Posts Tagged ‘joint center for housing studies’

Manufactured Housing may Become the New American Dream

April 28th, 2015 Comments off

mfg home delivery  sfgate  creditWhile many studies have shown that homeownership continues to be a large part of the American Dream, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reports in 2013 home purchases fell for the ninth consecutive year, and homeownership has dropped to 65 percent, the lowest rate in 20 years. Incomes are stagnating, housing values are rising, credit is tight in the wake of the housing crisis and rents are rising in response to demand for rental units.

Although the chronicle-indpendent notes that manufactured housing (MH) has less than a squeaky-clean, all-American, apple-pie image, its price points are appealing, and people like L. A. “Tony” Kovach, publisher of MHProNews and MHLivingNews, who recoils at the words “trailer” and “mobile home,” are determined to bring manufactured homes into the mainstream as the quality and affordable housing alternative.

Since the federal government began regulating design and construction of MH in 1976 with periodic upgrades, quality and safety have increased substantially, and homes often are more energy efficient than site-built homes, with strong wind resistance and increased insulation. Newer ones offer sunken tubs, granite countertops, high-ceiling domed entryways and other appealing features found in more upscale traditional homes. The Census Bureau says the average price for a single-family home in 2013 was $324,000, while an MH average price is $64,000. Even attached garages and covered porches are available with MH, and still considerably less than a stick-built home.

Paul Bradley, president of Resident Owned Communities (ROC), an organization based in New Hampshire that assists residents of manufactured home communities in buying their communities to form co-operatives, sees MH as the future of affordable housing. “The subsidy pie is fixed, and the need is growing,” says Bradley of the current affordable housing stock — which is made up mostly of subsidized apartments. “People will start to look at low-cost production options, it has to happen eventually. ROC USA has helped finance 51 MHCs outside the state to the tune of $90 million, and more inside NH.

Today’s factory-built homes do not necessarily look like single-and-multi-section units that people associate them with. Bill Matchneer, one-time manager of the manufactured housing division at HUD, and former senior counsel with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), says, “I see the modern manufactured home as equivalent to a typical site-built home, at about half the cost. We’re not talking about a mansion, but people would be surprised.

Marty Lavin, who owns manufactured home communities in New York, says many MH consumers will sacrifice interior quality to obtain more square footage, like substituting solid wood cabinets and doors for particle board in order to increase overall space. “If your financial circumstances are such that you can’t afford a $500,000 home on a quarter acre, a $100,000 home can satisfy your dream. That’s a great thing for many people,” says Lavin.

Many worry about depreciation of manufactured homes, but Datacomp Appraisal Systems completed a study recently of 185 MH in Michigan, comparing the average sale price and resale price, and discovered they are subject to the same factors as other homes. “The appreciation in value of manufactured homes comes back to the old real estate axiom — location, location, location,” read the study. “When properly sited and maintained, manufactured homes will appreciate at the same rate as other homes in surrounding neighborhoods.

Lavin says with rising home prices and stagnating wages, manufactured homes may be the ticket to the American Dream. ##

(Image credit: sfgate-manufactured home delivery)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Millennials on the Verge…….

July 8th, 2014 Comments off

Following a story MHProNews last posted June 27, 2014 regarding the Millennial generation living with their parents, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies reports the decline in homeownership rates among 25-34 year-olds fell nearly eight percent from 2004-2013. Similarly, among 35-45 year-olds the rate fell nine percent. Real median income for the group aged 25-34 fell 11 percent from 2002 to 2012, and households with student loan debt for that same age range increased from 26 percent in 2001 to 39 percent in 2010, both hindering homeownership, according to Minorities will drive 76 percent of overall household growth, but continue to have a difficult time obtaining financing. ##

(Graphic credit: Joint Center for Housing Studies data derived from the U. S. Census Bureau)

Canadian Firm Seeking Manufactured Home Communities

March 25th, 2014 Comments off

Toronto-based Tricon Capital Group, Inc. (TCN), which bought 3,500 rental units in the U. S. following the housing meltdown, is now seeking to invest up to $670 million (US) in manufactured home communities (MHCs) in Florida, California and Arizona, reports Chief Operating Officer (COO) Gary Berman says, “If you look at the U.S. population, it’s definitely growing, it’s definitely getting older, and it’s probably getting poorer. What single-family rental and manufactured housing do is they provide very affordable housing for people.” He says manufactured housing is a $400 billion business within the overall single-family U. S. market worth $2 trillion to $3 trillion.

After going public in 2010 Tricon gained 35 percent; its adjusted net income rose to C$34.7 million ($31 million US) in 2013 from C$6.76 million ($6 million US) in 2012. Eighty percent of its assets are in the U. S., with 20 percent in Canada. Berman says they are seeking the higher end MHCs.

Private-equity firms, hedge funds, and other investors spent more than $20 billion buying about 200,000 rental homes in the last two years, as has been informed. According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, demand for more affordable housing is high in the U. S. as federal subsidies have not kept pace with the growing need.##

(Photo credit:–manufactured home community in Calimesa, Calif.)

Housing Finance Expert will speak at Penn State

October 29th, 2013 Comments off

With more than 30 years of experience as a housing scholar and expert in the field of mortgage finance and housing policy, Kent Colton, president of The Colton Housing Group & Senior Scholar at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, will present “Framing the Future of Housing Finance: A Practical Guide to Reforming the System,” a lecture on the future of the nation’s housing finance. He says the recovery is limping along because there has not been housing finance reform, according to Noting the importance of absolutely qualified borrowers, he adds the private sector should be primary but it also needs to contribute to a fund to cover risk. MHProNews has learned his talk will be held Nov. 6 at Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania.

(Photo credit:–Kent Colton)

Mass. Home Sales Rise

April 6th, 2012 Comments off

According to BostonHerald the sale of homes in Massachusetts increased 9.7 percent in Q1 this year as compared to 2011, continuing a trend that began in 2009 when the housing market bottomed out. The MLS Property Information Network says the state’s median sales price fell less than one percent to $260,000 Q1 2012 over the same period last year as sales of higher priced homes slowed. has learned Nicolas Retsinas of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies says, “Helping the trend toward home sales is climbing rents, which is directing once-reluctant home buyers toward purchasing property.”

(Photo credit: BostonHerald)