Posts Tagged ‘Mark Fleming’

RE Focused Economist Says, ‘Millions of Housing Units’ Needed

June 14th, 2019 Comments off



Mark Fleming, Ph.D serves as the chief economist for First American Financial Corporation.  He’s been popping up more on various business news shows, so the Daily Business News on MHProNews decided to share the flavor of Fleming’s economic and housing insights.


It ought to be one of those rally points for manufactured housing professionals who are thirsting for growth.

About Fleming, “Before joining First American, he developed insights and analytical products for CoreLogic, and property valuation models at Fannie Mae. Fleming graduated from the University of Maryland with a Master of Science and a doctorate in agricultural and resource economics and holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Swarthmore College. He lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area,” per his company’s website.

As the posted videos reflect, he’s telling business news sources on both sides of the left-right media divide that ‘millions of housing units’ are needed.



In that, he says some points that longer time-readers of MHProNews are familiar with.  The National Association of Realtor’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun has said similarly.



More recently, HUD Secretary Carson has pointed specifically to manufactured homes, along with other forms of prefab and innovative housing techniques.



So, while Fleming hasn’t been laser focused on manufactured housing, the industry’s professionals and investors must think of themselves as broader ‘housing’ members.  In that context, the needs are tremendous.

Only factory building can achieve that, is what tech gurus – who are increasingly entering the factory-built housing market – have decided.

Why does Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger love housing? Because they know which way the market is going.

In this context, one must ask. How is it possible, with the needs so great, that manufactured housing is still selling at a lower level than 15 years ago?




Logic says there are only a few possibilities.

·        The industry’s ‘big boy’ leaders don’t know what they are doing. While we disagree with them on many things, we don’t buy that option, but it is a logic possibility.

·        The industry’s ‘big boy’ leaders and their puppet association are lazy, and are not willing to do what it takes.  Again, it’s a possibility, but not one that we think fits the facts.

·        The industry’s leaders want the industry to perform at a low level, intentionally. If so, why? A common concern is that underperformance allows big companies to acquire smaller firms at a discounted price.


Is there evidence for this?

One might start with the words of Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) own statement on camera, arguing for slow growth. 



What? During an affordable housing crisis?

It was such an outrageous comment that our publisher brought it to the attention of then MHI Chairman, Tim Williams, who is also the President and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp. Williams told MHProNews that he would ‘talk to Dick.’

The following Louisville Show, Jennison then said – also capture on video – that the industry could achieve 500,000 new homes. That’s arguably true. But what has MHI done to achieve that level of production?


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


NAMHCO, cited in a report earlier today, broke from MHI, precisely because of a lack of performance.



What Haney’s statement reflects is the lack of credibility and effectiveness of MHI in their claims.


Frank and Dave,” controversial in their own right, nevertheless told their readers 2 weeks ago not to look to MHI for support for community owners, using these words.



In peeling back the layers of the onion in manufactured housing, in hindsight, the insight of Marty Lavin makes sense when he said the following.


FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself objectively. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply with respect to MHI?


More pointed was Lavin – who is an MHI award winner – when he made the following statement.



MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?


MHI has purportedly engaged in what Mark Weiss, the President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) who referred to the industry’s post-production sector – which is MHI’s turf – as the “illusion of motion.”


“THE ILLUSION OF MOTION VERSUS REAL-WORLD CHALLENGES” – Spotlighted by Manufactured Home Industry Leader


That comment sent our publisher laughing at the apt, penetrating insight.  Keep MHI members busy, keep them going to meetings that are profit centers for MHI, per their own IRS Form 990s.  Feed them ‘housing alerts’ that led them to believe that they are making progress…

…but the acid test is the sales, shipment and production of new manufactured homes.  Those numbers don’t lie.




Inept? Lazy? Or head fake with the goal of consolidating the industry into ever fewer hands?



Let’s not forget the 21st letter, Kevin Clayton video, and Warren Buffett letter, linked below.



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?


It makes the most logical case. Clayton, 21st, MHI, and MHI’s outside attorney – asked to address these concerns and allegations – routinely makes no on the record comment. 

Instead, they’ve put George F. (F?) Allen up as their purportedly incentivized attack dog and distraction surrogate.

When asked about claims from his own followers that have said Allen’s being compensated and rewarded by the big boys, Allen has no comment.

Millions of housing units are needed. Publicly traded MHI member companies own IR packets state that the industry is underperforming by historic standards.

Voices in Congress, per our sources, are wising up to the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington ploy.

Voices in Congress, are already on the record going after high profile MHI members, including Clayton, 21st, and several large so-called ‘predatory’ community operators.

It’s not a pretty picture as to why the industry is underperforming. But the historical data – and the research by economists like Dr. Mark Fleming and others say that millions of homes are needed.

Tim Williams said it to MHProNews, and we’ve repeated it many times, because it was the truth – that they’ve arguably not followed. Every misleading report needs to be robustly responded to, as he said below.




MHI needs to push for enhanced preemption, a full implementation of the Duty to Serve mandated by law, and put the black hat behavior actors on notice.

Sources say, MHI can’t do it.  They’d lose Clayton and several big boy members, per those sources if they ever did such a thing.

Thus the need to expose the problem and the realities. Then the need for multiple layers of independent investigations, as publicly as possible.

There’s more in the links below.



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



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Related Reports:

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Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

Investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Over Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing








Impact of Rising Interest Rates Felt

February 28th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Housing Wire.

With mortgage rates now beginning to move, those in the market felt the first effects of rising rates in December.

According to Housing Wire, information from First American Financial Corp., a provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions, shows that the company’s price index rose 6.2 percent from November to December and 8 percent when compared to December 2015.

Real purchasing-power adjusted house prices surged more than 6% month-over-month in December, the first full month to see the impact of the surge in mortgage rates after the election and the most recent FOMC rate increase,” said Mark Fleming, First American Chief Economist.

This interest rate surge lead to the first year-over-year decline in consumer house-buying power in two and a half years. Add declining purchasing power because of the jump in mortgage rates, and affordability for first-time homebuyers declines.

The price index measures price changes of single-family homes throughout the U.S., adjusted for the impact of income and interest rate changes on consumer house-buying power over time and across the United States at state, metropolitan area and national levels.


Credit: Oprah.

Even though the rates are up, the price index shows that real home prices are still 33.1 percent below their housing-boom peak and 10.1 percent below price levels in January 2000.

The decrease in affordability seen in December was widespread, impacting all but one of the markets we track,” said Fleming.

Low inventory of homes for sale is creating increased competition in the market and pushing nominal prices higher.”


Credit: Housely.

For more on housing, including the National Association of Realtors January sales report, click here. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Loan Application Defect Index Falling

January 5th, 2016 Comments off

mortgage    andyenstallblog  creditThe overall amount of fraud risk in home loan documents has been falling, according to what scotsmanguide tells First American, having dropped by 8.2 percent year-over-year Nov., and down 1.3 percent from Oct. to Nov., 2015.

First American’s Loan Application Defect Index has dropped 23.5 percent since it reached its zenith in Oct. 2013. “We had a spike at the beginning of last year,” First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming said on Monday. “That faded in the second half of the year.

Defects come from applicants lying about some information—SS number, income, vacation home called primary. Loans can have several irregularities, and there are many that can crop up, as MHProNews has learned.

Fraud risk carried by investors and lenders also has extensive possibilities: borrowers get a better rate if they occupy the home; or they claim their manufactured home is a single-detached home, which has a lower mortgage.

In any case, says Fleming, he does not know if the defects are innocent mistakes or fraud, but more defects coincide with more fraud risk. “We know that risk is rising as that average [defects are] rising, and risk is falling as that average is falling,” Fleming said.

He noted Florida has a much higher preponderance of defects, but the rate has fallen seven percent in the last three months. ##

(Image credit: andyenstallblog)

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

Report: Investor-owned rentals not Conducive to Affordable Housing

July 18th, 2014 Comments off

Affordable housing activists are concerned the purchase by investors of many distressed and low-cost homes will lead to rental prices too high for the low-income community in many urban areas to afford while the owners are part of an absentee corporate structure, according to a report noted in “While cash sales are down from their July 2011 high of 42.8%, they are still very high (at 38.4%) compared to the 2001-2007 average of 25%,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for Core Logic, at a conference on the topic two weeks ago. “Investors in general, whether institutional or ‘mom and pop,’ are primarily concentrated on two types of assets: distressed (real estate owned and short sales) and existing homes, rather than new builds.” Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) says, “Nearly two-thirds of the tenants in these corporate rentals surveyed in my district are burdened with unaffordable rent. If there is anything that we should have learned from the housing crisis, it is that Wall Street’s top priority is increasing its bottom line, not improving communities or creating products that provide long-term benefits to consumers.” MHProNews has learned residential rents have risen 20 percent since 2008.##

(Editor’s Note: For a related topic, see Subsidized Housing, Our Secret Enemy?)

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Home Prices Continue Moving on Up

March 6th, 2014 Comments off

According to CoreLogic, U. S. home prices increased in January by the strongest margin in seven years, up 12 percent from the previous Jan., marking the 23rd consecutive month of yearly increases, reports. Said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, “The last time January month-over-month and year-over-year price appreciation was this strong was at the height of the housing bubble in 2006.” The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says the national median home price rose 10.7 percent in Jan. over Jan. 2013, hitting $188,900, as has learned. Predicting home prices, including distressed sales, will rise 12.5 percent year-over-year in Feb., Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, says, “Excluding distressed sales, all 50 states and the District of Columbia showed year-over-year home price appreciation for January.”

(Image credit:

More Homes Lifted out of Negative Equity in Q3

December 18th, 2013 Comments off

During Q3 2013 an additional 791,000 U. S. homes returned to positive equity as home values continue to rise, bringing the number of mortgaged residential properties with equity to 42.6 million. The number of homes remaining in negative equity fell from 7.2 million at the end of the second quarter to 6.4 million at the end of the third quarter 2013, accounting for
13 percent of all homes mortgaged. “Rising home prices continued to help homeowners regain their lost equity in the third quarter of 2013,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Fewer than 7 million homeowners are underwater, with a total mortgage debt of $1.6 trillion. Negative equity will decline even further in the coming quarters as the housing market continues to improve.” As informs MHProNews, ten million of the homes in the positive equity column have under 20 percent equity and may have a difficult time finding new financing.

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Home Prices will Moderate in Nov. and Dec.

December 4th, 2013 Comments off

Marking the 20th consecutive month of yearly increases, home prices in the U. S. increased 12.5 percent in October, compared to last year, according to CoreLogic. The worldpropertychannel reports CoreLogic’s Home Price Index, when including distressed sales, rose just 0.2 percent in October, 2013. Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, says, “The deceleration in month-on-month trends was anticipated as strong gains in home prices over the spring and summer slow in line with normal seasonal patterns and the impact of higher mortgage interest rates.” As MHProNews has learned, Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, adds, “The monthly growth rate is expected to moderate even further in November and December. The slowdown in price appreciation is positive for the housing market as almost half the states are now within 10 percent of their respective historical price peaks.”

(Image credit:

Home Prices Continue Rising

September 3rd, 2013 Comments off

Home prices have risen for the 17th consecutive month, according to CoreLogic’s house price index, increasing 1.8 percent nationally July over June, 2013. “Home prices continue to climb across the nation in July with markets hit hardest during the downturn leading the way,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic. Year-over-year the report says sales are up 12.4 percent over July 2012, including distressed sales, and 11.4 percent excluding REO (real estate-owned) and distressed sales. Arizona reports the largest price increase with a 17 percent increase, followed by Wyoming at plus 16 percent and Oregon with an increase of 15 percent. CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming says home price rises will taper as mortgage rates increase and seasonal demand declines. According to what nationalmortgagenews tells MHProNews, home prices are within 18 percent of their April 2006 peak levels.

(Photo credit: mattheafey)

CoreLogic reports Home Price Jump

May 9th, 2013 Comments off

HousingWire tells MHProNews that the most recent CoreLogic home price index spiked 10.5 percent nationally, the 13th consecutive monthly increase in home prices nationally. “For the first time since March 2006, both the overall index and the index that excludes distressed sales are above 10 percent year over year,” said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The pace of appreciation has been accelerating throughout 2012 and so far in 2013 leading into the home buying season,” he adds. Paul Diggle, of Capital Economics, says there is no housing bubble on the horizon. However, “Price gains which are well above twice the pace of income or rental growth are not sustainable in the long-run.” Nevertheless, he expects home prices to continue rising.

(Image credit: etftends)

Home Sales and Indications Continue to Rise

April 11th, 2013 Comments off

CNNMoney tells MHProNews evidence strongly suggests the real estate nightmare is coming to an end, as, according to data provider CoreLogic, home prices over the past year rose in 92 of the 100 largest real estate markets. Sales volume increased in 69 of the top 100 markets and 35 showed double-digit gains. Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist, says the market is still healing, and these next two years will be transition years. The median time for a home on the market has fallen in the last year from 99 days to 71 days, and in some markets bidding wars have returned. Real estate broker Redfin says 73 percent of the offers their clients made were up against rival bidders in Jan. and Feb. this year, versus 56 percent 1.5 years ago. Some markets experiencing a surge in sales are investor driven, and may fall back.

(Image credit: HousingWire)