Agent Warns Younger Americans ‘How do You Retire if Rent is $8500?’ Fred Smith Claims, Facts, and Analysis Gen Z, Millennials, Gen Alpha, MH Industry, Others MUST Consider; plus MHVille Markets


In an article on Moneywise and left-leaning MSN focused on remarks by real estate agent Freddie Smith in a recent TikTok video made this startling point. “’How do you retire if rent is $8,500?’” That is what “Orlando real estate agent Freddie Smith” says current inflationary economic trends means for this generation by the end of their careers. Per Smith: “My biggest concern with our country turning into a renters’ economy is: how will the millennial and Gen Zers retire comfortably if they don’t own a house and are going to have to rent forever?” Smith’s TikTok post along with his projections and some cross checking by MoneyWise are Part I of this report.  Part II, will provide additional information with more MHProNews analysis and commentary, including the obvious implications that this should have for manufactured housing. Part III will be our Daily Business News on MHProNews markets recap.

One bottom line? Properly understood, the only currently proven means for closing the affordable housing gap in the U.S. requires more HUD Code manufactured homes. Lots more.


Part I

@fmsmith319How will Millennials and Gen Z retire in renters economy? 🤔🏡♬ original sound – Freddie Smith

Here are several paragraphs from MoneyWise/MSN that purports to clean up some of Smith’s numbers. While he was off somewhat here and there, for the most part, their analysis broadly indicates that he has a valid point. Meaning, Gen Z, Gen Alpha, and Millennials are about to get screwed big time (to put it politely) if something doesn’t change.  Regarding generational labels, note that explains that: “Millennials – born 1980-1994. Generation Z – born 1995-2012. Gen Alpha – born 2013 – 2025.”

QuoteMarksLeftSideRetirees in 2024 are already worried about their Social Security checks shrinking over the next decade. But Smith wonders if the next generation will even be able to retire at all.

The numbers don’t add up.

Smith runs through the math of how he frets that the current high housing prices could jeopardize the next generations’ ability to retire.

Both Smith and the Federal Reserve find that the median price of a home in the U.S. is around $400,000 ($417,000, to be exact). But most young Americans can’t afford that these days.

At that price point, young Americans need to be prepared to put down $80,000 to hit the recommended 20% down payment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median yearly earnings for 25- to 34-year-olds is $56,160 — which, with prices still elevated across the country, makes it increasingly hard to set aside the amount needed.

And so many young Americans turn to renting. Smith says renters nowadays are paying an average of $1,950 per month, but the nationwide median rent cost has since crept up to $1,987, according to’s March report.

Here’s where Smith gets worried: He assumes that the home prices will continue to rise and young people will continue to rent well into their later years. But rent prices will also rise.

Smith shows the rent prices are 4.3 times higher in 2024 compared to 1994 ($1,950 per month in 2024, compared to the $450 per month in 1994), so he assumes that 30 years from now will see the same rent increase in 2054. That would mean that asking rents will likely have risen to around $8,500.

Smith knows that this number seems ridiculously high. But rents are already well over $4,000 in New York, according to, so seeing it double in 30 years wouldn’t be out of the question.

And this is where the trouble lies. By 2054, the current crop of young people will be in their 50s and 60s. They’ll need a retirement plan.

“How do you retire if your rent’s going to be $8,500?” Smith asks. …##


Part II – Additional Information with More MHProNews Analysis and Commentary

Before pivoting to what Smith said, let’s consider what a university student recently wrote.

1) A BYU college student named Ian Lake said the following in an op-ed to Deseret News earlier this year (2024). “This NIMBYism is limiting the state from providing the housing many current and future residents desperately need. While it may be tempting to think that high-density housing should stay only in Salt Lake City or downtown Provo, current research suggests that restricting high-density to only highly urban areas would make housing even more unaffordable.” While he cited data for popular left-coast destination state Utah, similar data applies to other states too.

Lake cited: “Gov. Spencer Cox calls the affordable housing crisis the “single greatest threat to our future prosperity…””

Lake also said:

  • “The shortage of housing continues to prop up the prices, leading to an even more pessimistic housing market with an ever-growing demand.”
  • “According to the report, “Only 15% of Utah’s renter households have enough income to purchase a modestly priced $300,000 to $400,000 home” (which, let’s be honest, is the low end of the housing cost distribution). Combine all this with a high 7+% mortgage interest rate and home ownership looks hopelessly out of reach. If this continues, which every metric indicates it most likely will, this will surely have catastrophic consequences for the future generation of homeowners in Utah.”
  • “Wendell Pierce once said that “the heart and soul of the American dream (is) homeownership, the idea of being able to buy a house and start to build your family.” Sadly, homeownership is looking more and more like a pipe dream for many young Utahns.”
  • “This crisis is no secret. The University of Utah recently released a report for the 2022-2024 years that detailed the current housing situation. Between 2020 and 2022, there was a price increase of 49% in the average median home price here in Utah.”

2) Certainly, some facts were missing in Lake’s and Smith’s remarks. For example. Neither mentioned manufactured housing, at least not directly.

Often, such reports use the notion of a 20 percent down payment, which while that may be necessary for certain kinds of conventional financing which overlook (for whatever reasons) the availability of FHA, VA, or Rural Development (a.k.a. USDA) financing options. Even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer loans with lower down payments than 20 percent, as do many state housing finance programs, not to mention manufactured home chattel loans.

Numbers of those state financing programs, FHA, VA, RD and other loans can be used to buy a modern HUD Code manufactured home in land-home-improvements combo deals.

3) Those items noted, Smith’s points are broadly accurate, as MoneyWise’s take suggested. Given that he is a real estate agent, Smith presumably is trying in part to motivate younger adults to buy now and pay off a home over the course of the next 30 years. There is no apparent political angle to Smith’s pitch, which while understandable, also misses the point that “elections have consequences.” This same pitch by Smith would not have been necessary four short years ago.




4) Let’s update some information from the math found in the Masthead article linked here.

While rates vary per lender, according to Bankrate a top-shown available loan on 4.23.2024 for an FHA 30-year mortgage with 1.75 points has a 30-year fixed rate of 7.175% APR.

  • Per Rocket Mortgage with a minimum of a 580-credit score, the down payment on an FHA loan is 3.5 percent.
  • Per the St. Louis Fed, the national average for a new multi-section (a.k.a. “double wide”) in November 2023 was $154,100. 
  • Presuming a $100,000 improved home site, plus that new ‘national average’ multi-section manufactured home of $154,100 would be a total of $254,100. Let’s note that just as the 154K is too low for California, the same would be true for that 100K improved home site. That said, this is about national averages, and these numbers should be fine-tuned for a specific state or area. 
  • With 3.5 percent down and using the Bankrate tool for calculations and loan offers yields a down payment of $8,894.
  • Using a 700-credit score, and noting that points vary, the monthly payment for that loan on 4.23.2024 range from $1,568 to $1,855.
  • Rent Cafe said: “The average apartment rent in the U.S. is $1713” for an average size of 899 sq. ft.
  • So, about a 50 percent larger new manufactured home residence could be owned for about the payment of smaller, existing, and often older two-bedroom apartment.
  • World Population Review said on 4.23. 2024 that U.S. rentals of “single-family houses averaging $2,018 a month.”
  • The bottom line is that even when taxes and insurance are considered, a new manufactured home is still affordable for tens of millions of Americans who are renters. By contrast, new conventional housing is not affordable for people on an average income, even with a twenty percent down payment. See more at this link here, which based on proven building technologies makes the case that manufactured homes are absolutely necessary to solve the affordable housing crisis.

Note: to expand this image below to a larger or full size, see the instructions

below the graphic below or click the image and follow the prompts.

There is an evidence-based case to be made that Cavco has ironically helped provide the ammo for antitrust pros to go after their firm and several others associated with the Manufactured Housing Institute. Their reasons to invest are also apparent proof of their own failures. The base image above is from the Cavco Industries (CVCO) November 2023 Investor Relations ‘pitch deck’ or IR presentation. Satirical “Proud Member of Machiavellian Housing Institute” (i.e.: Manufactured Housing Institute or MHI) with its modified MHI tag line: “The National Association Serving Consolidators of the Manufactured Housing Industry” was added by MHProNews, but Cavco Industries is indeed a “proud” MHI member. Call out boxes and arrows are added by MHProNews as part of this fact check and analysis. See detailed report and context here:


5) MHProNews and MHLivingNews have periodically made the point for years that residents of manufactured homes could be key voters in swing states. That remains true.

But even more true is the point that as a block, renters also have the ability to swing the 2024 elections. Democrats realize that and have put forth a plan. The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has oddly applauded that plan, even though it makes a flawed argument for our industry and is arguably as or poorer still a concept being pitched for renters.




6) Manufactured housing has an opportunity to be a shining star for investors, for the employees of firms of all sizes, and for Americans of all ages. But manufactured housing could be particularly useful for younger adults and future youth in Gen Alpha who are facing a crisis that they have often been manipulated into supporting. But to tap that potential, the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (a.k.a.: MHIA, 2000 Reform Act, 2000 Reform Law) and its “enhanced preemption” provision needs to be put to work.








7) The housing crisis is real. It is considered by many to be near the top of the issues for millions of voters. That is because the lack of housing affordability has been a problem for tens of millions of Americans. Numbers, not all, manufactured housing industry leaders need to be held to account. So too must public officials, starting with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) leadership. While Fudge is now gone, what Fudge has revealed is apparently the authentic position of Biden-Harris regime.  According to the response from an MHProNews search “Did then Senator Joe Biden vote for the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000?” Bing’s AI powered Copilot, “Yes, then-Senator Joe Biden voted for the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.” That being the case, one must wonder why Biden hasn’t done more for manufactured housing beyond mere lip service. Because despite all the happy talk, manufactured home production crashed for 15 months during the Biden-Harris era. At the current rate of recovery, it will be well below what it was at the end of the Trump years.






The first two months of 2024 yielded some 15,830 homes. If that pace was maintained through the year it would equal about 94,980 total new HUD Code manufactured homes in the U.S. That would be a pace similar to the years 2019-2020, and less than 2018, 2021 and 2022. That would also be about 72 percent lower than production in 1998.


8) As MHProNews/MHLivingNews reports with analysis have stressed for some time, the affordable housing crisis can’t be solved without literally millions of more new HUD Code manufactured homes being built. The good news is that by applying the enhanced preemption provision of the existing law robustly, that can be accomplished. According to former National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) CEO Jerry Howard, it can’t – thus won’t – be accomplished by conventional builders.

Prominent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member Cavco Industries (CVCO) was prudent to make that screen shot showing the quote from Jerry Howard, then with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Howard since joined the National Rental Home Council (NRHC) as Executive Chairman and was previously with National Association of Realtor (NAR) as a legislative analyst. The quote by Cavco is from an interview of Howard on Fox Business. That article had these two notable pull quotes.

  • “Right now, in almost no market in this country, can a homebuilder build a house that is affordable for a first-time homebuyer,” National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard said on “Varney & Co.” Thursday. “We can’t do it. The costs that are on us make it impossible.”
  • “The income needed to buy a home is well above what the median income is in this country,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather told FOX Business’ Gerri Willis. “And that means that you have to be part of the upper class to be able to afford a home now, when previously, homeownership was seen as a way to enter into the upper class. Now you have to already be there to be able to afford that starter home.”

Put simply, real estate agent Smith, as show in the preface, Part I and earlier in Part II is onto something particularly significant for younger adults. If the supply-demand and inflation dynamics don’t change, millions will be priced out of not only owning, but could be priced out of renting too. This ought to be a red-flag issue. It is one that MHProNews and our MHLivingNews sister site have spotlighted through reports like those linked above and below.






Economist EJ Antoni ‘Understated by Feds Through-the-Roof Housing Inflation Crushing Would-Be Homeowners’–Conventional Housing Unaffordable But Manufactured Homes Still Reasonable for Millions


Rise and Fall of HUD Code Manufactured Housing 1995-2023 – Story of the U.S. Affordable Housing Crisis Behind the Facts

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below the graphic below or click the image and follow the prompts.

See the Rise and Fall of HUD Code Manufactured Housing. and the lessons learned from the California ADU phenomenal growth.




9) Cavco (among other MHI members) is arguably failing their investors. Paltering and posturing are arguably NOT legally acceptable for methods of communication for a publicly-traded firm to convey information to their investors.




Base image is from the Cavco Industries November 2023 Investor Relations ‘pitch deck’ or presentation. Satirical “Proud Member of Machiavellian Housing Institute” (i.e.: Manufactured Housing Institute or MHI) with its modified MHI tag line: “The National Association Serving Consolidators of the Manufactured Housing Industry” was added by MHProNews, but Cavco Industries is a “proud” MHI member. Call out boxes and arrows are added by MHProNews as part of this fact check and analysis.


AnalystGregPalmtoCavcoWhy is Manufactured HomeIndustry ProductionSo WeakParadox DevelopsLower Expectations MoreSinglesIn Q1-2023CavcoIndustriesQrtlyFactsTrendsMHVilleAnalysisMHProNews




Note that MHProNews has received a tip involving Cavco and another industry producer which is being investigated.


10) MHProNews has periodically mentioned that not all MHI members are apparently ‘into’ the notion of limiting production or otherwise manipulating the marketplace. Industry producer Legacy Housing (LEGH) could fall into that category.  So too may community operator UMH Properties, among others.






11) Younger adults are potentially waking up to their troubling reality, per surveys.




12) As another programming note (teaser), recent remarks by a conservative U.S. Senator are on the MHProNews radar for examination on the housing front and how it could play for manufactured housing. But what is clear is that accountability is needed. Both major parties are obviously falling short on the affordable housing issue, along with others like securing the border or inflation that is outpacing earnings power.

Homelessness is demonstrably rising, instead of falling. California‘s scandal is only the latest.




There are plenty of research reports that make it clear that more manufactured housing is needed. Payden and Rygel’s is just one of many.




Media is reporting on the housing crisis. But there is arguably too little emphasis on the obvious need for more inherently affordable HUD Code manufactured housing.


ManufacturedHousingInstituteHitByAntitrustAllegationsInOpEd_MHI-AttorneyDavidGochMollyBoyleAskedRespondEvidenceBasedConcernsCopilot-AiFac CheckRefersToMHIsOrwellianApproachMHProNews
When MHI leaders and outside attorneys are asked by MHProNews to respond to remarks like the one posted above, they routinely remain silent. A recent example of MHI failing to respond to a standing invitation to weigh in, supplemented by an almost business-daily publicly announced remark to that effect, is a specific contact with respect to the timely and demonstrably relevant topics linked here. MHI launched the use of that new logo in 2022 when manufactured home production was in the early phase of what became a sharp 15-month long production downturn. Meaning, MHI’s use of such slogans are similar to Soviet-style or Orwellian propaganda slogans.


Part III – Our Daily Business News on MHProNews stock market recap which features our business-daily at-a-glance update of over 2 dozen manufactured housing industry stocks.

This segment of the Daily Business News on MHProNews is the recap of yesterday evening’s market report, so that investors can see at glance the type of topics may have influenced other investors. Thus, our format includes our signature left (CNN Business) and right (Newsmax) ‘market moving’ headlines.

The macro market moves graphics below provide context and comparisons for those invested in or tracking manufactured housing connected equities. Meaning, you can see ‘at a glance’ how manufactured housing connected firms do compared to other segments of the broader equities market.

In minutes a day readers can get a good sense of significant or major events while keeping up with the trends that may be impacting manufactured housing connected investing.

Headlines from left-of-center CNN Business – 4.23.2024

  • Federal labor board has been much more pro-worker under Biden. Employers want courts to end that
  • A sign for Google Cloud offices is seen in Sunnyvale, California, U.S. on April 16, 2024.
  • Google has fired 50 employees after protests over Israel cloud deal, organizers say
  • Single family homes in a residential neighborhood in San Marcos, Texas, US, on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release existing homes sales figures on March 21. Photographer: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • US new home sales surged in March despite elevated mortgage rates
  • Volkswagen Workers At Chattanooga Hold Unionization Vote. United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain, right, speaks as local organizers raise their fists at a UAW vote watch party on April 19, 2024 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. With over 51% of workers voting yes the UAW won the right to form a union at the plant.
  • The anti-union South is starting to crack
  • Court sketch of David Pecker, the former chairman of the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc. Pecker testified in Day 5 of former President Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial taking place in criminal court.
  • Former National Enquirer boss breaks his silence on ‘catch and kill’ as lead witness in Trump trial
  • A bubble tea store operated by Sichuan Baicha Baidao in Shanghai, China, on April 23, 2024.
  • Is the tea bubble bursting? ChaPanda shares plunge in Hong Kong IPO
  • Workers assemble vehicle doors at the General Motors assembly plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, US, on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. General Motors Co. is scheduled to release earnings figures on April 23.
  • GM earnings top forecasts despite headwinds
  • People walk past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on April 10, 2024 in New York City.
  • Can markets make a comeback? That depends on tech earnings
  • This photo taken on March 27, 2024 shows employees working on a car assembly line at a factory of Chinese carmaker Li Auto in Changzhou, in eastern China’s Jiangsu province.
  • The electric car revolution is on track, says IEA
  • Huawei sales are soaring in China as Apple sinks
  • After Tesla’s falling sales, layoffs and other problems, this is a crucial earnings report
  • Baltimore files legal claim against owner and operator of cargo ship that rammed bridge
  • Columbia University main campus classes will be hybrid until semester ends; NYU students, faculty arrested during protests
  • US sues to block Tapestry’s Capri deal citing handbag market domination
  • Taylor Swift’s ‘Tortured Poets Department’ shatters streaming records across Spotify, Amazon, Apple
  • Tesla cuts prices in US, China and Germany as competition heats up
  • Former JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes to lead Airbus in North America
  • TikTok could face EU fines and a suspension over sister app TikTok Lite
  • Caitlin Clark will reportedly sign a sneaker deal with Nike
  • TikTok vows legal challenge to potential US app ban
  • The ‘halving’ — bitcoin bros’ World Cup — is here
  • Express files for bankruptcy; closing more than 100 stores
  • Donald Trump is on the verge of another $1 billion Truth Social windfall


In instances such as Apollo, Berkshire Hathaway, Blackstone or others, manufactured housing may only be part of their corporate interests. Note: depending on your browser or device, many images in this report and others on MHProNews can be clicked to expand. Click the image and follow the prompts. For example, in some browsers/devices you click the image and select ‘open in a new window.’ After clicking that selection you click the image in the open window to expand the image to a larger size. To return to this page, use your back key, escape or follow the prompts.
Notice: MHProNews invites the firms named in these reports to respond to any concerns about possibly inaccurate information via email that identifies the concern and offers evidence that sheds a different light on the topic discussed. That said, neither MHI nor MHI publicly traded ‘insider brands’ have done so. They’ve been repeatedly invited to do so, including but not limited to an outreach on Dec 7, 2o23 and Feb 25, 2024.


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