Posts Tagged ‘hundreds of thousands’

Image of Modular Housing Rises in Germany

September 3rd, 2013 Comments off

Modular apartment buildings were often the norm in the communist-era of the former East Germany. With a reputation as dreary and shoddy, hundreds of thousands of the less appealing apartments were demolished by the federal government following the re-unification of East and West Germany when communism ended in November, 1989. Large-panel-system (LPS) construction, called Plattenbau (meaning a building put together from slabs) in German, comprises 55.5 percent of the apartments in the state of Saxony in east central Germany. The vacancy rate had been as high as 20 percent plus, but has dropped to eight percent due to the demolition, which has also contributed to the addition of more greenspace, parking and playgrounds for the remaining units, making them more desireable. Much like in the United States, modular housing has an image problem; but as informs MHProNews, demand is growing for the apartments among the younger set and new families, especially in larger urban areas where restaurants and taverns are burgeoning nearby.

(Photo credit: Troy Fleece/reginaleader-post)

Modular Homes to Rise Down Under

May 14th, 2013 Comments off

From MHProNews has learned the government of New Zealand will add one and two bedrooms to 2,000 existing homes, three-fourths of them in Auckland, to help ease the country’s overcrowding. Under the same program, costing $370 million, 500 new two-bedroom modular homes will be built, the National Party Housing Minister Nick Smith announced today. He says the homes receiving the additions will also be landscaped, and that the projects will lead to better health and education results. The opposition Labour Party’s housing spokesman Phil Twyford says it’s a drop in the bucket in the face of the problem. “There are hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders living in uninsulated, overcrowded housing,” he says. Labour wants to build 100,000 modular homes in ten years. The projects are part of the National Party government’s affordable housing accord with Auckland to build 39,000 homes in the greater Auckland area over three years.

(Photo credit: nzherald–modular homes in New Zealand)

Abandoned Homes Continuing to Hold Back the Market?

April 24th, 2013 Comments off

According to nationalmortgagenews, banks are the ones walking away from vacant homes these days, starting but not completing the foreclosure process because they do not want the responsibility for maintaining the property, resulting in hundreds of thousands of homes being withheld from the market. In some cases, homeowners who have already left the property are being hit with back taxes, repairs, insurance and unpaid debt. Thomas Fitzpatrick, an economist in the community development department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, states “We’re seeing more and more, banks getting a judgment to sell a home but not taking it to a foreclosure sale. It may cost more to cure the back taxes and bring the property up to code than they could ever get from selling the property itself.” Data from RealtyTrac indicates 35 percent of the roughly one million homes in the foreclosure pipeline are abandoned and the servicer has not taken title to the property. Last year the Federal Reserve issued directives requiring servicers to notify borrowers and municipalities when they decide not to pursue foreclosure, but no time line was given and enforcement can be difficult. MHProNews has learned this may be contributing to the increase in prices on existing homes. Says Ruhi Maker, a senior staff attorney at the nonprofit Empire Justice Center in Rochester, N.Y. “I have long been convinced that the current run up in home prices is a false high. Once all these foreclosures are through the system we could see another decline in prices.”

(Image credit: condometropolis)

Measure to Clarify 3% Cap

March 14th, 2013 Comments off

NationalMortgageNews reports with the mortgage industry complaining that the qualified mortgage (QM) rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will hinder hundreds of thousands of potential borrowers from obtaining a QM loan, HR Bill 1077 clears up the three percent cap on points and fees in the QM rule. The Consumer Mortgage Choice Act is being supported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Since points and fees on a QM cannot exceed three percent of the loan, QM loans are considered to be the least expensive and safest for borrowers. Before approving a loan, lenders have to make sure the borrower has the ability to repay it. As MHProNews has learned, low-income borrowers could suffer the most harm since it will be far less profitable to make smaller loans as opposed to larger ones.

(Image credit: HousingWire)

Fed Lending Reforms due Soon

July 9th, 2012 Comments off

azstarnet reports the two major mortgage market overseers in the federal government are trying to convince private lenders to ease up on lending restrictions that have become tighter than those required by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which administers low-cost loans. Saying a minor infraction in documentation can conceivably cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, lenders have adopted “overlay” rules adding extra fees, larger down payments , and requiring higher credit scores than the GSEs require. In addition, loan originators are unsure of the effect of upcoming Dodd-Frank regulations, and do not want to be charged with underwriting deficiencies after 2-3 years of a loan that has been on time. has learned FHFA and FHA are expected to announce reforms soon.

(Image credit: Federal Housing Administration)

Doing Time for Doing the Crime

March 8th, 2012 Comments off

To follow-up on a story we published Nov. 07, 2011, The T&D tells a man from Neeses, South Carolina, was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to six counts of breach of trust for taking money for manufactured homes never delivered. If rom Colter was arrested last Nov. after allegations began emerging in the summer of his fraudulent behavior. 18 known people gave him money for MH and received nothing in return. During the hearing Colter offered to make restitution in exchange for probation, but Circuit Court Judge Ed Dickson noted the four months the Orangeburg County man has been in jail he has not offered to repay anyone. First Circuit assistant solicitor Ted Lupton said restitution would run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it is unrealistic to think he would repay the money within the five years state law requires. “You can’t get blood out of a turnip but you can lock up the turnip,” Lupton said. One woman who lost money said Colter gave her a phony name.

(Photo credit: TheTandD)