Home Purchases Increase to “High End of Miserable”
Bloomberg reports that sales of new homes rose in September for a second month. According to a report from the U.S. Commerce Department, purchases increased 6.6 percent to a 307,000 annual rate that exceeded the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The news outlet indicates demand is hovering near the record-low 282,000 reached in May. Aaron Smith, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania told the paper sales are “still only at the high end of miserable.”
Mortgage Applications Up
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey Wednesday for the week ending October 22, finding an increase in application volume. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 3.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 3.1 percent compared with the previous week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.25 percent from 4.34 percent, with points increasing to 1.0 from 0.81 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. The 30-year contract rate matches the rate from the week ending October 1, which was the second lowest ever observed in this survey.
News at Noon Available on iTunes
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Exhibitors Lining Up for 2011 Louisville MH Show
It’s official! The 2011 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is returning to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky January 12, 13 and 14, 2011. MHMSM.com publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach says presenting manufactured homes on a stage like the Louisville show is crucially important to conveying the story of manufactured homes to the public. “Homebuyers need to know about the quality of product created by the manufactured housing industry today,” Kovach says. “The Louisville show is an ideal stage and I can’t think of a more important cause for the industry than supporting the event.” For more information, contact Dennis Hill at 770-587-3350.
Employee Celebrates Forty Years at Chief Industries
From Nebraska, the Aurora News Register ran a feature on Rex Nissen who, after serving four years in the Air Force, showed up at the site of a construction project on the northwest edge of Aurora looking for work in 1970. He was hired by Chief Industries to help build the new BonnaVilla Homes plant, a 50,000-sq.-ft. facility in the Aurora Industrial Park. Today Nissen proudly claims to be the only person who has worked with the manufactured housing company for its entire 40-year history. Nissen told the paper he has no plans to retire. The company has built mobile, modular, manufactured and custom homes.
Residents Get to Keep Homes on Flood Plains
From Texas the Little Elm Journal Star reports that residents have won in a battle over placing manufactured homes near a lake. A recent public hearing regarding four requests for specific-use permits for manufactured homes resulted in an ordinance specifying all existing additions on the property are declared legal non-conforming uses in relationship to the zoning ordinance. In 2005, the Army Corps of Engineers told residents they were living on the Corps flood plains and were asked to remove the structures.
Modular Senior Complex Opens
From the Garden State, NJ Today reports that dozens of South Amboy residents plus city and county officials attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the Robert Noble Manor Thursday to mark the opening of the city’s third senior housing complex. The 37,000-square-foot modular building will provide affordable housing for low- and moderate-income senior citizens. According to the article, construction on the building began last fall and includes 40 one-bedroom units with parking, walk-in showers, a meeting room and a community garden.
Cubed House Turning Heads
While Census Data in the United States shows home sizes are on the decline, a curious home in British Columbia, Canada has them all beat. According to the Westcoaster, something called a micro “cube” home is turning heads. Known as twelve-cubed, the homes are a 12-foot-by-12-foot, two-story, high-tech home that includes a washer-dryer and dishwasher and costs about $35,000. In addition, the article suggests that – unlike other small homes – because the Twelve Cube units are on a foundation, they can be mortgaged.
MHARR Says Regulators are Out of Touch
In a recent Industry Voices guest column, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) opines that HUD’s continuing unnecessary and costly impositions on the manufactured housing industry and consumers reflect a gross disconnect between the federal program and the people it is supposed to serve. With consumers of affordable housing facing unprecedented obstacles obtaining financing and with the small businesses that constitute the heart and core of the manufactured housing industry struggling every day to survive, MHARR says HUD regulators have demonstrated once again that they remain woefully out of touch with – and insensitive to – the struggles of the federal program stakeholders. Read the full text at mhmsm.com Industry Voices guest blog. http://www.mhmsm.com/blogs/industryvoices/regulators-show-they-are-insensitive-and-out-of-touch/
South Carolina Looks to Fill Vacant Urban Lots with Manufactured Homes
Mark Dillard, Executive Director at the Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina (MHISC) uses a photo of a vacant lot near his office, just blocks from the state Capitol to demonstrate the potential to place manufactured homes on vacant urban lots throughout the state. In the state capital of Columbia, Dillard says there’s already a trend of bringing condos and retail downtown, and the addition of more moderately priced workforce housing in the form of manufactured homes makes sense. It’s just one example of using manufactured homes to provide much needed housing in urban areas. Find out more in a comprehensive report at mhmsm.com: http://www.mhmsm.com/blogs/industryvoices/some-say-the-future-for-manufactured-homes-is-downtown/
Markets Mixed, Cavco, All American Gain
The Dow closed down 43 points on Wednesday, representing a recovery from performance earlier in the day. The Manufactured Housing Composite Value, however, was up 1.2 percent. Leading the way was All American Group, up more than seven percent and Cavco Industries, finishing off the day more than two percentage points higher. Nobility Homes, Palm Harbor Homes, Sun Communities and Universal Forest Products all closed modestly lower.