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Bark Worse than Bite? Manufactured Housing Institute Slams Trump Administration Lumber Tariffs

April 27th, 2017 Comments off
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Credits: MHI, MHProNews, GraphicClick.

Comments from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on CNBC yesterday regarding proposed anti-subsidy tariffs on Canadian goods raised quite a stir.

The tariff is not the beginning of a trade war with Canada,” said Ross.

It shows President Trump is making good on promises to hold Canada accountable for unfair practices such as those that have hurt American dairy farmers.”

And, for lack of a better term, one “shark” was swimming in the waters and shared his feelings on the matter.

By the time it’s over softwood lumber, automotive parts, milk would all need to be renegotiated,” said investor and star of the TV show Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary, who is also running to lead Canada’s Conservative Party.

If all of a sudden we have to say let’s get rid of supply-side management in Canada, you have to do it in Vermont. You have to do it in Wisconsin. And by the way, the milk market in the United States is 10 times bigger. You will wipe out millions of farmers and the supply chain and all the people they work with.”

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland pointed out that the actions by the U.S. had not started a trade war, but instead mentioned that Washington D.C. needed to better understand the situation.

You need our lumber. You need our lumber to build your homes,” said Freeland.

Lumber prices are already very high in the United States. They’ve gone up about $3,000 per house this year, and for every $1,000 in increase of the price of a house, U.S. homebuilders estimate that means another 150,000 U.S. families can’t afford a home.”

 

MHI Weighs In – Who’s Manning the Train?

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) weighed in on the matter.

MHInoReportersJournalistsSignManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoPhotoByManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHI meetings are closed to journalists and reporters, even pro-industry trade reporters. Why? Photo credit, MHProNews, MHI logo is that organization’s intellectual property.

MHI has long advocated that consumers need access to a stable, dependable and affordable lumber supply. Canadian imports of softwood lumber account for as much as one-third of the lumber used in the construction of manufactured homes,” said MHI in a release.

MHI is concerned that these tariffs on softwood lumber will have negative repercussions for consumers because of the increased cost of materials. According to the Department of Commerce, imports of softwood lumber from Canada in 2016 were valued at an estimated $5.66 billion.”

MHI has said in recent weeks that they have wanted to head off a potential tariff issue, and also announced that it has joined the American Alliance of Lumber Consumers (AALC), a coalition of business groups who support open trade in lumber and building materials.

AALC members include the National Association of Home Builders, the National Retail Federation, and the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association.

The American Alliance of Lumber Consumers believes that unilaterally imposing punitive tariffs is counterproductive and could create large and unpredictable swings in the cost and supply of lumber. We urge the U.S. and Canada to work quickly and cooperatively to achieve a long-term solution to resolve this ongoing trade conflict,” the organization said in a statement.

It is important to note that pro-Trump Administration industry sources are concerned that MHI’s staff don’t understand President Trump’s America First, American Jobs thinking.

Those same sources point out that about half of MHI team members, by design, are Democrats. MHI says that they want this mix, in order to give them “balanced access” to either party in Washington D.C.

One week before the U.S. Presidential election in November, MHI hosted two featured speakers at their meeting in Chicago, who were pro-Clinton.

This fact poses an interesting question: are the Democratic voices conducting the train on MHI’s handling of the tariff topic?

 

Another View of the Story – More Bark Than Bite?

Canadian Lumber. Credit: Breitbart News.

An analysis from Breitbart News digs deeper, and shows that there may be more bark than bite in President Trump’s move.

For one thing, lumber prices actually declined after the tariffs were announced. Lumber futures fell on Tuesday by the $10 exchange limit in Chicago, a 2.5 percent drop. The prices of Canadian lumber companies rose, some sharply. Shares of Canfor Corp were up by 8.09 percent on Tuesday and West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. rose by 2.37 percent,” said writer John Carney.

John Carney. Credit: Breitbart News.

As it turns out, the 20 percent tariff was smaller than what the market expected. The Trump administration has actually adopted a gentler policy on Canadian lumber than analysts and investors had forecast.”

Carney also points out that the lumber tariff is more accurately understood as a symbolic gesture by the Trump Administration, aimed at giving its “America First” stance additional face time. It’s intended target, says Carney, are trading partners in Europe, Japan and Mexico. The move sends a message without impeding larger trade flows.

The Trump administration also hoped the move would be welcomed by economic nationalists, first announcing the tariffs at a meeting with conservative journalists on Monday night,” writes Carney.

Many of Trump’s economic nationalist supporters have become increasingly concerned that the administration may be backing away from America First trade stance that was central to its electoral victory in November.” ##

 

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

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

Manufactured Housing – Hope for Ownership Versus Rentals?

February 13th, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: The truth about mortgage.

What’s the biggest factor driving site built property transitions? The answer may surprise you, but the opportunity for the manufactured housing industry won’t.

According to National Mortgage News, research from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Research Institute for Housing America (RIHA) shows that a homeowner’s equity position is one of the major factors that drives property transitions between owner-occupied and rental status.

Between 2000 and 2014, 6.5 percent of homes built before 2000 and 10.3 percent of homes built in the 1990s went from owner-occupied to rental status, according to a study by Syracuse University professor Stuart Rosenthal.

Underwater homes are notably more likely to transition into the rental sector, possibly because of reduced incentives to maintain the home and related decay,” said Rosenthal.

ManufacturedHousingHopeforOwnershipVersusRentalscreditSyracuseUniversity-StuartRosenthal-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Stuart Rosenthal. Credit: Syracuse University.

Owner-occupied homes where the combined loan to value ratio (CLTV) is between 100 percent and 120 percent are between one and two percentage points more likely to become rentals, while homes that have a CLTV above 120 percent are between six and eight percentage points more likely to make this change.

Additional research showed that the share of single-family homes in the country’s rental housing inventory was 36.13 percent in 2014, about 5 percent higher than in 2000, and the share of single-family homes in the owner-occupied inventory remained relatively unchanged.

Rosenthal’s study further showed long and short-term trends that largely guide these transitions.

Over the long term, scenarios like age-related depreciation make it more likely that a home will become a rental property unless structural or neighborhood changes take place.

Over the short term, it’s housing prices that have a significant influence on an owner’s decision to reside in their property or rent it out.

For certain types of homes rising house prices encourage transitions into the owner-occupied sector,” said Rosenthal.

By comparison, Rosenthal’s research showed that falling prices tend to predicate short-term swings toward the rental market, and these shifts often reverse themselves as prices go back up.

Consequently, this indicates that the large volume of homes that moved from owner to renter-occupied following the financial crisis could continue to affect construction.

Movement of housing stock back to owner-occupancy status…has the potential to undercut demand for new construction since most home building occurs in the owner-occupied sector,” said Rosenthal.

Also, the drop in the homeownership rate to a low of 63% in the second quarter of 2016 suggests that a large buffer stock of potential owner-occupied homes may now sit in the rental segment of the market.

Rosenthal believes this explains one scenario from 2016, but believes more work needs to be done.

This may help to explain why new home construction in 2016 remains far below previous levels even though home prices at the national level have regained their 2006 peak, but this is a topic that requires further research.

 

Is MH the Solution?

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Graphic by CFED, text credit by MHProNews.

As Daily Business NewsMHProNews and MHLivingNews readers are aware, we have covered the case for manufactured housing as a viable solution to hope for the American Dream of home ownership at a reasonable price extensively, including Bloomberg making a statement to the same effect.

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Doug Ryan, CFED.

Bloomberg points to Doug Ryan, director of affordable home ownership at the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) who cites advantages, and challenges, that the industry faces.

You can put them anywhere you have the land, said Ryan, who routinely promotes manufactured homes as an important option in the affordable housing crisis.

What you’re up against is the stigma. You’d have people coming to the planning meetings and saying that you’re killing their home value. ##

(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.

Disaster Planning Vital to Community

November 5th, 2012 Comments off

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) reminds community owners and managers of the importance of having a preparedness plan in place for residents in case of an impending hurricane or sudden tornado. If a community has multiple exits, who should use which exit, and what happens if an exit is blocked by a fallen tree. New residents should be given disaster plans in their “welcome packet” along with supplies that could be helpful in the event of an immediate need. Police and fire departments and agencies such as the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA—www.ready.gov) offer free planning assistance. Community management should develop an emergency notification system, including identifying residents with special medical and first responder skills, such as paramedics, nurses, and others knowledgeable in basic medical assistance. As MHProNews knows, educating residents is vital to the well-being of a community. For tips from Kurt Kelly on protecting communities, please click here.

(Photo credit: Birmingham News—April 27 tornado damage)