Factory-built Housing in the News 101014

MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

IF YOU’VE EVER LIVED in New York, you’re familiar with the Daily News headlines. Imagine seeing this one Wednesday: “Housing hot again! Home sales shoot up 18% in city; total sales prices climb 26%.” Reading the news over the past couple years, you might think you picked up an old edition. But it’s true. As the newspaper reported, the Real Estate Board of New York said in its latest quarterly survey, covering July through September, that the number of home sales skyrocketed by 18 percent, to 11,597, up from 9,827 during the same time a year earlier. The total sales prices also increased by a staggering 26 percent to $8.36 billion compared with a year earlier. The average price of a home jumped by 7 percent, to $722,000. The average was $1.33 million in Manhattan – an 8 percent gain from a year earlier.

IOWA ATTORNEY GENERAL Tom Miller is leading a 50-state bipartisan mortgage foreclosure working group, as part of a coordinated national effort by states to review the practice of so-called “robo-signing” within the mortgage servicing industry. The Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group, comprised of state attorneys general in all 50 states, and state banking and mortgage regulators in more than three dozen states, will explore whether individual mortgage servicers have improperly submitted documents in support of foreclosures.  Specifically, the group will investigate whether companies misrepresented on affidavits and other documents that they reviewed and verified supporting foreclosure documentation.  The group will also attempt to determine whether companies also signed affidavits outside the presence of a notary public, along with other possible issues regarding servicing irregularities or abuses.

Manufactured Housing in the News…

FROM IOWA we learn that the building code commissioner has announced that continuing education classes for installers will be held at the Department of Public Safety Building in Des Moines on December 6th, 7th, and 10th.  Iowa installers are in the third year of their licenses.  Eight hours of continuing education has to be taken by installers prior to June 30th, 2011 in order to obtain a new three-year license. The next opportunity will be in February of 2011. For further information, e-mail mhinfo@dps.state.ia.us.

FROM MINNESOTA the Northfield News recently reported on efforts to help residents of Viking Terrace replace older mobile homes with new manufactured (HUD code) homes. According to the report, in his eight years as the landlord of Viking Terrace’s roughly 1,000 residents and 168 lots, Fran and his wife Deb Haan have personally provided financing for several low-income families so they could purchase new homes. Between the city’s grant program and his financial assistance, Haan says that roughly a dozen families have been able to upgrade their manufactured homes to newer models. In one example, a $7,000 grant from the city and financing from the community owners provided one resident with a new home valued at $33,500.

FROM ARIZONA the San Pedro Valley News-Sun local business owner Jay Kendrick, of the Stagecoach Trails Manufactured Home Park is fighting the city to get a permit to place a new home on Lot 27 of the manufactured-home community. The city has refused to grant the permit, citing the plan is in violation of city setback codes and was not in compliance with Section 16 of the city code. Recently a judge ruled city officials did not follow proper reporting procedures in passing the code in 1997. The city continues to argue that Kendrick’s site plan to install the new home violates other city codes, including setback requirements and fire-safety code. But according to Kendrick’s attorney, Kendrick meets all state fire codes. He says: “The city’s reinterpretation is not supported by case law and it has nothing to do with fire safety. The fire code governs fire safety and Stagecoach Trails complies with the fire code.”

“More Manufactured Housing in the News continues…”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by:

LifeStylist.com – Lifestyle Driven Designs by Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber. Furniture, Decors and Model Homes designed for your budgets and your customers’ lifestyles.

Email them at answers@lifestylist.com, visit them on the Web at LifeStylist.com or call 214-941-8341.

Now, back to our stories.

A $25-MILLION manufactured home community outside Windsor, Canada, the first fully serviced land lease community, is marketing itself toward seniors, even though provincial law prohibits discriminating against potential tenants based on age, according to the Chronicle Herald. Known as The Crossing, the community is billed as an “adult living community,” aimed at people 55 and up. The community, however, doesn’t specifically discriminate against anyone based on age.

PROMOTERS ARE VERY CLOSE to being able to guarantee the return of the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show in January 2011, and MHMSM.com is urging support to help cross the final threshold. The Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation reports that with seven manufacturers, 20 floors and 45 booths already committed, just six floors remain to be secured before contracts for the show can be finalized. “We’ve seen some encouraging production numbers recently and the return of the Louisville show would be another indication that the industry is on a path to not only recovery, but regeneration,” said MHMSM.com publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. The show is scheduled for January 12, 13 and 14, 2011 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. For information on displaying at the show, contact Dennis Hill at 770-587-3350.

Factory-built Housing in the News…

FROM THE AURORA NEWS REGISTER, one of Aurora’s largest employers is “holding its own” despite a slumping economy which has wreaked havoc on the nation’s modular housing construction industry. That company, BonnaVilla Homes, changed its name to Chief Custom Homes earlier this year with a revised business strategy. General manager Curt Wilkerson explained in the article that non-traditional projects, including custom-built facilities in the North Dakota oil fields, have helped the company meet success in recent months.

PITTSBURGH-BASED TERRADIME, a real estate and research enterprise focused on sustainable development, unveiled an alternative to the formaldehyde-tainted homes purchased by the U.S. government for Hurricane Katrina victims. The company debuted what it calls its Ecoplex modular trailer at a Washington news conference, saying the product contains only healthy materials, is 100 percent recyclable and wind resistant up to 120 mph, and can be mass-produced. “The Ecoplex is an affordable solution for use in catastrophic situations like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” company President George Mongell told USA Today, which reports the 40-foot-long residential units have a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room and cost $30,000 to $40,000. There’s also an office version that can be used by medical clinics and schools as well as the entertainment and construction industries. The company uses the word “trailer” consistently on its web site and USA Today used it in the article. The product they are designed to replace was widely known as a FEMA trailer.

NEED A LITTLE EXTRA SPACE in your dwelling? The website Ecofriend asks the question and suggests a stylish, contemporary and energy-efficient addition. Prefab models from Swedish company Add-A-Room can be used as building blocks for any home. Designed by Danish architect Lars Frank Nielsen, the “One+” is a housing concept that allows users to build their homes using 15-meter-square rooms.

In Market News…

STOCKS CLOSED UP 75 points Wednesday after spending much of the day up 125 points or more. Most manufactured housing and related stocks also closed up. Drew Industries, Sun Communities and UMH Properties enjoyed some of the largest gains, each adding more than two percent to share prices. All American Group and Skyline Corporation closed down for the day. The manufactured housing composite value was down .71.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire MHMSM.com writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

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