MHMSM.com presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.
We begin with these stories:
FROM PHILLY.COM comes an article about a coming shift in U.S. housing policy from one favoring ownership to one favoring apartments. FBR Capital Markets’ financial policy group indicated in a report to clients Monday that Congress wants Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and whatever ends up replacing them to invest more in financing apartment building construction and sales. The paper says the government’s withdrawal from the dream of home ownership for almost everyone may be bad news for mass-market homebuilders and families trying to buy a first house.
WARREN BUFFETT appeared at Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women conference in Washington Tuesday and said Wall Street is like a church that benefits society, then falters by operating a gambling venture on the side. “It’s like a church that’s running raffles on the weekend.” Buffett has also faulted Wall Street for excessive bets on U.S. housing. “People have a propensity to gamble, and it gets made easier and easier for them,” Buffett said.
Manufactured Homes in the News
AGAIN WE ASK, why is it necessary to include the type of home in a report? The Orlando Sentinel ran this headline Monday: “Recalled vacuum cleaner sparks fire in Palm Bay mobile home.” The story had everything to do with the Hoover vacuum cleaner that had been recalled because of a malfunctioning power switch, but little to do with what type of home the vacuum was being operated in. This is another instance where the media unfairly implies negative judgment on the quality and safety of manufactured housing.
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR was recently published in the Palm Beach Post on the ability of manufactured homes to withstand severe storms and the insurance rates charged. The author, identified as Bill Wood, explained that after 1994, construction and installation codes were changed drastically and that after the storms of 2004 and 2005, the Bureau of Mobile Home Construction, housed at the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, assessed the damage to hundreds of manufactured homes. “They discovered that not one modern manufactured home was structurally damaged,” the letter read. The author challenged how Citizens Property Insurance Corp. charged for premiums on modern manufactured homes. Wood explained, “I stayed in my mobile home, built in 2005, during [Hurricane] Wilma; I had zero damage from wind that I was told reached 110 mph. I have a comprehensive Citizens policy. When I informed my insurance agent that I had storm shutters for my unit and should get a credit, I was told that shutters mean nothing on mobile homes. So if a window gets blown in and interior water damage is extensive, these shutters would not have protected this property? Rates on manufactured homes should be based on year of construction and installation.”
FROM TORONTO, the Globe and Mail reports that British Columbia’s largest investment fund is making a $487-million wager on the manufactured home sector, offering a large premium to take over Calgary’s Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities Inc. However, the paper says that may not be enough to secure the unique property and a bidding war could erupt for Parkbridge’s cross-country portfolio of 80 properties. The British Columbia Investment Management Corp., which manages about $80-billion on behalf of the province and its public-sector pension funds, is among those seeking the predictable cash flow of income-generating properties. It’s the same investment logic that has driven investors toward apartment buildings, an asset class that held its value through the recession.
“More Manufactured Homes in the News continues…”
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Now, back to our stories.
FROM MAINE, SeaCoast Online reports that Republican gubernatorial challenger John Stephen was expected to tour modular home manufacturer New England Homes Tuesday. According to his spokesman, Greg Moore, Stephen was to meet with employees and the owner “to discuss the current business environment in New Hampshire.” In a statement released Monday, Moore said when current Governor John Lynch took office in 2004, New England Homes employed more than 400 people and the payroll has since dropped to 130.
FROM RHODE ISLAND, WDTN reports that Patricia Pollock turned to the station after getting a notice to vacate her home at the Laws Mobile Home Park. Twenty-seven families there received a notice from the City of Riverside to vacate the premises. City officials said the notice came after community property owner Kim Knoppe failed to pay more than $300,000 in property taxes and water bills. Water service to the community will be terminated on November 15th unless the bill is paid in full.
FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, a judge in Thermal, California, says a landlord must restore power to a Coachella Valley community where residents have been without electricity or air conditioning in the desert heat for three weeks. Riverside Superior Court Judge John Evans granted an emergency temporary restraining order Friday to make the owners and operators of Hernandez Mobile Home Park repair an electrical box that burned up on Sept. 8. The judge also ordered the owners to make repairs to the sewage system.
FROM WASHINGTON, the Woodinville Weekly reports that the Northshore Fire Department conducted a pilot program on Saturday, September 25, to install free smoke alarms in three manufactured home communities in the fire district. The 10-year lithium battery smoke alarms were received through a grant from the Washington State Department of Health. Of the 100 homes visited, 34 smoke alarms were installed, and batteries replaced in existing smoke alarms where needed. Each home received a packet of fire safety information.
FINALLY, this one’s hard to believe, but according to the Associated Press, firefighters in South Fulton, Tennessee let a factory-built home burn down because the owner didn’t pay a $75 yearly fee for fire protection. Jeff Vowell, city manager of South Fulton, told the Union City Daily Messenger that the city fire department let Gene Cranick’s home burn last week because he didn’t pay the subscription common in many rural areas.
In Business and Market News…
SUN COMMUNITIES, INC., a real estate investment trust that owns and operates manufactured housing and recreational vehicle communities, announces the date for its third quarter 2010 earnings results release and conference call. The Company will release its results on Thursday, October 28, 2010, prior to the opening of the market. A conference call to discuss third quarter operating results will be held on October 28 at 11:00 A.M. ET.
STOCKS ADVANCED Tuesday with the Dow closing up 190 points. Most manufactured home related stocks also closed higher. Drew Industries was up almost six percent, Skyline Corp was up 3.6 percent and UMH Properties was up two and a half percent. The manufactured housing composite value was up just shy of one percent.
“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. G’day!”