“If you only follow one economics blog, it has to be Calculated Risk, run by Bill McBride. The site provides concise and very accessible summaries of all the key economic data and developments,” said Time. That praise is but one of several kudos to McBride and his CalculatedRisk blog, which has since expanded to include a Substack site. CalculatedRisk was contacted by MHProNews about the item below to ask the following questions. “Given that IBTS gathers data on behalf of HUD, which is not yet released for December of 2022, how did you arrive at the manufactured housing portion of your figures for housing completions? Are they an estimate or something else?” That was at 11:20 PM on 1.25.2023, and the next morning at 8.11 AM, Bill McBride from CalculatedRisk sent the following reply.
It is in the article:
“Estimate note on manufactured homes: In February, the Census Bureau will release the placements of manufactured homes for December and for all of 2022. There were 106.5 thousand placements through November, and my estimate is there were 114.5 thousand total placements in 2022, up from 105.8 thousand in 2021, and the most since 2006.”
By the end of next week the latest official figures for HUD Code manufactured housing should be released. It will be interesting to see how McBride’s estimate shapes up compared to the official data. Until then, here is the gist of McBride, per his 1.23.2023 blog post linked here.
Although total housing starts decreased 3.0% in 2022 compared to 2021, completions increased year-over-year. Construction delays impacted completions in 2022, and that left a record number of housing units under construction. However, there still were 1.507 million total completions and placements in 2021, the most since 2007.
Not counting Manufactured homes, there are 1.392 million completions in 2022, up from 1.341 million in 2021, and also the most since 2007.
This graph shows total housing completions and placements since 1968 through 2022. Note that the net addition to the housing stock is less because of demolitions and destruction of older housing units. The housing start report last week indicated 1,021.9 thousand single family completions in 2022, 10.0 thousand in 2-to-4 units, and 360.4 thousand in 5+ units.
There is much more in the article. You can subscribe at https://calculatedrisk.substack.com/ Please subscribe!” ##
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Let’s be clear. Conventional housing claims and data from various sources are anything but clear. As evidence, just scroll Bing’s MSN news feed on housing topics for 5 minutes.
So, some recent tweets by McBride are as follows, which provide an evidence-based perspective on the broader housing market.
— Bill McBride (@calculatedrisk) January 26, 2023
— Bill McBride (@calculatedrisk) January 25, 2023
Realtor. com Reports Weekly Active Inventory Up 69% YoY; New Listings Down 5% YoY https://t.co/dgvVaWu4lF
Watch new listings! pic.twitter.com/sPtXbns8ut
— Bill McBride (@calculatedrisk) January 27, 2023
For those who seek to read the tea leaves, there are reports from sources that numbers of souls would deem reliable that mainstream housing is starting to recover as interest rates on mortgages have declined. But there are financial and other news writers who assert the housing market is still in retreat.
What is also conflicted are the claims about how many total housing units are lacking in America. One might suspect that politics – corporate, national, and association politics – are in evidence.
For instance. Freddie Mac asserted in 2021 that the nation needs 3.8 million housing units to meet the U.S. demand. But it was not so long ago before then that Lawrence Yun, Ph.D., of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) stated that the nation needed over 8 million housing units. Jump ahead to research with the Rosen Group commissioned by NAR which said that the housing gap wasn’t being closed, but that report by Rosen claimed that “at least” some 5.5 million housing units were needed. But Rosen for NAR also indicated that it might be 6.8 million units.required to close the national needs gap. If production has not been keeping up with demand, as Rosen and others have said, then how is it possible for the number of units needed to have fallen from over 8 million to under 4 million in 2021? Do you see the logical problem? The various claims are contradictory.
Beyond native population growth, as illegals, or undocumented immigrants, or whatever description one might wish to apply to the millions who have poured across our southern border since Joe Biden moved into the White House are counted, where are those souls moving to? They surely aren’t all being housed in costly hotels in New York City as Mayor Eric Adams (D) cries out for $3 billion more in federal taxpayer dollars to help pay for those that Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) has so kindly shared with his fellow Americans living in the Big Apple. Some of those souls seeking a better life in America may be living in tent camps, but what about the others? Then, there are also those still legally coming into the U.S.A. too. So, if Mayor Adams isn’t padding the tab, how many billions are this flood of migrants costing Americans annually? What is the impact of that influx on the U.S. economy, federal, state, and local budgets?
Objective facts still exist – reality and truth – apart from partisan politics.
If ever there was a need for someone to sort through the various claims with what Time called “concise” information and Business Insider called “he got everything right” from Bill McBride, this may be it.
Again, as noted, the official data for December of 2022 should be released around 2.3.2023. Watch for that report on MHProNews, which is likely to appear a bit earlier on the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) website circa 4 to 5 PM ET at this link here.
Part II Takeaways from the CalculatedRisk Post – Insights & Commentary
Perhaps other economists will delve into the issues that Minneapolis Federal Reserve senior research economist James A. “Jim” Schmitz Jr. has about manufactured home production in recent years. Per Schmitz and his research colleagues, manufactured housing has fallen a long way from the pre-HUD Code mobile home era. McBride’s information in the graphic shown earlier points to the same thing.
Schmitz et al are convinced that ‘sabotaging monopoly’ tactics are afoot and seems to favor a healthy application of antitrust action in order to help solve the affordable housing crisis.
While framed differently, Samuel “Sam” Strommen with Knudson Law, looking at the facts and evidence, has flatly accused several brands which are Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) members of collusion to manipulate the manufactured housing industry. Strommen also recommends antitrust action to solve the housing crisis.
Those voices are hardly alone, as Prosperity Now’s affordable housing guru, Doug Ryan, has said that manipulating the financing market is how MHI has helped Clayton Homes gain such a large market share. Is it possible that all three sets of voices – Schmitz, Strommen, and Ryan – could be correct? Examining the evidence, yes, it is possible.
While the Biden Administration has talked about the facts that point to consolidation of several sectors of the U.S. economy, where is the wave of effective antitrust action to meet that White House rhetoric?
Why do these issues matter to virtually everyone working in manufactured housing? Regardless of what brand they happen to get their paychecks from? Because research has demonstrated that American employees are getting about 20 percent less pay due to the steady oligopoly style of monopolization of various U.S. professional and business sectors. That obviously includes manufactured housing.
On MHLivingNews this week there is a fact-packed report with expert editorial commentary that lays out new research along with prior data that point to these insights.
- Per a large organization that most Americans who follow the news hear mentioned on a regular basis about housing, there could be some 25 million renters who are “mortgage ready” and could buy a manufactured home. Note, that is not counting the millions of other potential manufactured home buyers covered in an upcoming new Masthead. That will examine the immense ocean of opportunities for affordable manufactured housing in the U.S.A. today.
- But a range of sources, some of which may disagree on several issues, routinely agree on this. Zoning barriers and a lack of affordable financing options for manufactured homes are two of the ongoing barriers. Nevertheless, despite those barriers, 25 million plus Americans are ‘manufactured home’ ready.
- Additionally, MHLivingNews reported on Freddie Mac research in 2022 that stated that ‘the majority’ of housing seekers would consider a manufactured home.
- What such national sources routinely fail to mention is that widely bipartisan legislation – yes, bipartisanship can still happen in the late 20th and 21st century – has already been enacted at the federal law that were supposed to deal with the financing and zoning/placement issues. If existing federal laws were properly applied, they could break those barriers of competitive financing access and zoning/placement barriers down. Doing so would make the total number of potential manufactured home buyers far greater than that 25 million plus figure.
Without stating those specific numbers, isn’t that what MHARR has said for over a decade? In fairness, MHI has at times said some similar things as MHARR has on enforcing the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act’s “enhanced preemption” provision, or that they want to see Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do what the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 mandated. But the case is made, in report after report linked from this article, that MHI should earn the paltering, posturing, preening association of the year award. Why? Because If Strommen and Ryan are correct, and they point to serious evidence to make their respective claims, then MHI became a tool in the oligopoly-style monopolists’ toolchest. Meaning, MHI mouths the words they should, but then fails to do what those words should logically cause them to take as next steps if they were sincere.
As has been previously reported, January 2023 readership has spiked on MHProNews. The second article linked below is logically tied into the first one that follows. That second article is the runaway top read post for the month.
This writer for MHProNews has not shied away from expressing such facts and allegations publicly with MHI and federal officials present. When MHI’s staff, attorneys, and corporate masters are asked to respond to the evidence behind the allegations, there is…
…silence. Silence is the fifth amendment right of those in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, as it is for us all. But that silence also means that there are several evidence-based and prima facie cases that have been made that could result in not only fines, but prison terms for those involved, apparently exist. That is, the evidence for those cases and the reasons to press them during an affordable housing crisis are available should federal officials be prompted do their blankety blank and more (expletives deleted = blanks) jobs. So said Sam Strommen, among others.
Among the articles for the week that was is by antitrust advocate Matt Stoller. Yes, there are antitrust issues beyond MHVille that also impact MHVille, as that report linked among the headlines below details.
Don’t miss today’s postscript.
With no further adieu, here are the headlines for the week that was, from 1.22 to 1.29.2023.
What’s New on MHLivingNews
What’s New from Washington, D.C. from Fact-Backed MHARR
What’s New on the Masthead
What’s New on the Words of Wisdom from best-selling author and international speaker, Tim Connor, CSP
What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews
It has been said that truth is stranger the fiction. It has also been said by a Nobel award winning author that America has been (paraphrasing) BS’d and gaslighted by a “tapestry of lies.”
Comparisons to Adolf Hitler and his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels are not uncommon, as too many want to accuse their opponent of being fascists and Nazis. Fascism, it has been said of Hitler’s Italian ally and fellow fascist, in a remark attributed to — Benito Mussolini “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” Isn’t that an interesting summary for what voices on the left and right are saying is occurring in the U.S.A.?
Fascism is big corporate monopoly power backed by government power. Is it any wonder that so many politicos in the U.S. want to do away with Americans’ Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms? If politicos don’t do their job, Jefferson said that the tree of liberty must be occasionally watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
That’s not to say that MHProNews is advocating violence. Quite the opposite. If people properly use their God-given and Constitutionally protected rights properly, vigorously, and in an ongoing fashion – good, honest efforts combined with prayer (ora et labora) can stem the tide of what has gone wrong in manufactured housing and in the U.S.A. too. But let’s be clear, when cartoonists like Ben Garrison make points like the one above, they may be saying, politicians, if you don’t get your act together, some patriots will get to their own kind of work and do the job for you.
Isn’t right-leaning Garrison’s point quite in keeping with what Nick Hanauer wrote in left-leaning Politico during the Obama-Biden era?
Now, flash back to the insights from the top. If something doesn’t change in terms of production, the affordable housing crisis will only grow worse. As Schmitz and others have observed, perhaps the best way to close the housing gap is through factory building. Then think HUD Code manufactured housing.
All of this data are reminders that even HUD reseachers shockingly admitted that for 50 years, the solution to the affordable housing crisis was quite well know. Despite the talk, the solutions are not being put in place.
When there is a blinding propaganda, as attorney-turned award-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald has described the American information and corporate-political landscape, then perhaps what’s needed is are routine, healthy doses of facts, evidence, and penetrating logic. The truth may be unpopular in some circles, but without it, the propagandists will win. If they win, then the vast majority of the rest of us lose.
There are good reasons why you and so many of your colleagues are on this site daily. No one else lays out the facts, evidence and then applies healthy doses of commonsense to help penetrate the haze created by those who are trying to keep most Americans at each other’s throats so the powers that be can divide and rule.
There is something oddly compelling about the truth, even to those who don’t want to hear it.
That’s enough said for today. Oh, well, there are a few more housekeeping items.
- A) Thank you for making and keeping us the runaway #1 most read trade media in manufactured housing.
- B) Thanks to our sponsors and supporters for making this possible.
- C) Thanks for the tips, shares, and messages that keep us on our toes and often spark the articles that you are reading. D) Thanks to MHI and their corporate masters who praised us in the past, but now don’t have the courage to discuss or debate these issues and their performance publicly – or even risk that it might occur spontaneously at a manufactured housing industry event.
Programming Note: what this week’s MHLivingNews, linked here and above, and the upcoming Masthead present are new facts. But they also reveal how the so-called Buffett Moat could be profitably breached. The case can be made that it would be wildly profitable to breach that moat – but that will be an opportunity for the motivated, capable, and fearless. Don’t miss that upcoming Masthead. ###
Again, our thanks to free email subscribers and all readers like you, our tipsters/sources, sponsors and God for making and keeping us the runaway number one source for authentic “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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