AEI’s “Carpenter’s Index” of Housing Affordability, plus Manufactured Housing Investing, Stock Updates

DowJones12192019ManufacturedHomeStockUpdatesHouse Democrats voted to impeach. Markets rose. So too has President Donald J. Trump’s job approval. Democrats will debate tonight in what media analysts say is expected to be the smallest audience yet. CNN in doing man on the street interviews in Democratic-dominated Boston found even among Democratic supporters there are those who are unhappy about impeachment. As their field is in flux, with a few candidates dropping out as others have entered, market watchers are increasingly thinking that a re-election of POTUS 45 looks more likely.

Be that as it may, that’s enough reason to pivot to the headline topic for this evening’s focus.

According to their website, “The American Enterprise Institute is a public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world. The work of our scholars and staff advances ideas rooted in our belief in democracy, free enterprise, American strength and global leadership, solidarity with those at the periphery of our society, and a pluralistic, entrepreneurial culture.”


That will be the source of the data we will ponder below – as usual – through our lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing.


Longtime readers please note there are a few tweaks to some of the standard portions of our evening market/investing report. Read carefully as some changes of the ‘standard text’ that follows before our left-right headlines and also in other features near the end of tonight’s reports.

Every evening our headlines that follow provide snapshots from two major media outlets on each side of the left-right news spectrum that reflect topics that influence or move investor sentiment. In moments on this business evening report, you can get ‘insights-at-a-glance.’

This report also sets the broader context for manufactured housing markets, in keeping with our mantra, “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” ©.

We begin with headlines left-of-center CNN followed by right-of-center Fox Business. We share closing tickers and other related data courtesy of Yahoo Finance, and more. 5 to 10 minutes reading this MHProNews market report every business night could save you 30 minutes to an hour of similar reading or fact-gathering elsewhere.

Perhaps more important, you will get insights about the industry from experts that care, but also dare to challenge the routine narrative that arguably keeps manufactured housing underperforming during an affordable housing crisis.


There are lots of place to get news, but no one else in manufactured housing provides “News through the lens of Manufactured Homes and Factory-Built Housing” © like MHProNews. The manufactured home industry is underperforming. Why? We explore that topic routinely, and graphics like the one below spotlight the next two links spotlight the realities of that vexing fact.
To see this full size, click to open.

Media Consolidation at a Glance, 4 Infographics

Newsy, Peeling Back Media Bias, Manufactured Housing Sales, Investing, Politics, and You


Headlines from left-of-center CNN Business.

  • The Rise of Iger – Disney stock is on fire this year, but who will be the company’s next CEO?
  • Robinhood trading app fined for ‘failures’
  • Coke targeted teens by saying sugary drinks are healthy
  • Boeing’s 737 Max production halt gives S&P, Moody’s pause
  • Beijing steps up the battle to stop money flowing out of China
  • Direct deposits were delayed by Federal Reserve glitch
  • Analysis: ‘Fox & Friends’ gives its most powerful viewer some post-impeachment affirmation
  • Publishers prepare for new California law that puts limits on freelance journalists
  • The best ways to show your employees you appreciate them (without using money)
  • Sean Hannity to write book for Simon & Schuster
  • Opinion: Trump’s new rule on food stamps will hurt the people who need them most
  • More than 9,300 stores closed in 2019
  • It’s time to thank your teachers. Here’s what to give them (Skip the mug)
  • TIME FOR A SNACK – Plane delayed? Burger King will give you free Impossible Whoppers
  • Chipotle is redesigning some of its restaurants
  • Goldfish crackers launches two new flavors
  • Plant-based meat is breaking into breakfast
  • Pepsi’s new product has nearly twice as much caffeine as its regular soda
  • The best investment of the decade turned $1 into $90,000
  • The biggest risks for stocks in 2020
  • These were the worst stocks of the decade
  • 3M is a dog of the Dow — and it may not get better in 2020
  • 5G is coming. Here’s one way to invest in the telecom boom


Headlines from right-of-center Fox Business.

  • House passes US-Mexico-Canada trade deal as Trump and Pelosi fight for creditUSMC-YAY
  • TRADE – House passes US-Mexico-Canada trade deal as Trump and Pelosi fight for credit
  • Both sides say the $1.3 trillion deal will be better for Americans than the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • How ‘pro-growth’ deal is expected to boost US economy
  • America’s auto workers, unions react to USMCA
  • Trump impeachment doesn’t stop Dow from booking 10,000th point since election
  • Trump: ‘I don’t feel like I’m being impeached’
  • Veterans Affairs lands largest funding boost in US history
  • Bill to expand access to retirement accounts heads to Trump’s desk
  • Democrats’ solutions all require more taxes, regulations ⁠— here’s who gets hurt
  • VARNEY: Markets don’t buy fantasyland Democratic economics
  • JK Rowling under fire from trans community, activists over comments
  • Trump’s student loan rescue won’t hurt taxpayers, White House says
  • Mechanic admits to sabotaging massive American Airlines jetliner
  • IMAX surpasses $1B worldwide in its highest-grossing year ever
  • Hunter Biden allegedly refusing to answer ‘basic’ finance questions in suit
  • SEE INSIDE: The Starliner craft Boeing will launch into space this week
  • Jail surveillance video ‘gone’ from the night Jeffrey Epstein died
  • House punishment is fundraising bonanza for Trump campaign
  • Trucker says new law will ‘shut down my business’
  • J. Simpson prosecutor to defend Dem donor charged in two deaths
  • Nike posts earnings beat in Mark Parker’s final report as CEO
  • PG&E CEO predicts power shutoffs will continue for years
  • GM recalls more than 800K cars, trucks over dangerous problem
  • Chipotle updating stores to accommodate digital customers
  • Live Nation, DOJ reach settlement over ticketing practices
  • TurboTax parent investigated over treatment of some customers: report
  • WATCH: Lori Loughlin’s daughter ‘easing back into’ YouTube vlogging amid scandal
  • SEE PICS: VW to introduce 34 models in 2020 amid electric push
  • The highest-grossing touring artists of the decade raked in insane profits
  • Uber to quit serving airport after city raises fees
  • Olive Garden owner sees profits plunge due to pension hit
  • EXCLUSIVE: Debbie Dingell responds to Trump’s barb about late husband
  • How Facebook plans to tackle US census interference attempts
  • US home sales reportedly dip 2% in November
  • Disney+ may have poached one million Netflix subscribers already
  • DRAMATIC VIDEO: Coast Guard seizes $312M of cocaine from smugglers
  • SEE IT: State issues funny ‘National Lampoon’ warning for distracted drivers
  • Boeing getting hit hard as 737 Max scandal rocks legendary brand
  • Jack OUT of the Box: Fast-food giant selling HQ in massive deal
  • HANGING UP: Senate takes big step toward blocking pesky robocalls
  • How much it costs to run a commercial during an NFL game
  • Adidas partners with A-lister to launch gender-neutral clothing collection
  • China cuts America a break on tariffs after phase one deal


10 Market Indicator Closing Summaries – Yahoo Finance Closing Tickers on MHProNews…



Featured Focus – Where Business, Politics and Investing Meet


Insights from AEI’s Carpenter Index, viewed through the lens of manufactured homes, offers several potential insights.  We’ve peeked in at AEI’s research before.

First tonight, let’s look at their release and a composite of their graphics.

That will be followed by a brief MHProNews analysis, followed by linked related reports.

Press Release: They Can Build It, But Can They Afford It? New “Carpenter Index” Calculates Affordability For Entry-Level Buyers

San Diego, L.A., Denver among least affordable areas; Chicago, Detroit among most affordable

Washington, D.C. — A new tool created by American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholars helps users with blue collar wages to compare the affordability of entry-level homes in U.S. metropolitan areas.

To see this image full size, click to download and then open.

The AEI Carpenter Index, developed by the AEI Housing Center, uses a carpenter’s household income to compare relative affordability for entry-level housing across the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. It estimates the share of entry-level homes that average carpenter households – a proxy for the blue-collar workforce – can afford to purchase. This share ranges from seven percent in the least affordable metro to 100 percent in 22 metro areas.

AEI Resident Fellow and Housing Center Director Edward Pinto and Housing Center Director of Research Tobias Peter say the Carpenter Index can answer the question: “Can the person who builds homes actually afford to buy one?”

The scholars say the strength of the Carpenter Index is its simplicity, beginning with average carpenter wages at the metro level (nationally this is around $47,000). It then assumes a household income that totals 150 percent of the carpenter’s wage, which is roughly the national average. This yields a typical total carpenter household income of $71,000.

Pinto, a former executive vice president and chief credit officer for Fannie Mae, says a rule of thumb is that a household should purchase a home no more than three times the household’s income in order for that home to be considered affordable. Based on this equation, the typical carpenter household could afford a home valued at no more than $213,000.

Using the Carpenter Index and the Internet to search for home prices across a variety of U.S. metro areas, the report finds:

  • In San Diego, the most unaffordable metro area in 2018, the carpenter household with $250,000 in purchasing power would have to settle for a 500 square feet, one-bedroom “doll house.” In Pittsburgh, one of the most affordable metros, the household with roughly the same amount to spend could buy a 3,600 square feet, six-bedroom home.
  • In two-thirds of the 100 largest metros, entry-level or starter homes are still affordable for the average carpenter household (2018 data). However, housing has become increasingly unaffordable as home prices have generally risen faster than wages.
  • San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Portland ranked as the least affordable metros, while Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and St. Louis ranked as the most affordable metros. Las Vegas, Houston, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Tampa ranked in the middle of the index.

While home prices have far outpaced wage gains, Pinto and Peter say is the result of a regulatory failure, not the market. In any regular market, the price signal – which prevent massive shortages and ensure that consumer wants are largely satisfied – would alert suppliers to ramp up production, capping price increases until supply and demand return to equilibrium. In the housing market, however, land use and building regulations constrain builders from providing additional entry-level supply, even at the higher marginal price. This is particularly evident on the West Coast, where builders are so constrained there is little new housing supply of any type.

Based on analysis of the Carpenter Index, Pinto and Peter conclude that the policy prescription is clear: Reduce burdensome local regulations so that builders can respond to price signals, while keeping prices more in line with wage growth… ##

The graphic below is also from AEI, but wasn’t part of this media release.

To see this image full size, click to download and then open.


MHProNews Analysis

AEI’s report is clever on several levels. To ponder the conventional housing market through the perspective of those who are slinging the hammers – or nail guns – is a vivid image.

That said, it is revealing for manufactured housing professionals too. In the multi-trillion-dollar housing industry, with conventional housing in high demand, and “affordable housing” at a premium, manufactured homes are often overlooked and go unmentioned in third-party housing research.

In that respect, AEI’s report is not different.

Perhaps, given Zillow’s 2-year research snapshot, it is understandable.


When MHProNews spotlighted NHC’s comments – linked below – MHI magically appeared at their event. Coincidence? Perhaps by spotlighting AEI, we’ll get MHI to engage with them.

David Dworkin, National Housing Conference, Compared and Contrasted with Lesli Gooch, Manufactured Housing Institute on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Proposed Modifications to FHFA on Duty to Serve Finance Plans

Manufactured housing is an opportunity, but from inside the industry, the case can be made that the powers that be are hiding the ball with success. Meanwhile, carpenters, first responders, teachers, restaurant workers and millions of others are struggling to find affordable housing in their market.

Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing Institute Historic Pivot-Manufactured Housing Improvement Act, Enhanced Preemption, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Securitizing Lending for ALL Manufactured Homes



Berkshire Brand Manufactured Housing News Tip; Collusion-Coverup by FHFA-GSEs Revealed?!


Pragmatic, Positive Profitable Vision in a Negative World, Plus Manufactured Housing Sunday Headlines Review, 12.8 to 12.15.2019

Jennifer Reingold Questioned Berkshire-Clayton Deal; MHI GSEs Rocked by Tip-Document Drop, plus Manufactured Home Investing, Stock Updates



Manufactured Housing Industry Investments Connected Closing Equities Tickers
Some of these firms invest in manufactured housing, or are otherwise connected, but may do other forms of investing or business activities too.

          • NOTE: The chart below includes the Canadian stock, ECN, which purchased Triad Financial Services, a manufactured home industry lender
          • NOTE: Drew changed its name and trading symbol at the end of 2016 to Lippert (LCII).



Winter 2019
Berkshire Hathaway is the parent company to Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and other factory built housing industry suppliers.
· LCI Industries, Patrick, UFPI, and LP each are suppliers to the manufactured housing industry, among others.
· AMG, CG, and TAVFX have investments in manufactured housing related businesses. For insights from third-parties and clients about our publisher, click here.
Enjoy these ‘blast from the past’ comments.

Just a few of the actual public comments at about the one year mark into our publishing of what is now known as

MHProNews. MHProNews – previously a.k.a. – has now celebrated our tenth anniversary.

Learn more about our evolutionary journey as the industry’s leading trade media, at the report linked below.

Celebrating 10 Years of Goal- and Solution-Oriented Manufactured Home Industry Innovation Information, and Inspiration for Industry Professionals

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Disclosure. MHProNews holds no positions in the stocks in this report.
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