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Congress, HUD, Trump Administration Warned – “Profoundly Damaging Unintended Consequences” – Manufactured Housing Industry, Lower & Moderate-Income Americans

July 5th, 2019 No comments

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  • While we believe that this bill is well intended and that HUD Code manufactured housing is a key part of the solution to the nation’s affordable housing crisis…”
  • “…we also believe that the legislative provisions needed to advance the availability and affordability of manufactured housing are already contained in the existing federal manufactured housing law.”
  • By contrast, we believe that H.R. 926 is not only unnecessary, but could have profoundly damaging unintended consequences for both the mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing industry and the lower and moderate-income American families who rely on those mainstream manufactured homes as the nation’s premier source of affordable, non-subsidized homeownership.”

 

The bulleted pull-quotes above are from a recent letter to elected and appointed leaders in Washington, D.C. dated June 26, 2019.

 

MarkWeissMHARRphotoLogoManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformlogoIn separate letters to the leadership of the House Financial Services Committee, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, copied to President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and FHFA Director Mark Calabria, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) took direct aim at legislation that is being backed by the coalition that includes Prosperity Now, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO).

The letters are essentially identical, save the Senate version of the MHARR letter cites their bill number as S. 1804.  The House version of the MHARR letter cited their pending proposal as H.R. 926.  

The Daily Business News on MHProNews will do some additional analysis following the House version of the MHARR letter, from Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO, that follows.

ManufacturedHousingAssociationforRegulatoryReformMHARRLogoJune26LetterDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

 

 

Hon. Maxine Waters Hon. Patrick McHenry
Chairman Ranking Member
House Financial Services Committee House Financial Services Committee
Suite 2129 Suite 2129
Rayburn House Office Building Rayburn House Office Building
Independence Ave. and S. Capitol St., S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20515

Independence Ave and S. Capitol St., S.W.
 

 

 

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Chairman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry:

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade organization representing the views and interests of independent producers of manufactured housing regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. (42 U.S.C. 5401, seq.). MHARR’s members are primarily smaller businesses located throughout the United States.

We are writing to apprise you of our serious concerns with — and opposition to — a bill currently pending before your committee, entitled “The HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019” (H.R. 926).

While we believe that this bill is well intended and that HUD Code manufactured housing is a key part of the solution to the nation’s affordable housing crisis, we also believe that the legislative provisions needed to advance the availability and affordability of manufactured housing are already contained in the existing federal manufactured housing law. By contrast, we believe that H.R. 926 is not only unnecessary, but could have profoundly damaging unintended consequences for both the mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing industry and the lower and moderate-income American families who rely on those mainstream manufactured homes as the nation’s premier source of affordable, non-subsidized homeownership. Indeed, if enacted into law, this bill could ultimately undermine all of the gains, advancements, recognition and acceptance that the industry (and consumers) have achieved under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 and the reforms within that law designed to transition manufactured homes from the “trailers” of yesteryear to modern, legitimate “housing” for all purposes.

Specifically, this bill in light of recent developments concerning the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and the apparent effort by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, promoted by some in the industry, to divert DTS support to a supposed “new class” of pseudo-manufactured homes while providing no support whatsoever to existing, mainstream manufactured homes financed through personal property loans (which comprise 80% of the HUD Code manufactured housing market) – appears to be tailored not only to legitimize the so-called “new class” of pseudo-manufactured home, but also to mandate government support for the utilization of that “new class” of home. The legislation, consequently, if enacted, would legally validate the discriminatory DTS policies adopted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the establishment of two separate “classes” of “residential manufactured homes” the new class of high-cost, site-built-like hybrid homes favored and prioritized for securitization and secondary market support by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the one hand, and a “second class” comprised of existing, affordable, mainstream HUD Code manufactured homes on the other, with continued and worsening discrimination against the “second-class” of mainstream HUD Code manufactured homes.

The legislation would thus sanitize and institutionalize the diversion of DTS support from mainstream manufactured housing to this so-called “new class” of home. It would also pave the way for local jurisdictions to utilize this “new class” of home — while in many, if not most cases, continuing to exclude and discriminate against mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing in order to access HUD grants and other funding. The bill does this through a two-step process of altering the definition of “manufactured home” currently contained in federal law and then requiring the inclusion of homes meeting this altered definition in the “Consolidated Plans” that jurisdictions must submit to HUD in order to receive federal funding under multiple HUD programs.

In relevant part, the bill directs HUD to “issue guidelines for jurisdictions relating to the appropriate inclusion of residential manufactured homes in a Consolidated Plan of the jurisdiction.” (Emphasis added). The definition of “residential manufactured home” contained in the bill, in turn, while referring to the definition of “manufactured home” contained in the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, would nevertheless alter that definition by using the term “residential,” which is not contained or included in the existing federal law definition. The bill, accordingly, would create a discrepancy between the existing definition of “manufactured home” and what does — or does not — constitute a “residential manufactured home,” potentially without any type of vetting, analysis or due consideration, that would elevate the so-called “new class” of home for use in every jurisdiction receiving HUD grants and other funding, while reducing mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes, once again, to second-class “trailer” status contrary to the 2000 reform law.

The bill, accordingly, poses a significant threat to existing, affordable, mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing and the lower and moderate-income families that rely upon those homes. At a minimum, with its altered definition of “residential manufactured home,” which is materially different from the definition already contained in federal manufactured housing law, the bill, if enacted, would create immediate market confusion — particularly for existing HUD Code manufactured homes, homeowners, and purchasers that could further suppress the mainstream, affordable HUD Code market and could lead to legal liability and litigation over just what does or does not constitute a “manufactured home” for purposes of federal regulation and a multitude of other issues.

Specifically, the bill is unnecessary and potentially harmful, in that it:

  • Would perpetuate a negative connotation and image of existing, mainstream, HUD Code manufactured housing through its title, which implies that manufactured homes are in need of “modernization” notwithstanding the sweeping institutional reforms of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. In addition, the title is misleading and inaccurate, in that the HUD program and the legal treatment of manufactured housing itself were already “modernized” by the 2000 reform law, after input from all stakeholders and the National Commission on Manufactured Housing. Consequently, if this bill is advanced in any form, its title should be changed to the “Manufactured Housing Parity and Equality Act of [Insert] ;”
  • Would, by changing the definition of what constitutes a “manufactured home,” create a substantial risk that the so-called “new class” of manufactured homes could lead to the establishment of a new baseline for all federal manufactured home standards, which would destroy the fundamental affordability of manufactured homes;

Would even if it does not lead to more expansive and costly federal standards, as above re-relegate existing, mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes to second class “trailer” status;

  • Would undermine gains and advances made through and as a result of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 to elevate the status of mainstream, affordable manufactured homes to that of legitimate “housing” for purposes (including federal and federally-sponsored housing programs);
  • Would legitimize and institutionalize continuing discrimination against mainstream, HUD Code manufactured home personal property loans under DTS;
  • Would legitimize and reinforce the discriminatory exclusion of mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes in jurisdictions seeking HIJD grants and other related funding by effectively directing those jurisdictions instead to higher-cost, “new class,” hybrid-type homes;
  • Would direct HUD funding and grants to jurisdictions that continue to discriminate against and exclude mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes and manufactured housing residents;
  • Would create immediate market confusion, would further suppress the existing HUD Code manufactured housing market and depreciate the re-sale value of such mainstream, affordable manufactured homes;
  • Would benefit just a handful of industry conglomerates at the expense of smaller, independent industry businesses and the lower and moderate-income American homebuyers who rely on the affordability of mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing.

Consequently, rather than this bill, with its inconsistent language and potentially devastating consequences for mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing, MHARR instead supports language that could be included in any moving bill involving HUD or housing finance that would ensure equal, non-discriminatory treatment for all HUD Code manufactured housing in both HUD housing and community grant programs, and housing finance programs under the jurisdiction of HUD (i.e., the Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae) and/or the Federal Housing Finance Agency (i.e:, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). It is worth noting that under the 2000 reform law, manufactured housing producers have — and have always — been capable of building homes with additional upgrades and features. Thus, the MHARR-suggested language below:

  • “The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide for the inclusion of manufactured homes in all housing, federal housing assistance and community development programs and activities, including community development grants, administered by the Department, and shall ensure that any jurisdiction participating in any such program or applying to participate in any such program does not exclude or unreasonably restrict the placement of manufactured homes as defined by and regulated pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C.

5401, et seq.) within that jurisdiction.”

‘The Federal Housing Finance Agency shall ensure that the Government Sponsored Enterprises provide securitization and secondary market support for loans to purchase manufactured homes regulated pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 5401, et seq.), including loans secured by manufactured homes titled as real estate and manufactured homes titled as personal property, on an equal basis with all other types of single-family homes.”

Such language, attached to any moving bill in Congress, would propel parity and equality between existing, mainstream, affordable HUD Code manufactured housing and all other types of housing, while simultaneously prohibiting discrimination against HUD Code housing (and manufactured homeowners) in vital areas. By contrast, when the innocuous veneer of the pending bill is stripped away, it becomes apparent that it would do serious harm to existing, mainstream HUD Code manufactured housing and the lower and moderate-income American families who rely on the non-subsidized affordability of those homes.

Consequently, while MHARR recognizes and appreciates the positive intent underlying this bill, it does not and cannot support H.R. 926 and urges your committee to take no further action to advance it. If, however, further action is taken on this bill, we respectfully urge your committee to hold a full hearing on the highly-damaging potential consequences of such legislation on mainstream, affordable manufactured housing, and would ask that MHARR be provided an opportunity to offer the above proposed language that would actually advance your positive intentions without harming the HUD Code manufactured housing industry as it exists today.

Thank you

Sincerely,

 

Mark Weiss
President and CEO

cc:  Hon. Norma Torres

Hon. Ben Carson

Hon. Mick Mulvaney

Hon. Mark Calabria

HUD Code Manufactured Housing Industry Members

###

In conversations between MHProNews’ publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and key legislative staff from both political parties, Kovach noted that starting with the title of the bill, the measure is problematic.  He said that “The HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019” makes it sound like HUD Code manufactured homes needs to be ‘modernized,’ thus sending the wrong message to the millions who might here about the bill but never get beyond a headline.

Tony Kovach did not go into the same points that MHARR did, as his contacts with Congress relative to this measure were prior to the MHARR letter.  But he did note similar concerns, namely, that what is needed is enforcing existing laws, not passing a new one that might in fact undermine the enhanced preemption portion of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000.

Rephrased, MHARR and MHProNews’ leadership came to similar concerns and conclusions apart from each other about this bill. GovTrack gives it only single digit odds of passage. But even the discussion of the measure – due to the name of the bill – can prove damaging.

Our prior report on this is linked below and is very relative in the light of the more recent MHARR comments.

It should be noted that MHProNews was a leader in sounding the alarm about the new class of homes promoted by Clayton Homes and their association mouthpiece, Arlington, VA based MHI.

We said at that time that it could prove to be a Trojan horse for the industry and warned that it could undermine the sales and acceptance of all other types of manufactured homes. That warning has been repeated several times, such as when the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rolled out their programs, which made distinctions between the ‘new class’ of homes and all other manufactured homes.

The ‘new class of homes,’ related issues, and this new measure are examples of how the good news about manufactured homes can be and has been obscured. That has often been done by those who claim to be promoting the industry.

That the promotion of operations owned by Berkshire Hathaway, such as Clayton Homes, or MHI and some ‘big boy’ members there has not been successful is self-evident, based upon the latest shipment data and recent new manufactured home sales trends.  See that report, linked below.

 

Manufactured Housing Production and Shipments, Official HUD Data, Report for May 2019

 

That it need not be so is exemplified by companies that are growing, while others that are shrinking in sales.  A publicly traded example is spotlighted in the report linked below.

 

Nobility Homes Bucks National Trends, Reported Serious Growth, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

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Sun Communities (SUI) As Viewed by Hedge Funds Data, Per Media Reports

June 25th, 2019 Comments off

 

SunCommunitiesLogoSUIlogoViewedByHedgeFundsPerMediaReportsManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryMHProNews

Nina Todic, writing for investor-focused Insider Monkey and Yahoo Finance news, reported as follows about manufactured home commercial real estate giant, Sun Communities (SUI).

 

 

Sun is one of the publicly traded firms tracked in our evening manufactured housing connected stock report.  Last night’s closing ticker and related numbers are available at this link here.

We’ll note that this isn’t a fact-check. Nor is this an endorsement of Insider Monkey, rather, this is a report on June 18, 2019 that summarizes their findings on Sun Communities as it relates to hedge fund interest.

Let’s further note as a disclosure the mantra of Sam Zell, of Sun’s rival Equity LifeStyle Communities, famously quipped that “When others are going left, look right.” Zell told MHProNews that they have never lost confidence in the manufactured home community sector.

Those notes made, let’s dive into their data and views.

 

InsiderMonkeyTopHedgeFundsInvestorGraphicDollarAmountsCorporateNamesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews 

Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About Sun Communities Inc (SUI)

Hedge fund managers like David Einhorn, Bill Ackman, or Carl Icahn became billionaires through reaping large profits for their investors, which is why piggybacking their stock picks may provide us with significant returns as well. Many hedge funds, like Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, are pretty secretive, but we can still get some insights by analyzing their quarterly 13F filings. One of the most fertile grounds for large abnormal returns is hedge funds’ most popular small-cap picks, which are not so widely followed and often trade at a discount to their intrinsic value. In this article we will check out hedge fund activity in another small-cap stock: Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI).

Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI) was in 18 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. SUI has seen a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers of late. There were 22 hedge funds in our database with SUI holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that sui isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the market by 40 percentage points since May 2014 through May 30, 2019 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

We’re going to review the new hedge fund action surrounding Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI).

What have hedge funds been doing with Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 18 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -18% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in SUI over the last 15 quarters. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

 

SUNCommunities-SUI-TopHedgeFundPositionsTrackInsiderMonkeyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

More specifically, Renaissance Technologies was the largest shareholder of Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI), with a stake worth $152.7 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Renaissance Technologies was Citadel Investment Group, which amassed a stake valued at $79.6 million. Waratah Capital Advisors, Millennium Management, and Echo Street Capital Management were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.

Seeing as Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI) has experienced falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s easy to see that there exists a select few funds that slashed their full holdings heading into Q3. Intriguingly, Stuart J. Zimmer’s Zimmer Partners said goodbye to the largest stake of all the hedgies tracked by Insider Monkey, comprising an estimated $54.1 million in stock. Richard Driehaus’s fund, Driehaus Capital, also dumped its stock, about $2.3 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 4 funds heading into Q3.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM), National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:NOV), Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL), and Trimble Inc. (NASDAQ:TRMB). This group of stocks’ market caps are closest to SUI’s market cap.

 

InsiderMonkeyTopHedgeFundsPositionsRelativetoSUIsunCommunitiesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

As you can see these stocks had an average of 22.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $751 million. That figure was $413 million in SUI’s case. Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Trimble Inc. (NASDAQ:TRMB) is the least popular one with only 14 bullish hedge fund positions. Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 1.9% in Q2 through May 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 3 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on SUI as the stock returned 4.2% during the same time frame and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

Disclosure: None. This article was originally published on Insider Monkey at this link here.

##

SunCommunitiesIncSUIRentalofManufacturedHomeVsOtherRentalComparisionsFeb2019IRDec312018DataManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

For balance, and to exemplify why Zell and other savvy investors have not lost confidence in manufactured housing (MH) and MH Communities, consider the graphics above and below from Sun Communities. 

SunCommunitiesIncSUIManufacturedHomeSalesPriceComparisionConventionalHousingCostFeb2019IRDec312018DataManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Our more robust MHProNews April 2019 data-and graphically rich dive into Sun is found at this linked text-image box below, which is the source for the sample Sun Community graphics on this page.

 

Sun Communities Under the Hood – Data Reveals – Manufactured Homes, Communities, Comparisons with Conventional, Multifamily Housing

 

During an affordable housing crisis, there are reasons to pay attention to the most proven of all kinds of affordable homes. 

 

CostToMoveManufacturedHomeRararityMovingManufacturedHomeSunCommunities2-2019ManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

SunCommunitiesIncSUIFactorsPoweringGrowthFeb2019IRDec312018DataManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

That most proven permeant affordable housing resource would be HUD Code manufactured homes.

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Manufactured housing is the most proven form of affordable housing. It offers consumer safeguards that far more expensive conventional housing does not offer.

 

That’s this morning’s second installment of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

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Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

 

Nicole Friedman, Ben Eisen, Wall Street Journal – Fannie, Freddie, Manufactured Homes, and MH Financing – Part 1

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https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/time-to-investigate-fannie-and-freddies-mishandling-of-dts/

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Democrat Specifically Urges Broader Manufactured Housing Lending, Bipartisan Approach to GSE Reform

June 23rd, 2019 Comments off

 

SenateDemocratSpecificallyUrgesBroaderManufacturedHousingLendingBipartisanApproachGSEReformMHProNews

Freshman Senator Tina Smith (MN-D) is drawing attention to the lack of implementation under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) that established the federally mandated Duty to Serve (DTS) for manufactured housing.

 

Her letter to Republican and Democratic leaders of the powerful Senate Housing, Banking, and Urban Affairs Committee is covered in a new report, linked below on MHLivingNews.

The timing is noteworthy. Why? Because the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has recently been calling for Congressional investigations into what they say is the flawed roll-out of DTS by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That too is linked below in our Sunday morning weekly news recap.

There are also insider insights from Cavco Industries regarding their legal woes.  That hot-linked headline is found further below on the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

That’s just for starters. There is the Havenpark’s controversy. Deprecation debate. Cavco, Carson, campaigns, CoreLogic, plus more are all below. 

 

 

Toot the Horn

There is demonstrably no manufactured housing-focused Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © that is larger, more diverse, robust, or better-read in MHVille than this publication. Nothing else even comes close.

Perhaps that’s why early next week, insider insights at HUD will reveal exclusively on MHProNews a serious scandal that involves manufactured housing.  

Stay tuned for that and more.

 

Small Industry, Big Potential, The Most…

As some U.S. Senators and members of Congress are beginning to grasp, the industry is only performing at about ¼ of the level that it did some 20 years ago. In 1998, production topped 372,000 new manufactured home shipments. So why – during a growing affordable housing crisis that many in Congress, the Trump Administration, and others want to see addressed – is manufactured housing underperforming?

For the last 8 months, year-over-year new manufactured home shipments are in decline. What? During an affordable housing crisis?

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has dryly reported the facts of that decline, but they seem tone-deaf as to any explanation for that decline.  As evidence of how tone-deaf they are, they speak about ‘momentum’ and have used a slogan, ‘let’s keep building.’ Seriously?

Our industry is demonstrably smaller than it was 15 or 20 years ago. There are thousands of fewer retailers. There are thousands of fewer communities. There are fewer builders of HUD Code manufactured housing. Several of the companies whose names endured – Champion or Fleetwood, to name but two – companies that were giants 20 years ago went into bankruptcy in the first decade of the 21st century. What exists today are essentially new entities under an older brand name. What caused longtime successful firms to tip into bankruptcy? Doesn’t that bear scrutiny?

 

 

BloombergShipmentProductionGraphicManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

April 2019 data reflects month 8th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why? 

These are the snapshots of reality that others in MHVille trade media – much less MHI – bother addressing. Why?

But the kinds of reports that you find here are the reason that this is by far the largest and most read “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © site in all of manufactured housing trade media.  Others may make bold – even demonstrably outlandish claims.  They may produce slick magazines, but those slick covers sit on the racks, because they are not picked up. Why? Apparently not many want to read phony sunshine stories?

 

MHInsiderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTunicaShow2019Day2

A photo of another rack at Tunica appears almost untouched. The industry’s pros, given a choice between fluff and reality often chose the real deal, found only at MHProNews.

From the largest firms, to the mid-sized, or ‘mom-and-pops,’ the pros in manufactured housing are on our pages daily by the thousands. There are those who cheer what they read here, because almost no one else is exposing what MHProNews is willing to cover with facts, evidence, and follow-the-money-trail published here. Then there are those who are bothered by what they read or those who are just trying to figure out why manufactured housing is underperforming so badly – they are all among those who read here.  Investors and nonprofits read here too. Among the 1.2 million-page views monthly, per third party tracking, third-party software tells us that thousands of hits on our site come from federal officials who are on our site every month.

Those who want to know and understand, come here.

To stay in the know in order to grow, you too can become a part of the most engaged professional audience in MHVille history.  To sign up in seconds for our twice weekly emailed headline news updates, click here or the graphic below.

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There is no more goal- and solution-oriented trade media in all of manufactured housing than this site. While toadies kiss the derrière of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, we dare pull back the curtain and show the evidence, money trail, and concerns others try to ignore or obscure. 

 

Per Third Parties, Billions of Dollars in Potential Growth for Factory-Builders

What is the goal here on MHProNews?

As true believers and often praised experts in the industry, we know firsthand that sustainable growth is possible because we’ve worked professionally with firms that have achieved profitable growth. The evidence reflects that far more could be done.  Tens of billions of dollars in additional manufactured housing production at retail is attainable.

That requires understanding of the obstacles and the opportunities.

Who says there is that kind of growth potential? How about one of the most valuable conglomerates in the world’s investment unit? In part of a 2018 statement when they invested in Plant Prefab, Amazon’s Alexa Fund pegged the opportunity for new housing at $300 billion a year.

If only a quarter of that $300 billion-dollar annual potential were earned by Manufactured Housing, that would represent about a nine fold increase in dollar volume over 2018.

Given the potential of manufactured housing, it’s a disgrace that the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis is so focused upon hobbling our industry and posturing instead of doing what’s necessary to improve measurable performance.  The evidence arguably reflects they seek to foster consolidation and ‘taking out’ honest independents to the extent that they are letting tens of billions of dollars annually slip through the fingers of investors and professionals,” said publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.  

Experts and politicos across the left-right spectrum are increasingly expressing alarm over the monopolization of several sectors of American businesses and professions. Is it a surprise that it is happening in manufactured housing too?

But how some of this is occurring in MHVille may be somewhat different.

Never forget that Kevin Clayton said on video that it would be okay with ‘Warren’ if Clayton Homes lost money for 5 years, so long as they expanded their Moat. While roughly 100 of their retail locations have lost money.  But they aren’t losing money overall, and they are expanding their Moat. Clayton and their allies are earning and slowly consolidating at the same time. Literally thousands of industry independents have been steadily vanishing during an affordable housing crisis. Coincidence?” – asked Kovach, a long-time MH industry veteran. 

What’s happened in manufactured housing is a largely misunderstood tragedy, because too many others in the manufactured home industry’s trade media largely overlook or spin it. MHI gives the ‘big boys’ cover, so that purported corrupt behavior in turn harms the affordable housing seeking public, millions of whom could purchase a new manufactured home for less than they pay in rent,” Kovach said. “This pattern of behavior within the industry has drawn a number of critics from inside the industry’s ranks. It cries out for Congress to publicly investigate this slow-rolling tragedy, its impact on business, millions of Americans, and taxpayers.”

The stories that follow reflect what sparks such comments. 

With no further adieu, here are the headlines for the week that was from 6.16.2019 to 6.23.2019

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

 Senator Tina Smith Urges Republican, Democratic Senators to Provide Greater Financing Access to Affordable Manufactured Homes

 

What’s New from Washington, D.C. from MHARR

MHARRReiteratesCallForCongressionalDTSInvestigationManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformLogoMHProNews

 

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

 

Saturday 6.22.2019

·        Fighting Fear With Facts, Pushing Back About Depreciation, Manufactured Home Concerns

Fighting Fear With Facts, Pushing Back About Depreciation, Manufactured Home Concerns

 

Friday 6.21.2019

·        Havenpark Capital Management Responds to Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Dave Loebsack

Havenpark Capital Management Responds to Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Dave Loebsack

·        Drone Downed, U.S. Counter Paused, American Oil Refinery Blast, Social Media Raises Concerns – Plus, Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        News Tip – Cavco Industries Legal Woes with SEC, Insider Insights

News Tip – Cavco Industries Legal Woes with SEC, Insider Insights

·        Amidst Controversy, CoreLogic’s Special Report on Investor Home Buying Trends

Amidst Controversy, CoreLogic’s Special Report on Investor Home Buying Trends

 

Thursday 6.20.2019

·        New HUD Videos of Secretary Ben Carson, Innovative Housing Showcase 2019, Surprising Manufactured Housing Institute Reveals

New HUD Videos of Secretary Ben Carson, Innovative Housing Showcase 2019, Surprising Manufactured Housing Institute Reveals

·        Iran Downs US Drone, Why Didn’t Oil Jump Higher? Plus Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

·        Panicking Manufactured Home Community Residents Turning to Rent Control Demands

Panicking Manufactured Home Community Residents Turning to Rent Control Demands

·        Life-Saving Effort, Call to Celebrate Manufactured Housing’s Professional Installers

Life-Saving Effort, Call to Celebrate Manufactured Housing’s Professional Installers

 

Wednesday 6.19.2019

·        MH Community Leader Robert Van Cleef – Public Call – Federal Investigations of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute

MH Community Leader Robert Van Cleef – Public Call – Federal Investigations of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute

·        Democrats React to Former VP, ‘They’ll Eat Joe Biden Alive,’ Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

·        Rising Star – U.S. Senator Tina Smith Pressing Manufactured Housing Regulatory, Legislative Issues

Rising Star – U.S. Senator Tina Smith Pressing Manufactured Housing Regulatory, Legislative Issues

·        Democrats, Independents, Elephant in the Room, Third Parties, 2020 Kickoff, and Manufactured Housing

Democrats, Independents, Elephant in the Room, Third Parties, 2020 Kickoff, and Manufactured Housing

 

Tuesday 6.18.2019

·        What Congressional Representatives, Senators, and Industry Professionals Should Be Asking About Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing

What Congressional Representatives, Senators, and Industry Professionals Should Be Asking About Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing

·        EQUITY ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky – Investigation Possible Fraud by Certain Officers and Directors of Cavco Industries, plus MH Stock Updates

EQUITY ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky – Investigation Possible Fraud by Certain Officers and Directors of Cavco Industries, plus MH Stock Updates

·        Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

·        Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

 

Monday 6.17.2019

·        Sextortion, Business, Investing, FBI Reports Scam Rising, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

Sextortion, Business, Investing, FBI Reports Scam Rising, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

·        Democrats? Republicans? Political Campaigns Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) PAC Supported

Democrats? Republicans? Political Campaigns Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) PAC Supported

·        Insights on Manufactured Housing From Obama White House Federal Archives

Insights on Manufactured Housing From Obama White House Federal Archives

·        “Color and Depth,” “Sad,” “Raising Standards,” and Manufactured Housing

“Color and Depth,” “Sad,” “Raising Standards,” and Manufactured Housing

 

Sunday 6.16.2019

·        Father’s Day, ‘Making America America Again’

Father’s Day, ‘Making America America Again’

That’s a wrap on this edition of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (Headline news, weekly recap, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

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Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing MH Headwinds – Angry Manufactured Home Residents, Understanding the Manufactured Housing Industry Dilemma Through Their Eyes

June 12th, 2019 Comments off

 

HeadwindsAngryManufacturedHomeResidentsUnderstandingManufacturedHousingDilemmaThroughTheirEyesNYStateAssemblyGailTraversTrusteeAkronMobileHomeParkMHProNews

Still from NY State video, posted further below. The problem that Gail Travers describes exists in a number of states, as serious and objective observers know. The challenge, insights, analysis, and solutions follow.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has been promoting manufactured homes as a sustainable private-sector element to the affordable housing crisis since early in his tenure at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

 

That acknowledged and saluted, as much as Secretary Carson has been striving to do, his factually grounded theme is largely drowned out by a variety of other voices.

 

Among them?  The angry resident who lives in a pre-HUD Code mobile home, or in a manufactured home built on or after the date that the HUD Code construction and safety standards went into effect on June 15, 1976.

Those angry residents often misuse terminology, much the same as other Americans or much of the mainstream media does.

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

 

With that backdrop, there is no denying that the problem that Gail Travers, a resident and ‘trustee’ in Akron, New York’s “Akron Mobile Home Park Tenants Association” exists in numerous U.S. markets.

As you read this letter below from Ms. Travers, imagine that you have been considering buying a manufactured home. How excited would you read her letter, would you still be ask excited about making that same decision?

The letter is presented neither to either endorse or debate her contention.  There is plenty of evidence for her claim. As our analysis which follows will reflect, our biggest point of departure with Ms. Travers and the thousands of others like her in numous states is the proposed solutions that many such voices advances in the face of the very real and painful challenges they share.

With that backdrop, here is her letter to the editor of the Buffalo News.

 

LetterMobileHomeResidentsNeedProtectionsFromPredatorsBuffaloNewsGayleTraversAkronNYManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

I read with interest the May 21 editorial: “NYC Rent Laws Unneeded Here.” New Yorkers throughout the state need safe, affordable housing, like elsewhere across the country.

The people of New York State fear monied investors are stealing our communities and future. We want our legislators to enact laws to protect the decent, affordable housing options that remain. And it is not just in cities.

Look at what is happening to mobile home parks – the largest segment of affordable housing in the country. Parks are being purchased by out of state investors with little interest in the area. Corporate investors like Sunrise Capital from Clearwater, Fla. (who bought Akron Mobile Home Park in Akron in late 2017) are snapping up parks, raising rents, and disrupting the well-being of life for the people who live there, most of them on fixed incomes. Now Sunrise has purchased another park in Lockport and is attempting to do the same as they have tried to do in Akron.

Mobile home owners who rent the land on which their homes sit need protections from these predators, as do apartment renters elsewhere.

This sentence from the editorial is interesting: “There are affordable housing options here, not on every block, but enough that most working people can find a place to live.” Shouldn’t ALL people have a place to live? We need safe, affordable housing free from exploitation. If our legislators are listening to their constituents, they will vote for protections.

Gail Travers, Trustee in Akron Mobile Home Park Tenants Association
Akron

End of Buffalo News letter to editor by Gail Travers.

 

Even a quick Google search reveals that Ms. Travers has been active in engaging the media and legislators. 

For example. You can see Travers’ testimony before the NY State Assembly hearing, starting about the 24:32 time mark, and ending about the 28:42 time mark.

 

 

It must be noted that other manufactured home community residents are also sharing similar stories in that same video, posted above. So for those who are not familiar with this issue, viewing more of this video is sobering. It paints the picture that her letter to the Buffalo News stated.

It may bear mention that Stacey White, noted on the NY State Assembly website as “a leader at MHAction,” also testified at this same session.  Certainly, some of the talking points that Ms. Travers used are like those raised by MHAction in their white paper, videos, talking points, etc.  The letter from the Democratic chair of the committee that held these hearings is linked here as a download.

 

Rent Control?

Rent control is one of the notions commonly floated as a ‘solution’ to such problems as Travers recounts.  But that has been passed in other jurisdictions, and it has routinely proven to not work as it was believed it might. Who said? Another resident activist in Delaware, that said as much, in a statement found in the report linked here.

Rent control, regardless of who promotes it, fails as badly as wage-price controls did when the late President Richard Nixon (GOP) promoted that ploy during his demonstration, and he watched that fail. The free market routinely works better than a command and control economy, so long as the free market isn’t badly distorted.  For those who doubt that, just look at communist-run China, were virtually empty, nearly new high-rise housing buildings stand.  Rent control, as several linked reports further below reveal, simply doesn’t work as its proponents claim.

Indeed, what is occurring is a distortion of the free market, that’s why this problem that Travers describes exists. The good news? Secretary Carson – should he opt to do so – holds in his hands the key that could unlock the solution to this vexing issue.

 

Corporations and Local Officials Distorting the Free Market, and What Secretary Carson Could Do

Secretary Carson is quite right when he repeated said in recent weeks that the heart of the problem for housing is found in increasing the supply of affordable homes. When more affordable housing options exist, then the increasing spike in prices will begin to abate.

Besides Secretary Carson, who else has said as much?  How about Lawrence Yun, Ph.D., Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Writing in Forbes, Yun said the following.

 

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

 

But he did more than just say that, per our sources, it was Dr. Yun who encouraged the study of manufactured housing by NAR’s Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE).

Cororaton made a similar claim to Secretary Carson’s claim of the ‘resilience’ of manufactured homes, as the quote/graphic below reflects.  It bears mention that her 2018 research cited our publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and MHARR’s President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, in her first footnote on page 48.  See her insightful research, linked here.

 

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuringHUrricanesMHProNews

 

The facts that Carson and Cororaton touted complement each other to a significant degree.

But that is not the message that the vast majority of Americans are getting about manufactured homes, because of the image-plagued ‘mobile home parks’ (SIC).  It is from such land-lease communities where millions of pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post-HUD Code manufactured homes are found. 

It is from such land-lease communities where a significant number of ‘bad news’ stories originate.  Note the screen capture from Google news, below, that makes the point.

 

MobileHomesNewsGoogleSearchDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The bulk of these stories are from manufactured home land-lease communities, a.k.a. mobile home parks. Street retailers and HUD Code home producers, take note. This impacts you as much as it does community owners.

 

It is arguably from ‘black hat’ operations that Travers and others understandably complain about that are causing significant levels of the blowback that manufactured home (MH) living experiences.

On the one hand, we respect the right of Travers and others to organize and ‘fight back.’ But the reality is that some of what they do arguably undermines their own economic position.  More on that another time, because what the focus should be is how can the issues they raise best be addressed?

Let’s look.

 

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

 

Manufactured Home Residents, MH Investor Reality Checks

If an investor came into a community like Akron, paid a lot to buy what is a commercial property, and then tried to aggressively hike site fees (lot rents), what options does someone like Travers have today?  In her area, and many others, the choices may be very limited.

But if ‘enhanced preemption’ were being aggressively promoted, and/or new communities were coming on-line, the dynamic would shift.

This is what is missing from Secretary Carson’s pro-manufactured home dialogue.  Our sources at HUD, the fact that HUD officials asked about this question declined comment, and the utter lack of any mention of the words “enhanced preemption” on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) website all suggest that the good doctor has been kept in the dark on this subject.

That begs the question, why?

That should also beg the question, why doesn’t the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) have that critically valuable phrase on their website? 

 

MHIlogoManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoEnhancedPreemptionNoResults2019-06-12_1203MHProNews

The fact that MHI keeps reportedly nudging Allen into distractions away from the central issues that are harming the industry is itself revealing. Listen to what pro-MHI voices like that say, but consider the opposite. It will often be closer to the truth. Note, Allen calling MHI a monopoly, and blaming MHI members for the problems caused by consolidation are below.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

Allen, in the quotes above, is de facto pointing to positions that MHARR correctly took, but that MHI took the wrong stance. The purported choice of Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, who is said to be communicating with Allen, of him as their surrogate is almost comical, because of Allen’s history of attacking the Arlington, VA based trade group. He’s not a credible surrogate.

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

You can’t make this stuff up. Allen blasted MHI, but was reportedly recruited by Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison for being their surrogate and attack dog. But when his bark or ‘roar’ are examined, there is no bite behind it. Allen contradicted MHI’s new stances several times, publicly, and has never explained his flip flops. Per sources, he is rewarded for his attack dog role.

 

Or why doesn’t the MHInsider – who along with brown-noser George F. Allen – who purportedly routinely regurgitate whatever their overlords in Arlington, VA desire – lack the words on their ‘professional’ blog?

 

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

By contrast, facts, problem, and solution oriented Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform has numerous articles on the topic of Enhanced Preemption.

 

ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformMHARREnhancedPreemptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Some pundits, such as blogger George F. (F?) Allen have attempted to mischaracterize the work of MHI and MHARR. MHI clearly says of themselves that they represent “all segments of factory built housing,” that means retail, communities, lenders, suppliers and the like, not just producers. By contrast, MHARR clearly says that their focus is on the interests of the producers of HUD Code manufactured homes. So while MHARR has an indirect interest in lending, communities, or retail, that is not their mission. That said, MHARR members and leaders have voted to support the establishment of new post-production groups that would faithfully represent the interests of retailers, communities, and other segments of the industry. Allen’s characterization is arguably false, erroneous, or deliberately misleading. What is sadder, perhaps, is that Allen and Spencer Roane claim to represent the interests of communities. If so, why don’t they loudly and proudly call out MHI and Omaha-Knoxville for the ways that they’ve harmed other communities, and independents at large? Why does Allen ignore his own role in the SECO dirty laundry?

 

So too here on MHProNews, or ManufacturedHomeLivingNews. See what the Google search done today reveals.

 

EnhancedPreemptionSearchManufacturedHousingMHProNewsNadaMHIbutMHARRhasit2019-06-12_1227

 

This goes back to the argument that the power players behind MHI are posturing efforts to promote manufactured housing, but do so tepidly. Even brown-noser Allen admitted in a recent post that MHI was essentially dragged into the Innovative Housing Summit (IHS). He downplayed the key role that companies played, and made it look like MHI rose to the occasion, as if to save the day. 

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteInnovativeHousingSummit2019-06-12_1242DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

If so, why was there so little public media coverage of the event from a manufactured housing perspective?  That’s an acid test.  The rest is window dressing for those who will buy whatever the big boys sell.

 

 

Frank Rolfe…

What MHI member and controversial community investor Frank Rolfe referred to as customers being chained to a Waffle House is apt but ugly description of this current environment.

Investors and resident groups like MHAction, NMHOA, or others talk about that point, each from their own perspective.  They agree, for example, that few move homes, and that the cost of such a move of a mobile/manufactured home can be $5,000

 

But the solution is potentially simple. HUD could begin implementing the solution on short notice. It fits a theme that the Trump Administration has repeated many times.

Enforce the law” on “enhanced preemption.”

HUD has oddly used their power of enhanced preemption only rarely, but it has been used, as the screen capture of the top of letter to a local jurisdiction below reflects.

 

HUDLetterCityRichlandMSEmilyGoodeJenHallMMHAFederalPreemptionofManufacturedHomesFederalEnhancedPreemptionMHIA2000DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Letter from MHARR to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, with examples supporting Enhanced Preemption is linked here.

 

What is missing is making that kind of letter from HUD to local jurisdictions a routine.  HUD could rapidly start the fix of problems like those Travers raised, simply by enforcing enhanced preemption routinely.  Doing so would open up new options for current and potential manufactured home buyers.

That’s why MHARR has been promoting it for years, and it is the same reason that MHProNews and MHLivingNews has too.  As a disclaimer, note that our trade media support of enhanced preemption predates any ads from MHARR by several years.  In fact, while our firm was an MHI member, our management was mystified that MHI didn’t push it. So as years of articles reflect, our editorial position has been consistent, unlike the ‘cowardly lion’ Allen – who when asked on the record – has not denied that he’s been rewarded for attacking MHARR, and this pro-growth trade platform.  So, he’s purportedly guilty of doing what he accuses others of doing.  How nice.

State association executives who are MHEC members know about enhanced preemption. The letter above was obtained at the request of a state association. But apparently, the word is out that MHI and the powers that be in MHVille don’t want this discussed.

 

 

MHARR has provided notice to HUD Secretary Carson delivered by FedEx and is documented here.  When carefully read, it reflects the intent of Democrats and other legislators who supported the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) in 2000.

The evidence in favor of enhanced preemption is compelling.

Which once more begs the question, if MHARR and congressional representatives who were in the mix are promoting the use of enhanced preemption, then why aren’t MHI and the big boys?

The logical answer, based upon the known evidence, is sad and sobering.  The big boys benefit from the current state of affairs, because it allows them to consolidate more of the industry at a discounted price. Because it is subtle, it isn’t obvious.  This fits Buffett’s ‘strategic Moat’ and other mantras. 

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Bad news is arguably part of the moat. A lack of good news serves a dastardly use for someone who wants to consolidate the industry too.  Since Buffett-led Berkshire bought Clayton, the industry is actually smaller today than then. How is that possible, during an affordable housing crisis, unless they wanted it to be so?

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

 

Rephrased, for the big boys, bad news for the industry is paradoxically useful.  How so?  Because it harms marginal players the most.

 

 

That causes businesses to sell out at a discount. 

Some are silent on this trend, because they think they benefit from it. Others are silent out of fear of a loss of their jobs. But some, like Alan Amy call it out for what it is.

 

 

How Enhanced Preemption Would Make the Difference

If new communities were opening, or the Gail Travers of her area had an option to move to another community or to a development homesite, that would act as a competitive check

there have numerous times in our industry’s history that developers and communities paid to move someone in.

What’s missing, in other words, are options for consumers.  Rent control is a band-aid that will likely cause fewer to want to build a community, than the few that already do.

The solution is to encourage the creation of more home sites.

MHARR’s initiative is potentially part of the solution. More on that at this link here

As a total contradiction of his own arguments, Allen admits to the problems of predatory firms, without mentioning that many of these have clear ties to MHI.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

But if MHI and the industry’s powers that be truly wanted to solve the dilemma that faces Travers and others, they would have pressed HUD Secretary Carson, or Brian Montgomery at HUD, to ‘enforce the law’ on enhanced preemption.

Since many of the problematic news stories that are reported in the mainstream media are about issues related to the concerns raised by those like Ms. Travers, logically, the number of ‘bad news’ headwinds would abate as more options would come online.  ICYMI, or need a referesher, see the article linked from the text-image box below.

 

Spreading City Ban on Individual Lot Placements Threatens Independently Owned Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Residents, and HUD Code Producers

 

Buffett’s Gift to Manufactured Housing Industry, Media Coverage…

Letters and news like the gut-wrenching woes of Gail Travers drive down interest in our industry and sales. To reverse the trends, one must get to and resolve the root issues.

For MHI or state association members with the cojones, don’t forget to write a letter and thank Warren Buffett for contributing via the Novo Foundation to the Tides nonprofit, which in turn supports MHAction. It is MHAction that has been generating more bad media for the industry than MHI claims to generate good media.  Coincidence?

Or is it a coincidence that Berkshire Hathaway owned BH Media Group assets failed to cover IHS2019.

 

WAVY, Mainstream TV – HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Innovative Housing Showcase – Clayton Homes, and Berkshire Hathaway Revelations

 

These are professionals.  MHI has a professional public relations person on staff. What was that PR person doing prior to IHS2019? Why didn’t Kevin Clayton, or Tim Williams at 21st Mortgage Corp, ask Berkshire to have their media assets robustly cover Secretary Carson’s positive comments about manufactured housing?

The pattern is there to see, for those with open minds.

One must wonder if Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s viral video misnamed “Mobile Homes” would ever have been made without Buffett’s support of MHAction? Oliver shows a screen shot of the MHAction co-branded white paper.

MHActionPrivateEquityGiantsConvergeManufacturedHomesLastWeekTonightJohnOliverMobileHomesVideoStillMHProNews

You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time.

 

Whenever you see MHAction at work, are you thinking of Warren Buffett? Of Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage Corp?

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

WarrenBuffettTidesNoVoFoundationMHActionGeorgeSorosManufacturedHomeLivingNews

 

Conclusions – The Solution for Residents and Independents

Without supply and demand coming into better balance, the manufactured home industry is logically heading into a blind alley. Communities will slowly return to capacity, after years of being artificially depressed as evidenced by the documented machinations like the one linked here. When asked, MHI, Clayton, 21st and their attorneys have repeatedly declined comment on those documents.

What happens when existing communities reach capacity?  What impact will that have on independent producers of HUD Code homes that supply communities?

TonyGetsItAlColeOxfordBankTrustManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Sure, there will be replacements of older mobile homes or earlier manufactured homes even when a community reaches effective capacity.  But for the long-term health of the industry, and the benefit of consumers, it will require more #HousingChoice for consumers.

Enforce the law, as stated in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  That must be part of the savvy, long-term mantra of industry professionals, especially independents.  It is on that point that consumer groups and industry independents could come together.

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UPDATE: MHC Future in Doubt, the Other Side of Rent Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

May 27th, 2019 Comments off

 

shockingTrueStateofManufacturedHousingINdustryPlusSolutionsProfitableSustainableGrowthMay2019

For busy professionals, holidays often provide a good time to review facts, themes, issues, and trends to gain useful perspectives.

 

Let’s begin this review of the true state of the manufactured housing industry with a litany of facts and their source relative to U.S. housing, affordable housing, and manufactured homes.

 

 

manufacturedhomefiredeaths-2013nfpareport-citation-postedmanufacturedhomelivingnews-janhollingsworth

HUD Code manufactured homes – per the NFPA Fire Analysis and Research Report has such a low fire incidence, that they expressed surprise, as the last sentence above reveals.  But it is their own study.

AreMobileHomeFiresBurningtheIndustrycreditNFPA2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Here is another reason why definitions and proper terminology matters.

 

ManufacturedHomeNotMotorHomeNotTrailerOftenCalledMobileHomeNotThatEitherNFPAFireAnalysisManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Rephrased, manufactured homes are far safer than is generally believed, as safer or perhaps marginally safer then more expensive conventional housing, and are a widely misunderstood solution to the affordable housing crisis.

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltHomeIndustryDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews-600

 

On Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) we made the point years ago, apparently picked up by some in the mainstream media, that manufactured homes are a solution to the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight.

 

SolutionToUSAffordableHousingCrisisHidingInPlainSight-660x329

Click image above or the link here to see report and related video. 

 

That report linked above featured the following video, which is every bit as relevant today as it was the day it was first published.

 

 

We’ve mentioned before the quote from Terry Decio.  Decio’s comment resonated with thousands of manufactured home industry professionals.

 

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

So, all of the above begs the question: why are manufactured homes selling at a lower national annual pace in 2018 – or year to date in 2019 – than the year that Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway entered the industry with its acquisition of Clayton Homes in 2003?

 

SkylineChampionInvestorRelationsProductionGraphicDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

How is that possible?

But the above in a nutshell is the true state of the manufactured housing industry. The facts are what they are, and in some 550 words, the above sums it up.

 

Causes, Opportunities in Disguise, and Solutions?

We’ll take the above subheading in bite size subtopics.

Now what has caused this scenario? Objectively examined, several factors are contributing to this troubling trend.

On Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) and here on MHProNews, we’ve built step-by-step a case that reveals the following evidence, concerns, trends, and allegations. Let’s note that what follows references sources inside and outside of the manufactured housing industry.

Some of our reporting have been exclusives, publishing documents, quotes, videos, and details found literally nowhere else in manufactured housing today.  The documentation is provided at the report linked below.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

The screen capture below is evidence of that prior claim that others have not yet published the same level of documentation as the report linked above has.

 

21stMortgageCorpLetterTimWilliamsDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews2019-05-26_1620

 

It isn’t that there has never been concerns raised by others, there have.

  • The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has made the ‘post production sector’ – which are often their code-words for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – a significant issue for no less than a decade, because since we’ve been publishing, they’ve periodically raised that concern. They did so previously in the now defunct Journal of Manufactured Housing.
  • Controversial speaker and writer George F. Allen in his blog, and at other times more privately, has raised this issue of the monopolization and consolidation of manufactured housing, and the purported failures of MHI.
  • Another source raised a similar issue, which has not yet been previously examined here in depth, and we plan to do so in the days ahead.

 

1)    Defenders of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton, 21st, MHI et al have said words to the effect that MHProNews has MHARR as a sponsor.  That’s true and is out in the open.  There is no hidden agenda. It should be noted that our fact-checks and analysis predates any advertising relationship with MHARR.

2)    Furthermore, that same point could be made that MHI, Clayton, and 21st Mortgage Corporation, which for years were sponsors of MHProNews.  Our fact-checks and related reports that led to our current understanding of the state of the manufactured housing industry began while those organizations were our sponsors. Meaning, we began our fact-checks and analysis that led us to this point while MHI and some Berkshire brands and their allies were among our sponsors.

3)    So, to a fair, informed, and objective-minded reader, it should be clear that MHProNews is not ‘pulling an Allen’ — who purportedly flips and flops according to who he thinks is or may benefit him at that time.  Note too that Allen’s flip-flops should not be construed to diminish the value of some of his prior critiques of MHI, Clayton, and their Berkshire Hathaway related business units in manufactured housing. That falls within the principle of separating the wheat from the chaff with all people and organizations. Nobody is perfect, neither are any organizations or companies. That includes this writer and this publication. But in keeping with Society of Professional Journalism Code of Ethical Conduct standards, we hold the powerful to account, and we have been revealing of prior incomplete understandings that explained more fully why manufactured housing wasn’t progressing as it should.

Doug Ryan with the nonprofit CFED, now known as Prosperity Now, has likewise alleged that Clayton and their related lenders were monopolizing in the industry.

 

DougRyanAmericanBankerManufacturedHousingMonopoly-postedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews-575x237

While MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch has denied the charge, Doug Ryan at CFED, and long time MHI member, George Allen, are among those who’ve raised the issue of monopolistic practices by MHI.

 

Trade and Mainstream Media Summary

So, there are several sources within manufactured housing that have made similar claims and allegations to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews, although they have routinely not provided the level of documents, direct quotes, graphics, and videos that provide evidence that our industry-leading trade publications have.

There are voices across the left-right media divide that have raised the issue of monopolization in general.  An example of that is a New York Times column, linked here.

There are more specific reports about manufactured housing that pointed a finger at Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, and their manufactured housing related lenders of 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF). Examples of those are linked below.

 

 

There are numerous others, but that’s sufficient to make the point.

This publication and this writer have reached out numerous times to Clayton, 21st, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and their attorneys for comments or reactions to the allegations that purportedly demonstrate antitrust violations. They have routinely declined commenting, either in writing, or live at industry events.

 

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

 

But Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison – president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has himself said that the industry could be doing 500,000 new home shipments. Which begs the question, during an affordable housing crisis, after decades of positive, third-party research praising manufactured homes, why isn’t the industry at record highs?

 

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

But what is arguably the definitive report ‘making the case’ for behavior that violates antitrust laws is linked here.  The Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is arguably not only ‘failing’ to be effective, but is arguably behaving in ways that de facto foster consolidation, which benefits Berkshire Hathaway and other ‘big boy’ companies.

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

 

The Seattle Times, MHProNews, and even Clayton Homes’ local hometown media have each reported that federal investigators are digging into a variety of allegations involving manufactured housing brands connected to Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway.

 

 

 

It should also be noted that each of the most recent MHI Chairman have been involved in some kind of scandalous allegations or legal issues.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Joe Stegmayer/Cavco Industries, Nathan Smith/SSK Communities, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp — the MHI executive committee reflects that 4 of the 5 named above arguably have ‘black hat’ style scandals associated with themselves and/or their respective firm.

 

A report that covers some of the same issues in more depth is found in the report linked from the text-image box below.

 

 

What thus far has been reported only by MHProNews and our sister site in trade or mainstream media are the dark money connections between Buffett’s donations which flowed to nonprofit groups that in turn often attacked manufactured housing in some form or fashion.

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

Rephrased, Buffett and Berkshire money – directly and/or indirectly – has been on both sides of numerous battles in manufactured housing.  The effect has been to cause a steady stream of consolidations.

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

 

The result has been a severe contraction, outlined by the Atlantic, of the number of manufactured home independent businesses.  While routinely those were ‘small businesses,’ they also included the fall of larger organizations, such as Fleetwood Retail during the timeframe since Buffett entered the industry. A number of independent producers of manufactured homes have been lost during those 15 years.

Summed up, what GuruFocus called the unethical strategic moat, and what the Nation called Warren Buffett’s dirty secret, is arguably part of a larger scheme that has harmed access to affordable housing, by hobbling the manufactured home industry when it was most needed.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached.

 

Solutions? Congress, States, Other Investigators

The breadth and number of allegations of wrongdoing, while not proof in an absolute legal sense, are certainly just cause for Congress, state, or other investigators to take up this issue in an investigation.

It would be profitable to the nation at large, and thousands of independent businesses to press for congressional hearings and investigations on this matter.  By laying out in public the kinds of facts that HUD Secretary Carson, or reports like this one, has made about the proven value of manufactured homes, the stranglehold of Berkshire Hathaway could be broken.

Such a Congressional investigation can and should occur as a parallel to investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation for possible violations of the RICO, the U.S. Postal Service for misuse of the mails, the Department of Justice, HUD, and other federal regulatory bodies.

As 2020 is on candidates’ minds, the issues outlined – largely bipartisan or nonpartisan in nature – could be useful in scoring points with voters. That may be especially true for the roughly 111 million renters – per Apartment List – and the approximately 22 million Americans who live in mobiles built before June 15, 1976 and/or the manufactured homes made since.

But once owners of conventional housing and other businesses understand that the lack of affordable housing costs the nation an estimated $2 trillion dollars in lost gross domestic product (GDP) annually, per third-party research, the support for action to break up the monopolistic behavior of Berkshire Hathaway in manufactured home should grow among those too.

ValuePenguinFearManufacturedHomesSolutionAffordableHousingCrisis

https://www.valuepenguin.com/home-insurance/fear-manufactured-homes-affordable-housing-crisis

See reports on that linked above and below.

 

 

But the bottom line is that acting to stop market manipulation is the right thing to do.  This has purportedly harmed thousands of independent businesses, and millions of our fellow Americans.

That’s the snapshot of the true state of the manufactured home industry, and how federal and other legal action could take positive, economically beneficial steps to investigate, and then appropriately punish such arguably treacherous behavior.

That’s this episode of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP or Comments or Letter to Editor in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

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.

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“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skyline Champion Soared, What’s Up? Initial Look Behind the Curtain

May 24th, 2019 Comments off

SkylineChampionSoaredWhatsUpInitialLookBehindCurtainManufacturedHomeMHProNews

The Motley Fool is an investment site that has reportedly drawn the ire of industry leaders such as Joe Stegmayer, former president and chairman of Cavco Industries and still MHI Chairman, on more than one occasion. Indeed, such stock and financial news sites, including Seeking Alpha, are often a mixed bag of useful and problematic reports – in part because those writing their analysis may get financials or certain details correct, but may still lack the manufactured home industry specific insights that could make their reporting better.

 

Rephrased, as with our sources we track, MHProNews takes a ‘wheat and chaff’ approach to their narratives.

With that brief backdrop meant for our growing audience, the Daily Business News on MHProNews turns to a report Wednesday by the Fool’s Lou Whiteman, who disclosed that he “has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.” MHProNews uses a similar disclosure.

As MHProNews has customarily done for years, we often turn quoted text bold and brown to make it pop, but the quotes are otherwise as in the original.

 Whiteman said in the report found at this link here that, “Another strong earnings report provides evidence the company’s 2018 acquisition is paying dividends.”

That should be understood in the light of the graphic below, which reflects the 1 year trend on Skyline Champion’s (SKY) stock’s value.

SkylineChampionStock5232019TickerManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

That noted, before diving into the specifics of Whiteman’s analysis of the SKY stock’s recent moves, in the wake of an upbeat report, let’s focus on this pull quote.

Consistent with our [The Motley Fool’s] previous comments, we remain positive on the outlook for manufactured housing industry, as we see significant runway for continued growth. Industry volumes remain well below the long-term averages, and new financing options are becoming available and are slowly helping close the gap with those historic trends.”

That’s a point that most HUD Code manufactured home industry professionals can agree with, and take some heart in.

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

But that too must be understood in the light of significant evidence of market manipulation, which is arguably at the heart of why Skyline Champion – or most any other manufactured housing firm – are underperforming.  One of several possible examples a newcomer can begin to research is linked below.

 

 

The following graphic is a composite from the firm’s website.

 

SkylineChampionByTheNumbersSKYmanufacturedhousingDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

That said, back to Whiteman’s narrative. The bullets represent quotes under the subheadings from the Motley Fool.

What happened

  • Shares of Skyline Champion (NYSE:SKY) climbed 13.9% on Wednesday, after the manufacturer of modular homes reported quarterly results that suggest the company is performing well following a major acquisition last year.

So what

 

  • On Tuesday after the markets closed, Skyline Champion reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $0.26 per share on revenue of $327.7 million, beating the $0.20-per-share consensus earnings estimate despite falling short of the $344.22 million in expected sales. The company was created last June through a merger between Skyline and Champion Enterprises, which created the nation’s largest publicly traded factory-built-housing company.
  • Net sales in the quarter grew 23% year over year, and U.S. sales led the way with 35% growth. Skyline Champion reported both a 15% increase in total number of U.S. transactions and a 17% increase in average selling price, as a result of strong demand and favorable product mix. In Canada, sales fell 17% because of a decline in homes sold.
  • This is Skyline Champion’s second straight quarterly beat.

Now what

 

  • CEO Keith Anderson, on a post-earnings call with investors, said the manufactured-housing market in recent years has grown faster than the broader housing industry. He added that the company expects growth to continue into the new fiscal year:

  • Skyline Champion ended the quarter with a backlog of $143 million, down slightly from $155 million a year prior, but the company says the current total is higher quality because it doesn’t include inflated orders for lower-margin Federal Emergency Management Agency residences.
  • Based on the stock reaction, investors seem to believe Skyline Champion is building on a solid foundation.

##

To reiterate in a different way, investors in stocks like SKY ought to demand investigation followed by action about purported market manipulation.  The Fool is right in saying there is plenty of upside, but it could be achieved faster and with hefty returns, in the absence of concerns such as those linked herein and below.  That’s not only the expert view here, but by others in the industry, as the reports further below reflect.

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP or Comments or Letter to Editor in the subject line.

 

Special Skyline Champion Report Ahead

MHProNews plans a special report on Skyline Champion in the days ahead. Watch for it. For a prior and other related reports, see below the byline, offers, and notices.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

That’s this morning’s second look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP or Comments or Letter to Editor in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

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.

Related Reports:

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Inside Scoop on the Manufactured Housing Industry in Memes

May 17th, 2019 Comments off

 

InsideScoopManufacturedHousingInMemes$100MillionCashPalletManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Some readers have asked the Daily Business News for MHProNews for an executive summary of why manufactured housing is underperforming compared to its historic norms.

 

It has been a while since we’ve done cartoons or memes.  While these are meant to be a bit on the lighter side, the issues they reflect are serious ones.

 

WarrenBuffettKevinClaytonPhotoClaytonHomesModelHomePhotoBerkshireHathawayAnnualEventPhotoMemeCartoonManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

While some of the conversations are obviously fictional, as is common with memes or satire, the impacts and nature of the matters described are arguably correct.  Those in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington or their allies are welcome to formally reply.

In spotlighting the next meme, it should not be construed as partisan. Democrats and Republicans in Minnesota have studied manufactured housing, and agreed in a bipartisan way that that the industry offers an important part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis.  That said, its a real photo, and there is no disputing that Warren Buffett backed candidate and then President Barack Obama, and that he had access – and a Buffett grandson – working in the Obama White House.

 

WarrenBuffettPresidentBarackObamaPhotoMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

To underscore the reasonableness of these themes of these memes, click on the first of several reports linked below the byline and notices.

 

WarrenBuffettPhotoPresidentBarackObamaPhotoMemeCartoonManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

We value reader input, as well as news tips. Many of our reports are based on tips from people working in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) orbit.

 

PhotoKevinClaytonWarrenBuffettKeithHoldbrooksClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayClaytonFactoryMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryCartoonProNews

 

Readers are reminded that our publisher was elected by his peers to be on an MHI board.  He has a better than average sense of that trade group than the vast majority of industry professionals who have never been to any or only a few MHI events or meetings, because he was there for years of meetings and first-hand observations.

If this is your first article to read on MHProNews, know that we do mostly serious research, analysis, and fact-checks which have made and kept us the runaway #1 in manufactured housing since our first year. We are now in our 10th year of serving the industry.  But it helps to break up the serious with some periodic satire.

Our evening market report will be posted soon.

That’s our afternoon episode of manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

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.

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“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drilling Down on State Manufactured Housing Shipment Data, Shocking Revelations, Warning Signs

March 8th, 2019 Comments off

 

ClaytonHomesHaveItMadeDrillingDownStatemanufacturedHousingShipmentDataShockingRevelationsWarningSignsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are numerous states that experienced a downturn in new HUD Code manufactured home shipments in December of 2018. Each of those, to varying degrees, merit their own story.

 

One that experienced a pronounced drop was the #1 production and shipment state in the U.S., which is the state of Texas.  According to data that ultimately comes from IBTS collected for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma (MHOA) said that year over year (YoY) December 2018 vs. 2017, Texas experienced a stunning 44 percent drop.

 

December 2017  2018   % Change

Texas         1941  1085    -44.1%.

 

But we will look for the next few moments at Arkansas, and their shipment data.  Because like Michigan – which also is experiencing a downturn – Arkansas has invested in a nascent marketing campaign to boost their new manufactured home sales.   We will note that Michigan in some ways has reportedly invested more and longer in marketing than Arkansas, but both experienced a drop in new HUD Code manufactured homes shipped.

Here’s the regional shipment data, per MHAO.

 

December2018vsDec2017YearOverYearShipmentReportMHAO-ArKsLAMoNmOkTx

 

There are differences between what Michigan and Arkansas have done and are doing, which is not the focus of this analysis, but that point is hereby duly noted. In Arkansas’ case, a feature for them has been their videos, which aim to address several common concerns that consumers have about manufactured homes.

MHProNews has been one of the platforms that has shared their videos.  Here is one of the AMHA promotional videos again.  It is a quality, professional video production.

 

 

In favor of the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association’s (AMHA) video efforts vs. say the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) marketing-promotional videos, the AMHA’s videos have attracted far more viewers.  The video above was published on Sep 1, 2016, per the AMHA’s YouTube page. On this date at 4:37 AM ET, there are 68,434 views reported on this 2:30 second video.

That said, one must ask, has the AMHA videos moved-the-needle on new manufactured home sales?  That’s the acid test.

Per the report by MHAO, YoY for the month is as follows.

December 2017  2018   % Change
Arkansas   104      67     -35.6%

Year over year totals for Arkansas are as follows.

Year-To-Date 2017   2018   % Change
Arkansas         1766   1805   2.2%

Here’s how our publisher’s and award-winning industry consultant’s comments were phrased, in the red textbox on the graphic below.

 

ArKsLaMoNmOkTxShipmentsPerMHAOMarch2019NewsletterWithDec2018vs2017dataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The above is a collage from the MHAO’s most recent newsletter, and is provided here under fair use guidelines for media.

 

There are those voices in manufactured housing that are talking about weather, inventory adjustments, or how other sectors like automotive had declines too among other excuses for the lack of serious growth.  But there are numerous reasons why those are false arguments, which are easily disproven.

One example is the article below, which demonstrates that within automotive, there are firms that rose while others slipped.  So how a marketing message is crafted, and then what happens after that marketing message is produced all are factors in bottom line performance.  Click the text-image box to see that video and report.  Further below the byline is a report on a video about a home built on a frame with a hitch set on blocks.  The video is over 16 minutes long, is an interview done by a third-party, and has had over 1 million views in just 3 weeks.

 

“What’s My Name?” What Manufactured Housing Marketers, Pros, Investors Could Learn From This Video

 

There are those who are deliberately distorting – or at best, misreading – the authentic causes for concern about manufactured housing’s slide.  Automotive, RVs, and other industries have far out performed manufactured housing since the last manufactured housing industry peak was achieved in 1998.  Yet it is manufactured housing that is in the affordable housing business, during an affordable housing crisis.  Aren’t the distinctions significant?

 

As the Klaxon sounds, the Wake Up Call to Change Call

A klaxon is a powerful horn or alarm that often signifies danger. A klaxon is hard to ignore. The klaxon means the time to act is asap, not someday in the murky mist.

Compared to MHI, AMHA’s budget is modest.  One should say in AMHA’s favor that it is better to try something than do nothing.

There is no one cause for this problem of shipment and production at disappointing and still historically low levels.  So, no one article is going to lay out all of the facts.  But to better understand the range of issues that arguably contribute to this malaise, see the linked related reports, below the byline, notices and market-based business development opportunities. Other thoughtful perspectives are encouraged and welcomed.  Comments can be private or for publication, just so note in your messages.

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.  For Comments, write MH Industry Comments in the subject line

 

Some years ago, UMH President Sam Landy, JD, told MHProNews that every firm is ultimately responsible for their own marketing.  That’s demonstrably and logically true.

But beyond the duty of each company to self-promote, there are other needs as well that could be done in groups of firms that have reasons to work together to promote more sales and profits.

There is a thirst for manufactured housing independent industry professionals for understanding.  There are numbers who realize that what MHI claims vs. their performance on behalf of the industry are not necessarily the same thing, to be polite.

A new post-production association is needed, period.  To rely on MHI after years of failed performance in the post-production side is demonstrably foolish.

Ready for solutions instead of excuses?  Are you going to the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show?  To learn more about organizing such a post-production alternative to MHI, contact Tony@MHMSM.com, or call 863-213-4090.

 

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotes

 

The communities sector had state associations break away from MHI.  The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) broke away from MHI years before. Both cited the failed performance of MHI, in their own words. This operation’s parent company was an MHI member, and L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach was elected by peers to serve on an MHI board.  If MHI wee performing, instead of their purported posturing, more head-fakes, and making excuses themselves and/or through surrogates, MHProNews would arguably still be a member of that trade group.

Performance matters more than empty promises.

Isn’t it self-evident that doing more of the same as in recent years, will only produce more of the same sad, low results? That’s obviously not cheer leading, like others are wont to do in MHVille that kiss the MHI donkey derriere. Rather, it’s the increasingly self-evident sobering truth.

 

ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsCavcoIndustriesCVCOMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Only the truth told well and often enough, and then acting upon truth, will set manufactured housing operations free to return to and surpass the industry’s glory days. The time to act is asap or now. Contact Tony@MHMSM.com, or call 863-213-4090.

 

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ZIg Ziglar’s editor provided MHProNews with years of articles that have been published here. We believe in possibility thinking, but that must be grounded in reality. Ziglar says the same. To solve a problem, one must admit it exists, identify its causes, and the plan how to address the root causes of the issues. That’s how progress is achieved.

That’s “Manufactured Housing News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes

Over 1 Million Views in 3 Weeks! Helen’s Reality Check Reveals What’s Blowing Away Any Manufactured Home Industry Promotions

Sheila Dey, Western Manufactured Housing Communities Assoc, Tells Capitol – Manufactured Homes Could Ease Housing Crisis, Report and Analysis

Canadian-Owned U.S. “Mobile Home Park” Condemned, Residents Must Scramble to Meet Deadline to Vacate

As Affordable Housing Crisis Rages, New HUD Code Manufactured Housing Shipments Fall, Some States Drop 35-40 Percent

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Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

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Home Loan Limits Raised in Over 3,000 U.S. Counties

December 14th, 2018 Comments off

FHAHomeLoanLimitsRaisedOver3000USCounties

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced late today that loans limits for 2019 will be raised for most part of the nation.

 

As manufactured housing industry veterans know, qualifying placements can allow a HUD Code home, or a modular home, to be financed with FHA insurance on the loan.

The increases are for both regular – forward mortgages, and also for HECM or so-called ‘reverse’ mortgages too.  The full HUD/FHA statement to the Daily Business News on MHProNews is as follows.

For additional details, industry professionals should contact an FHA approved lender conversant with manufactured home financing.

HUDNewsheaderManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

HUD ANNOUNCES NEW FHA LOAN LIMITS FOR 2019

Loan limits to increase in more than 3,000 counties

 

WASHINGTON – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today announced the agency’s new schedule of loan limits for 2019, with most areas in the country to experience an increase in loan limits in the coming year. These loan limits are effective for FHA case numbers assigned on or after January 1, 2019.

 

 

FHA is required by the National Housing Act, as amended by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), to set Single Family forward loan limits at 115 percent of median house prices, subject to a floor and a ceiling on the limits. FHA calculates forward mortgage limits by Metropolitan Statistical Area and county.

 

In high-cost areas of the country, FHA’s loan limit ceiling will increase to $726,525 from $679,650. FHA will also increase its floor to $314,827 from $294,515. Additionally, the National Mortgage Limit for FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), or reverse mortgages, will increase to $726,525 from $679,650. FHA’s current regulations implementing the National Housing Act’s HECM limits do not allow loan limits for reverse mortgages to vary by MSA or county; instead, the single limit applies to all mortgages regardless of where the property is located.

 

Due to robust increases in median housing prices and required changes to FHA’s floor and ceiling limits, which are tied to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)’s increase in the conventional mortgage loan limit for 2019, the maximum loan limits for FHA forward mortgages will rise in 3,053 counties. In 181 counties, FHA’s loan limits will remain unchanged. By statute, the median home price for a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is based on the county within the MSA having the highest median price. It has been HUD’s long-standing practice to utilize the highest median price point for any year since the enactment of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA).

 

The National Housing Act, as amended by HERA, requires FHA to establish its floor and ceiling loan limits based on the loan limit set by FHFA for conventional mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHA’s 2019 minimum national loan limit, or floor, of $314,827 is set at 65 percent of the national conforming loan limit of $484,350. This floor applies to those areas where 115 percent of the median home price is less than the floor limit.

HUDFHA2019LoanLimitsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Any areas where the loan limit exceeds this ‘floor’ is considered a high-cost area, and HERA requires FHA to set its maximum loan limit ‘ceiling’ for high-cost areas at 150 percent ($726,525) of the national conforming limit. 

Based upon the volume of FHA endorsements in FY 2018, the following chart represents the number and share of counties where FHA loan limits are at the ceiling, floor and somewhere in between.

To find a complete list of FHA loan limits, areas at the FHA ceiling, areas between the floor and the ceiling, as well as a list of areas with loan limit increases, visit FHA’s Loan Limits Page

 

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That’s this evening’s “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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National New HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Data Summary, September 2018 Analysis

November 8th, 2018 Comments off

NationalNewHUDCodeManufacturedHomeProductionDataSummarySept2018ReportAnalysisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The most recent data collected on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reflects a small dip in new manufactured home production.

 

According to information and analysis provided by MHARR, the following are the totals for September 2018.

Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 7,519 homes in September 2018, a 0.8% decline from the 7,580 HUD Code homes produced during September 2017. Cumulative industry production for 2018 now totals 74,207 homes, an 8.4% increase over the 68,419 HUD Code homes produced over the same period in 2017,” said MHARR.  Their full report is found at the link below.

 

September 2018 Manufactured Home Production Data Shows Slight Flatline

 

The following graphic reflects the top 10 states, since the date shown.

 

ManufacturedHomeShipmentsSept2018DailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

 

Sobering Regional and State Data

As MHProNews alone has spotlighted in national manufactured housing trade media, several states are still sliding in shipment levels.  That includes some of the top producing states in the nation.  The industry’s professionals needs to ask and answer the question in their own market(s), with an affordable housing crisis, how can the industry not be doing much better?

 

New Shipment Data, Top Manufactured Home State, Other MH States Continue Slide

 

ICYMI, or need a refresher, see those 2 new, separate-but-related regional reports and analysis, at the links above and below.

 

Another Top Manufactured Home State is Sliding on New HUD Code Home Shipments, More New Data

 

These are post-production, marketing and sales related issues.

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhoto

Where is MHI or other industry leading firms on this?  See the related report, linked further below.  That’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and News Pros Can Use.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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