Home Price Increases Slow Down, Decrease in August 102710

Home Price Increases Slow Down, Decrease in August

Data through August, 2010 released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show a deceleration in the annual growth rates in 17 of the 20 MSAs and the 10- and 20-City Composites in August compared to what was reported for July 2010. The 10-City Composite was up 2.6 percent and the 20-City Composite was up 1.7 percent from their levels in August 2009. Home prices decreased in 15 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites in August from their July levels. David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s called the report disappointing and an indication that the housing market continues to bounce along the recent lows. Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York and Washington, DC were the only five cities that recorded marginal improvements in home prices over July.

Donnelly Poll Lead Narrowing

According to the latest New York Times FiveThirtyEight election forecast, the Indiana race between incumbent Joe Donnelly and Republican Jackie Walorski is narrowing substantially. Donnelly’s chance of winning at about 72 percent, down from 83 percent earlier in October. Electionprojection.com currently has Donnelly winning the race by 2.3 percent. Donnelly is the top recipient of PAC money from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and has also received contributions from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

New PA Law Takes Aim at Lot Rent Increases

From Fort Washington, Pennsylvania comes a report by North Penn Life about Act 80, a new state law passed this week intended to eliminate unreasonable and unexpected increases in lot rents for people living in manufactured housing communities. The legislation’s sponsor, Democrat Rick Taylor called the bill one of his proudest accomplishments in the state House. Governor Ed Rendell signed the legislation into law Tuesday. According to the report, under the new law, manufactured home community owners would be required to provide potential lessees with a disclosure that includes information about how and when rent can be increased, a three-year history of the rental rate for the tenant’s lot and information regarding utility fees and park facilities, rules and regulations. The text of Act 80 is available for download at http://mhmsm.com/downloads/hb2212-act-80.pdf

PA Bill Would Eliminate Dual Licensing Requirement

Also from the Keystone State, HB 2547, a bill that would eliminate the dual licensing requirement created with the passage of the Mortgage Licensing Act (MLA) last August for those engaged in lending activities involving chattel loans, moved through the State Senate. The bill, which now goes to the Governor’s desk for signature, will allow the manufactured housing industry to continue to retain their business licenses under the Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act (installment sellers and sales finance company licenses). However, individual licenses, where employees are engaging in MLA regulated activities, such as taking credit applications, will continue to be maintained under the MLA, keeping Pennsylvania in compliance with the federal SAFE Act.

MH Education Trust Donates to Political-action Group

The Capistrano Dispatch reports that the Manufactured Housing Education Trust (MHET) along with the Building Industry Association (BIA), a Los Angeles-based California Real Estate PAC, made donations to a group that sent out flyers criticizing San Juan Capistrano Mayor Lon Uso. Three pieces mailed by a political-action group called Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods revealed a decade-old misdemeanor DUI and alleged that Uso raised taxes on school children and supported medical benefits for illegal immigrants. The Manufactured Housing Education Trust, based in Rancho Santa Margarita, donated $5,000. On its web site, the Trust defines itself as a California non-profit association dedicated to promoting … the manufactured housing community industry through the education of its members, community leaders, manufactured home owners and the public about … manufactured housing community issues. Uso said he suspected the BIA and Realtors were upset because he supported a building-fee increase to balance the … budget.

Clayton Reports Sales Gains in Woodenville

From Washington State the Woodinville Weekly reports that manufactured home sales there are increasing. According to the article, Clayton’s numbers for the first half of 2010 are up 22 percent from this time last year. The article also references numbers from The New York Times that show manufactured homes made up nearly a quarter of all new homes sold for less than $200,000 in 2009. The reason? Manufactured homes provide bang for the buck. More, those seeking energy efficiency are finding it in manufactured homes without the expected high price. The report also says sales are expected to remain strong for the next few months.

Modular Designs Make Traditional Homes Affordable

Haven Custom Homes, a leader in the construction of custom modular homes for more than 40 years, in partnership with Artisan Fine Homes recently announced the completion of the first Russell Versaci-designed modular home in Maryland. Located on a 12-acre horse farm in northern Maryland, the “Currier” home is a classic 19th-century Southern farmhouse with Greek Revival details designed by Russell Versaci. The two-story home features 3,035 square feet of living space with three bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, a basement and covered porches. Connected to the Currier by a covered walkway is the “Carriage” house, a two-story compatible outbuilding which serves as the garage and home office. The Currier and Carriage house are both part of Russell Versaci’s newest home collection, Pennywise Factory-Built Homes. The company says these homes, authentic in historic style, are cost-effective, quick to build and green. The Collection includes two sets of designs: the Simple Farmhouse Portfolio and the Simple Cottage Sampler. The Simple Farmhouse Portfolio homes range from 1,600 to 3,200 square feet and offer compatible outbuildings. The Simple Cottage Sampler homes range from 650 to 800 square feet and make for ideal guest cottages, studios and home offices. Russell Versaci, an award-winning residential architect, is a champion of the use of factory fabrication as a way to make high-quality traditional homes accessible and affordable.

Warrior Group Moves into Nation’s Capital

From Virginia the Washington Business Journal reports that Dallas-based Warrior Group, which builds modular housing complexes on military bases, has opened a Washington-area office. Warrior is one of the largest women and minority-owned construction companies in the country. Company CEO Gail Warrior told the paper the new office will help the company support government clients and monitor legislation that can impact the industry. The company’s projects have included housing complexes at Fort Bliss, Fort Hood and Fort Carson.

Dow Closes Higher

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher Tuesday, rising five points or .05 percent. Most manufactured housing stocks experienced modest losses or gains. The biggest movers included Equity Lifestyle Properties, down 1.6 percent and UMH Properties, down one percent. The Manufactured Housing Composite Value was off a third of one percent.

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