock prices, the bias will be for the dollar-yen to fall.” Meanwhile, MarketWatch says the Fed’s quantitative easing policy promotes the real estate industry because it involves buying securities that support residential and commercial construction. Since home-building is an industry that cannot be outsourced, it has gotten support from the Obama administration, reflected in the stock value increse of various builders and component makers. iShares U.S.Home Construction has risen 133 percent during the last four years versus 69 percent for the S&P. Their commentary suggests the first year of President Obama’s term will be rough economically as investors respond to slowing global economic growth.

(Photo credit: NBCNEWS–President Obama giving his victory speech.)

New Home Sales Rise

October 24th, 2012 Comments off

Based on data from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Association of Home Builders NAHB) reports new single-family home construction rose 5.7 percent in Sept. to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 389,000 units. This marks the best sales rate in 2 1/2 years. NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe says, “Meanwhile, despite a small increase in the inventory of new homes on the market in September, the number of completed new homes for sale is now at an all-time low and the month’s supply is at its tightest since October 2005. This is an indication that builders continue to have a tough time obtaining construction credit, even as demand for new homes increases.” Regionally, new home sales rose 16.7 percent in the Northeast, 16.8 percent in the South, and 3.9 percent out West. However, as MHProNews has learned, the Midwest registered a 37.3 percent drop. New home inventory edged up to 145,000 units in Sept., a 4.5 month supply at the current rate of sales.

(Photo credit: FotoSearch)

Warren Buffett Opines

October 24th, 2012 Comments off

NASDAQ reports in a TV interview this morning, Oct. 24, on CNBC, Warren Buffett says the housing market has turned a corner and home construction is improving, and he expects Berkshire businesses tied to that industry to pick up. Despite the global economy slowdown, the Oracle of Omaha says the U.S. is doing better than either Europe or Asia, and has high praise for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, saying he “has done an absolutely superb job,” although he questions his policy of quantitative easing. Buffett says he expects Berkshire’s carpet business to double its profits this year, and Clayton Homes will see an increase of 15 percent in production. As a result he expects Berkshire to add 8,000 employees to the roughly 270,000 employed at the beginning of the year, MHProNews has learned.

(Photo credit: businessinsider)

Housing Market not Strong, but Stable

October 3rd, 2012 Comments off

Encouraged by a variety of signs, fourteen economists surveyed by CNNMoney believe the housing market has finally turned the corner on its way back to health. Only three months ago half of those surveyed did not believe the turnaround would come until next year, or later. The economists cite three consecutive months of increases in the Case-Shiller home price index, gains in sales of existing homes and home construction, a rise in the price of new home sales and continuing record low mortgage rates. “We’re seeing the signs of a pulse in a sector that has been flat-lined for a number of years,” said Sean Snaith, economics professor at the University of Central Florida. Housing was a drain on the nation’s gross domestic product through early 2011, but beginning in Q4 2011, housing has been adding to growth. While lacking the robustness it exhibited pre-downturn, MHProNews has learned the housing market is at least providing some stability to the economy.

(Image credit: mortgageorb)