Posts Tagged ‘Wells Fargo’

Done! AG Bag$ Manufactured Modular Home Retailer

April 15th, 2019 Comments off



Attorney General (AG) Lawrence Wasden has announced the conclusion of a consumer protection lawsuit against manufactured home retailer Hathaway Homes Group, LLC, and its former owner, Paul J. Hathaway,” the Idaho AG’s Office told the Daily Business News on MHProNews.Judgments entered…in Fremont County District Court restrict Hathaway Homes and Hathaway from doing business in Idaho.”


Reporting on the same case, “More than a dozen former customers told the Post Register in recent years they were treated unfairly by Hathaway Homes Group. They said Hathaway cheated them in one way or another.” Hathaway declined comment.

According to the Idaho State Journal:

  • Hathaway Homes Group and All Terrain LLC (another company that Hathaway owned) and Hathaway himself are undergoing Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.
  • Recent court documents show continued liquidation efforts. Wells Fargo moved to repossess Hathaway’s office in St. Anthony. And auctions are being held for property that Hathaway owned through his businesses.
  • The liquidations are attempting to repay the millions of dollars of debts that Hathaway owes to his former creditors, the largest of which (about $3.8 million) is owed to TAG Lending in Utah.
  • According to an April 2018 court disclosure document, creditors had unsecured claims against Hathaway and his businesses totaling more than $8.2 million.”


Here is the balance of the media statement, continued from the above, from the Idaho AG’s office.



On March 29, 2019, Hathaway signed a settlement agreement with the Office of the Attorney General. The settlement and final judgment were filed for the court’s approval on April 9. Once approved and the final judgment signed, starting May 1, Hathaway will be prohibited from:

  • advertising or selling new or used manufactured homes to Idaho consumers or misrepresenting his authorization to do so; and
  • advertising or selling new or used manufactured homes from within Idaho, unless he’s properly licensed and works under a state-licensed business entity.

“The financial and emotional toll Mr. Hathaway’s alleged fraudulent actions have had on consumers cannot be quantified,” Wasden said. “While the conclusion of this case does not restore what consumers lost, it is intended to prevent Mr. Hathaway from causing others similar harm in the future.”

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division started its investigation in early 2017. Hathaway customers reported hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. Customers alleged that Hathaway Homes accepted their down payments for new, unbuilt manufactured and modular homes that were never ordered from manufacturers. Customers also alleged Hathaway misrepresented the conditions of his used homes and failed to perform the warranty work on his installed homes.

Wasden filed a lawsuit against Hathaway Homes and Hathaway under the Idaho Consumer Protection Act in September 2018. Hathaway Homes, which was under the control of a bankruptcy trustee, did not appear in the case, and a default judgment was entered on April 2, 2019. The default judgment prohibits Hathaway Homes from doing business in Idaho except to the extent necessary to complete the bankruptcy matter.

Wasden’s office will monitor Hathaway’s future business activities. Anyone who observes Hathaway violating the settlement may file a complaint with the office.


A prior report by MHProNews on this case can be accessed via the linked text-image box below.


AG’s Hathaway Lawsuit OK’d


This isn’t the only legal issue brewing in MHVille.  MHProNews has been notified about allegations involving a major Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member.  We’re providing that firm an opportunity to respond, before we proceed with a report.

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Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

December 27th, 2017 Comments off


Sometimes it’s best to hide in plain sight.” – David Estes.

Warren Buffett’s ‘moat principle’ has been laid out by others in their investment commentary, such as was covered by Seeking Alpha in last night’s market report.

Thomas: Buffett Should Buy Manufactured Home Community REIT, Plus MH Market Update$

The structure and operations of Buffett’s brands that he owns outright, or has a significant stake in, lends itself to this moat principle that he’s spoken about.


There are industry voices that have expressed the concern that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) lends itself as a vehicle by which Buffett can dominate manufactured housing. MHI’s structure is powered by dues and an executive committee that is made up of four people.  Two have been Berkshire Hathaway team members for years, the current chairman is a prior Clayton Homes division president. Buffett’s dominating MHI in plain sight.


Lavin is an MHI award winner, and a success story in communities, retail and finance.

Progressive and conservative thinkers and sources alike have observed, criticized, and analyzed how MHI does the will and work of Buffett.

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

Newspaper Names Clayton Homes, Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton In “Swamp After Storm” Post-Disaster “Corruption”

Other recent MHI executive committee members have included companies that have significant business ties with one or more Buffett-dominated manufactured home brands.  That’s included Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, and Howard Walker, JD, Equity LifeStyle Properties. 

An issue that MHProNews spotlighted some years ago has been the relatively slow growth, low volume, and high regulatory risks in the manufactured home industry. These are factors that were named by U.S. Bank when they withdrew from actively pursuing their otherwise profitable lending in manufactured housing.

Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

When MHI’s president, Richard “Dick” Jennison was asked about growth rates with a softball interview question, (see video, below) Jennison argued for slow growth.

Why? Isn’t it obvious that more rapid growth could have been done sustainably and responsibly?


At the time Belsky made this prediction, manufactured homes were selling over 250,000 new units per year. This year, we’ll not reach about 40 percent of that total. What happened?

Appealing Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Marketing, Finance Booklet Reviewed

What other major industry association executive wants to argue for slow growth for an industry that was previously projected to become the dominant form of housing in the U.S. by 2010?

The Moat Formula Elements, Applied to Manufactured Housing…?

The formula for slowing and/or choking off manufactured housing growth, and gaining a bigger control over the industry has been expressed like this.

  • Relatively low sales volume, compared to potential and the demand for affordable housing. 
  • High regulatory burdens and risks. 
  • For a time, choking off lending.

Each of these factors forced closures, and sparked consolidations. That’s arguably a polite way of saying that small businesses were forced to sell out to larger ones.


Belsky at Harvard, others believed manufactured housing’s breakout decade would be the 2000s.  That didn’t happen.  Why?  Note that in 2003, Warren Buffett entered the manufactured housing industry.  Graphic provided by Ross Kinzler when he was then the executive director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

Aren’t these elements in keeping with Buffett’s moat principles? 


Manufactured Housing Industry Potential

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) ® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun estimates there is a need for some 8 million affordable housing units.

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has a very similar estimate of 8 million affordable housing units needed.

NLIHC CEO Responds on HUD’s Worst Case Housing Needs Report, MH Leader Reacts

Several tech giant current and/or prior owners managers have concluded that factory built homes is the best way to close that gap.

$58,000 PreFabs, Videos, Updates of More Hi-Tech Backers

Meet the Modular Housing Builder Google Picked, and their “Industrial Cathedral”

Bill Gates’ Subsidiary Belmont Plans Smart City of Future, What Role Will Factory Built Homes Play?

Plans for Floating Modular Cities, “Seasteading” is Becoming Reality

Manufactured Housing Facts 2017, By the Numbers

Contradictions and logical conflicts have been spotlighted by MHProNews that can be boiled down to some basic principles, explained to us by various MHI and other industry members.

1)    Berkshire Hathaway choked off lending, as the Smoking Gun Parts One and Two from 21st Mortgage documents.  That forced hundreds of manufactured home retail closures.

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

2)    ‘The big companies have figured out how to use MHI to get the smaller companies to pay for what the big companies want.’  Ouch, that would mean those small to mid-sized companies are feeding the hand that bites their own.

ELS’ Sam Zell – Compliance Costs Destroys Smaller Businesses = Consolidation


3)    ‘Whether or not MHI succeeds at passing the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, the Berkshire Hathaway units benefit.’ Why?  Because either regulatory burdens force consolidation, and if they ever pass it, they can then charge higher rates and fees on their loans.

Jenny Hodge, National Community Council, Public Time-Bomb Deployed on Manufactured Housing Institute, Prominent MHI Lender

4)    More than 3 dozen were in the room in San Antonio when then MHI Chairman Tim Williams explained why he didn’t neither 21st nor Vanderbilt provided the GSEs with the data they said they said they needed to more responsibly and robustly enter manufactured housing chattel (home only, personal property) lending.  Yet, MHI claimed to be working to advance DTS.  Really?  When their chairman, and two largest personal property lenders failed to practically support it?  How does that apparent contradiction work in practice?

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

5)    MHI was pushing for the DOE energy standards, even though MHARR and third party research demonstrated the harm it could cause the industry and hundreds of thousands of potential consumers. They eventually pivoted, but only after months of public pressure.

MHARR vs. MHI on DOE Energy Rule, Pushback Pay$ Off?

6)    MHI was silent on replacing Pam Danner at HUD, again until months of pressure apparently forced them to pivot.  Note that MHI doesn’t typically admit they are pivoting, they just do it.

7)    MHI had a reported opportunity to favorably modify the MLO rule by agreement, which hurt all sized operations, but disproportionately hurt the independents.


They declined the negotiated deal, and have pursued enactment of Preserving Access for over 5 years and at a cost of millions of dollarsThey did so, even though a former MHI Government Relations VP stated in writing to MHProNews that the odds of changing Dodd-Frank under the Obama administration were low.

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

People can look at the facts, and are obviously free to come to various conclusions about what these concerns and allegations mean.


In front of dozens of industry professionals in Deadwood, SD, MHI SVP Rick Robinson ducked questions. Why? Why has MHI ducked the repeated offer of a public, video debate?

But if MHI was correct, why do they duck questions or offers to publicly debate via video their performance?


Credits, MHI, Cavco.


If MHI had the solutions that they claim, would the industry have seen the kind of slides witnessed since 1998?

Housing is one of the biggest economic sectors, and manufactured housing has amazing upside potential.  While labor challenges are slowing the short-term potential all types of building, a factory-building environment is arguably the most logical way to address it successfully, rapidly, and profitably.

Are there other factors – such as misimpressions caused by errant research and reporting?  Yes, and MHProNews and MHLivingNews have covered those too. But that good media can be obtained is demonstrated by the report below.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

But as Frank Rolfe and others in the industry have observed, MHI has played a roll by so often failing to respond to so many incorrect reports.

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

For years, as an MHI member this writer proposed solutions to issues that the industry faced that were routinely ignored, delayed or sidelined. Efforts to advance their desired agenda were sidelined, or undermined.


“Accurate, but Misleading” MHI Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Alert – ‘Weaponized New$,’ Fact Check$

That and other allegedly problematic and controversial patterns took place even during the time this writer was an elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.  As we called for more transparency, correcting inaccurate ‘weaponized’ reporting, and other issues, MHI didn’t reform, they arguably doubled down.

Financial Choice Act, with MHI Bill, Heading to Floor Vote, Outlook, Analysis

MHI’s response was to threaten this platform’s managing member via third parties, including attorneys, that were arguably MHI cat’s paws.  When that failed, a threatening anonymous package was sent via U.S. mail, which is a potentially criminal act.  Contents in that anonymous package named MHI, plus there’s been another MHI ‘finger print.’

Extortion? RICO? Allegedly Illegal, and Dirty Side of Manufactured Housing, Exposed

It should be noted that Buffett’s voiced concerns over anti-trust (anti-monopoly) action is reportedly the biggest concern for the future of Berkshire Hathaway after he passes away.

Who Will Replace Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway? Expert Insights, Video & Manufactured Home Industry Outlook

President Raises the M-Word, “Monopoly,” Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Market Update$

Summing Up on the Buffett/Manufactured Housing “Moat”


Warren Buffett’s own words,
the words and often contradictory deeds of MHI leaders (elected and appointed),
facts from left-and-right,
demonstrate how the industry was throttled, and consolidated using crony-capitalist control of big government, barriers of entry and staying in the business.a


Warren Buffett, right, credit Wikipedia. Tim Williams, right, credit, LinkedIn. Collage credit, MHProNews.


Several manufacturers that Cavco Industries (CVCO) has purchased were MHARR members at the time they were bought.

It all fits the Warren Buffett theory on moats, doesn’t it?


Why didn’t MHI promote these points if they really wanted passage of Preserving Access?  Richard Cordray quotes and those from the report and video on this page, linked below.

That begs the question, if all this is so, then doesn’t the industry need a new post-production trade association to represent independents?

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

And with various lending and other options in theory or actually available today, isn’t this the time for the industry to break the hold of Berkshire Hathaway over the industry?

Several industry firms are showing the path ahead.

What is certain is that if the behavior isn’t changed, then the pattern going into 2018 and beyond will likely continue. ##  (News, fact checks, analysis, commentary, satire).

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We agree with Warren Buffett on the value of the lessons of history, reading and research. Without those deep insights, the wool can be pulled over other people’s eyes.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and
Both are #1 in their categories.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.

Buffett’s Clayton Buys Yet Another Builder, Growing Dominance in U.S. Housing Market

July 10th, 2017 Comments off

Russ Doyle (left) and Brooks Harris, founder-principals in Harris Doyle Homes. Right hand photo, still from video on this page, below.

Last week, the Daily Business News on MHProNews was the first in manufactured housing to report that Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Property Group added Colorado based Oakwood Homes to their expanding site-built housing portfolio.

Now, Keith Holdbrooks, president of Clayton home building group, has another announcement.

We are proud to welcome Harris Doyle to our family of homebuilders,” Holdbrooks said in a press release.

Builder noted today that “In his 2017 letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, ceo [sic] Warren Buffett gave a shout-out to Berkshire’s Maryville, Tenn.-based Clayton Homes group and the fact that it had closed on its first three “site-built” home building operators by the end of 2016.”

Adding that, “More will come,” Buffett promised. “Site-built houses are expected to amount to 3% or so of Clayton’s unit sales in 2017 and will likely deliver about 14% of its dollar volume.”

What Others Are Often Overlooking…

While those involved in the construction trades understandably focus on the site-built or factory home building, what is going largely unmentioned is that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has also gone into the real estate business in a substantial way. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

In a release, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services had this to say.

Irvine, CA-based HSF Affiliates LLC operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. The company is a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation’s second-largest, full-service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. HomeServices of America is an affiliate of world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc.”


Combined with their substantial – and growing? – presence in the housing building and remodeling supply chain, Buffett’s Berkshire – is growing in several directions.  Known within the factory built home industry for being the parent for the largest HUD Code builder, Clayton Homes, plus 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage.

Among other brands, Buffett’s strong presence in Wells Fargo and other banking units that do manufactured home, as well as conventional house loans.  Bloomberg and Business Insider reported last April that Buffett had to cut his stake to under 10 percent of Wells Fargo, in order to get around concerns raised by the Federal Reserve.

Back to Clayton’s Newest Buy…

Clayton, a Berkshire Hathaway company and one of America’s largest homebuilders, today announced it has acquired Harris Doyle Homes, a leading residential developer and home builder for the greater Birmingham, Ala., area, effective July 7, 2017,” stated the Clayton release.

Harris Doyle Homes is the fifth homebuilding acquisition for Clayton since 2015 and the second homebuilder acquired this month,” Clayton said.

The release pointed out that Clayton built “In 2016, Clayton built more than 42,000 homes.”  While it didn’t say how many were HUD Code, the industry total for last year was some 81,100 new manufactured homes.


To see the special Sunday evening report on this time sensitive topic, click the image above. Want more lending? Email your thoughts and comments on the GSEs plan to ‘serve’ manufactured housing. You can submit electronically to FHFA at the link shown below.

What impact will this trend have on manufactured housing, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)?

A growing number of professionals are emailing or calling MHProNews, whispering their concerns about possible “conflicts of interest.” Given that Buffett’s brands now hold two of the four executive committee positions at MHI, will Berkshire’s ever-growing presence in conventional housing influence the industry in ways that may not be for the good of most other HUD Code producers, or independent retailers, communities, and others?

What do these non-factory built housing units under the Buffett banner mean to industry efforts such as the Duty to Serve and if these are more evidence of conflicts of interest for MHI’s dominant player? ## (News, analysis.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

Homebuilder Confidence Numbers Show Need for Manufactured Housing

May 18th, 2017 Comments off

Manufactured Housing: a “front and center” solution. Credits: NAHB, MPA Mag, Marlette Homes.

New data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo’s Housing Market Index (HMI) showed that homebuilder confidence grew in May to its second highest point since the recession.

The report, which is compiled from a monthly survey that the NAHB has conducted for 30 years, gauges homebuilder sentiment of current single-family homes sales, and expectations over the next six months.

According to HousingWire, homebuilder confidence increased by two points in May, rising to 70, up from 68 in April. In the survey, a number over 50 indicates that most homebuilders in the survey view conditions as good rather than poor.


Granger McDonald. Credit: Builder Magazine.

This report shows that builders’ optimism in the housing market is solidifying, even as they deal with higher building material costs and shortages of lots and labor,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald.

As the Daily Business News covered here, the Commerce Department reported that single-family homebuilding market rose 0.4 percent to a pace of 835,000 units in April, with single-family starts growing 19.4 percent in the Midwest and 9.1 percent in the West, while they fell 3.4 percent in the South and tumbled 29.2 percent in the Northeast.

While Granger sees optimism, economists polled by Reuters believe that homebuilders are failing to effectively take advantage of a chronic shortage of properties for sale amid complaints about expensive building materials and shortages of lots and labor.

Overall, two of the three components that make up the HMI increased in May, with the sales expectation component rising four points to 79, and the current sales component rose two points to 76. By comparison, the component that measures buyer traffic dropped to 51.


Robert Dietz. Credit Twitter.

The HMI measure of future sales conditions reached its highest level since June 2005, a sign of growing consumer confidence in the new home market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

Especially as existing home inventory remains tight, we can expect increased demand for new construction moving forward.”




Increased Demand… But Can It Be Met?


A Clayton Homes factory. The ability to produce quickly and effectively with proper oversight is key to solving housing challenges. Credit: Clayton Homes.

Comments from Dietz expose a significant challenge for the site built housing industry, where a confluence of cost, labor, timing and demand all meet… and cannot be satisfied quickly enough.

With consumer demand for quality, affordable housing that can be delivered quickly, the manufactured housing industry sits “in the driver’s seat” when it comes to being able to fill that gap.

Even though manufactured and modular homebuilders are also susceptible to crunches at times, one of the numerous advantages of factory building is the ability to recruit and train team members who can work effectively in a production center environment. When combined with the ability to significantly cut down on production time, manufactured housing serves as the ideal solution to inventory and housing challenges.


Credit: MHLivingNews.

For more on manufactured housing being the solution that’s hiding in plain sight, see MHProNews and MHLivingNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach’s insight into the opportunity linked here. ##


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RC Williams, MHProNews.

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


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Affordable Home Inventory Crisis – Manufactured Housing Center Stage?

April 7th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: NAHB.

New information from the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), shows that an elevation in home values, triggered by tight inventory conditions across all housing categories is contributing to growth in high priced home sales.

While this category grows, a more ominous sign is on the horizon.

According to Construction Dive, student debt, slow wage growth and high rents are making it difficult for younger buyers, who typically purchase lower-priced homes, to save enough for a down payment.

Additionally, information from Trulia shows that entry level housing inventory continues to contract, with supplies falling 8.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017, while the median list prices for homes as up 8.3 percent.

With existing homeowners appearing to be slower to move up to a larger home, and in turn opening up their smaller properties for first time homebuyers, some larger site built home companies are working to fill the inventory gap. Meritage, D.R. Horton and Toll Brothers have all announced entry-level home plans with smaller footprints and fewer amenities to help reduce the cost of building at such a low price-point.

According to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, homebuilders remain optimistic for continued demand for single-family home construction, which has been trending up since the beginning of 2015.


The new Champion plant in Benton, KY. Credit: Woodworking Network.


Does Manufactured Housing Take Center Stage?

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

The ability to significantly cut down on production time, provide a high quality product to federal standards, all at a lower price point serves as the ideal solution to inventory and housing challenges. The titans of business recognize the opportunity as well, as giants and independents alike are actually “doubling down” on the industry.

Sam Zell. Credit: WSJ.

ELS Chairman Sam Zell has been famously quoted as correcting misconceptions about the industry, saying during this interview, “Everyone calls them trailer parks. Pencil head, it’s not a trailer park.

For more on manufactured housing being the solution that’s hiding in plain sight, see MHProNews and MHLivingNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach’s insight into the opportunity linked 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

Homebuilder Confidence Numbers Released

March 20th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: NAHB.

In the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released last week, homebuilder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped six points to a level of 71, the highest it has been since June 2005.

According to Eye On Housing, one of the reasons for the increased confidence is that builders have started to realize benefits from President Trump’s actions on regulatory reform, specifically his recent executive order to rescind or revise the “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule that affects permitting.

The rule extended the areas in which homebuilders are required to get permits, often interfering with state and local regulatory authority. Recently, two courts have issued a temporary halt.


Granger McDonald. Credit: Builder Magazine.

NAHB commends President Trump for listening to our serious concerns about the flawed WOTUS rule that goes so far as to regulate man-made ditches and isolated ponds on private property,” said NAHB President Granger MacDonald at the signing ceremony for the executive order in February.

This is an important first step towards fixing the flawed regulation and working towards a more sensible WOTUS rulemaking.


Credit: NAHB.

In the index, all three HMI components showed sold gains in March, with current sales conditions increasing seven points to 78, sales expectations over the next six months rising five points to 78m and buyer traffic jumping eight points to 54.

While the numbers are positive, they do come with some guidance.

While builders are clearly confident, we expect some moderation in the index moving forward. Builders continue to face a number of challenges, including rising material prices, higher mortgage rates, and shortages of lots and labor,” the NAHB said in a statement.

The HMI also benefited from unseasonably warm weather at the start of 2017, improving both demand and construction conditions.

The Housing Market Index from NAHB is derived from a monthly survey which has been conducted for 30 years, and gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months.

The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers, and scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good, as opposed to poor.


“Sentiment” Versus Production

While the report from the NAHB reflects the sentiment of homebuilders, the most recent manufactured home production report from MHARR shows an actual production increase of 33.5 percent in January.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, manufactured housing continues to offer one of the most practical and affordable solutions to providing a chance at the American dream for those who wish to own a home.

The titans of business recognize the opportunity as well, as giants and independents alike are actually “doubling down” on the industry.

ELS Chairman Sam Zell has been famously quoted as correcting misconceptions about the industry, saying during this interview, “Everyone calls them trailer parks. Pencil head, it’s not a trailer park.

For more on manufactured housing being the solution that’s hiding in plain sight, see MHProNews and MHLivingNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach’s insight into the opportunity linked 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

GOP Senators to President-elect Trump: Fire CFPB Head Richard Cordray!

January 11th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: CNN Money.

Republican Senators Bob Sasse (Neb.) and Mike Lee (Utah) penned a strongly worded letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Monday, urging President-elect Donald Trump to remove Director Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB).

It’s time to fire King Richard,” said Sasse, who also serves as a member of the Senate Banking Committee.

Underneath the CFPB’s Orwellian acronym is an attack on the American idea that the people who write our laws are accountable to the American people. President-elect Trump has the authority to remove Mr. Cordray and that’s exactly what the American people deserve.

According to CNN, the CFPB has declined to comment on the letter, but has said recently said that Cordray “has no plans to step down” and noted he was confirmed in 2013 by a bipartisan group of 66 senators.

That confirmation followed President Obama’s controversial recess appointment of Cordray in 2012.

The Daily Business News has followed the CFPB saga closely, including their involvement in the Wells Fargo case and a D.C. circuit court ruling that deemed the organization unconstitutional due to it’s lack of independent oversight.

The Constitution was written to protect the American people from unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats, said Senator Lee. “Considering the damage CFPB has done to credit unions and community banks, President Trump should act quickly to remove the director.


A tweet from Senator Bob Sasse. Credit: Twitter.

There are also those who have worked with the organization that see it as successful.

The CFPB ‘remarkably successful’ under Cordray,” said Patricia McCoy, a Boston College Law School professor who oversaw CFPB mortgage policy in 2011. McCoy pointed to the Wells Fargo case as evidence.


President Obama signs Dodd-Frank into law. Credit: The White House.

Daily Business News readers who have followed the history of the CFPB understand that the CFPB was not the lead agency in the case and during the time the events took place in 2011, the CFPB charter basically only allowed it to police the activity of big banks.

It did not catch the Wells Fargo activity at that time.

The Senators conclude the letter with an impassioned plea.

President Trump has the power to protect the American idea from this destructive view by removing Director Cordray. Director Cordray’s removal will be the first marker in the long process of rolling-back an agency that combines the powers of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches into the hands of a few unaccountable Washington elites.

The full letter is linked here. ##

(Editor’s Note: MHLivingNews has closely followed Director Cordray’s testimony, see the video linked here – his interesting statements on manufactured home loans..)

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

U.S. Homebuilder Confidence, November Report

November 26th, 2016 Comments off

Credit: People’s Pundit Daily.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index was released on November 16th and remained unchanged at 63. The index is two points below September’s reading, which was the highest in nearly a year. Readings above 50 indicate that builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.

Ongoing job creation, rising incomes and attractive mortgage rates are supporting demand in the single-family housing sector,” said Robert Dietz, the NAHB’s chief economist. “This will help keep housing on a steady, upward glide path in the months ahead.


Robert Dietz. Credit Twitter.

Builders’ view of current sales held steady from last month, while a gauge of traffic by prospective buyers edged higher. But their outlook for sales over the next six months declined slightly.

Even so, builders remain optimistic overall about new home sales, which are running ahead of last year’s pace.

The index shows that sales of new U.S. homes hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000 units as of September, which is up nearly 30 per cent from a year ago. Sales of new homes were up 13 per cent through the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2015.

A healthy job market and low interest rates have bolstered demand for new homes and fueled construction of single-family homes this year. Still, builders complain new construction is being hampered by a shortage of skilled labor and rising costs for ready-to-build land parcels in many markets.  That reality, and other factors, have been cited by MHProNews as reasons why factory-home building could be poised to gain market share, given the right steps by industry companies and leaders.



This month’s NAHB builder index was based on 325 respondents.

Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsized impact on the economy. Each house conventionally built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, per NAHB data. By comparision, each manufactured home built ads about one job to the economy, because of greater efficency. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Dodd-Frank, CFPB Deep in Trump Administration Cross Hairs

November 19th, 2016 Comments off

President-elect Donald Trump. Credit: Yahoo.

The goal of the incoming Trump administration with regard to Dodd-Frank has been made clear.

To dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with new policies to encourage economic growth and job creation.

President-elect Donald Trump pledged throughout his campaign to get rid of what he called “stifling regulations.

According to some experts, while an all out repeal of Dodd-Frank is unlikely, significant changes to key parts of the law are a real possibility.


James Cox. Credit: Duke.

I don’t think it eviscerates Dodd-Frank, but I think it takes away some parts,“ said James Cox, a Duke University expert on securities law speaking on the Trump team’s approach.

According to the Associated Press, Republicans have long attacked Dodd-Frank and a central component, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

As Daily Business News readers are aware, we’ve covered the CFPB extensively, both with regard to Wells Fargo and a D.C. Court ruling that the organization is unconstitutional. Critics targeted the agency’s leadership structure, which consists of a single director.

Opponents of the CFPB favor a new five-member commission, which would lessen the power of the director, who’s appointed by the president.

The CFPB expanded regulators ability to police consumer products, and critics say Dodd-Frank and the CFPB went too far in their efforts, hindering banks from making loans that people and businesses need to spend and hire.


Credit: Wikipedia, CFPB, HubPages.

Other experts have said that a relaxing of Dodd-Frank’s rules could raise the likelihood of another crisis fed by high risk-taking. Dodd-Frank limits many of the high-risk practices that, in part, led to the 2008 financial crisis.

Other parts of Dodd-Frank that could be targeted include the Financial Stability Oversight Council, rules that hurt regional and community banks due to the cost of compliance, and the “Volcker Rule” which in many instances bars the biggest banks from trading for their own profit. The idea was to prevent high-risk trading bets that could implode at taxpayer expense.


The Impact on the MH Industry


Still from an Inside MH video, reflecting how Richard Cordray himself said that there was never much high cost lending in the manufactured housing industry market.

In light of the ruling by the D.C. Court, pro-CFPB opponents to the ruling want to see it appealed.

What an appeal to the nation’s highest court would mean is that President-elect Trump’s appointment to the Supreme Court could be the deciding vote on an issue that has major impact for manufactured housing, other industries such as lending and hundreds of millions of Americans.

Credit: CFPB.

Credit: CFPB.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews have documented the harm to manufactured housing’s businesses, homeowners and would-be buyers that Dodd-Frank has created, with CFPB director Richard Cordray stating on CSPAN “I don’t think there was ever much high cost lending in the manufactured housing market.

The full story, including Cordray’s testimony, is here.

As for the future of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB, while it appears that changes will be made, details are still unclear.


Award winning manufactured home retailer Alan Amy estimated in the video linked above that Dodd-Frank is costing the MH industry – and prospective home buyers – 30% more sales every year. Credits – Inside MH – MHLivingNews – Sunshine Homes and

We’ll see some significant changes to Dodd-Frank,” said Tom Quaadman, a Chamber of Commerce executive. “We’re not necessarily going to see a wholesale repeal.” ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Investor Sentiment Better than Expected for UMH Properties

November 11th, 2016 Comments off

UMH Sales Center, Belle Vernon, PA.

Institutional investors appear to be pleased with UMH Properties Inc. (NYSE: UMH), with 44 managers opening or increasing stock positions.

UMH shares have risen 20.27 percent since April of this year, and the company has outperformed the S&P 500 by 18.31 percent.

According to Frisco Fastball, UMH is expected to pay a $0.18 divided to shareholders on December 15, 2016. The indicated annual dividend is $0.72, and shareholders owning the stock before Nov 10, 2016 will be eligible to receive the payout.

Key institutional investors include:

  • Boulegeris Investments Inc., which holds 9.84 percent of its portfolio in the company, a total 1.29 million shares.
  • Robert Robotti owns 533,339 shares.
  • Rutabaga Capital Management, LLC currently holds 747,127 shares.
Credit: UMH Communities.

Credit: UMH Communities.

The Daily Business News has covered UMH recently, including the company’s announcement of a new mortgage loan with Wells Fargo.

Sam Landy. Credit: Carisa Chappell.

Sam Landy. Credit: Carisa Chappell.

We are very pleased with our relationships with Wells Fargo Bank and Freddie Mac,” said UMH president and CEO Sam Landy.

We appreciate their continued support. Not only will this new loan save us approximately $350,000 annually on our interest expense, but it demonstrates the increasing value of our communities and the financial flexibility of our company, allowing us to further execute our long-term growth strategy.

For more about Sam Landy, check out our “A Cup of Coffee… segment with him linked here.

As Daily Business News readers already know, UMH is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates 98 manufactured home communities (MHCs) in seven states east of the Mississippi, composed of 17,800 developed home sites.

The UMH Q2 2016 earnings report is 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.