Manufactured Housing in the News 100903

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

We begin with these stories:

SEPTEMBER IS THE FINAL MONTH for the SBA’s Floorplan Financing Program unless Congress acts to renew it. In order to extend the program, a bill currently under consideration, the Dealer Floor Plan Program Extension and Improvement Act of 2010, must be passed. Introduced in the House of Representatives by Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Fred Upton (R-MI), the act would extend the program for five years and address some retailer concerns. An INdustry in Focus report entitled Floor Plan Program is available at mhmsm.com, including links for contacting your congressmen and women and U.S Senators by September 30.

FOLLOWING A SHARP DROP in the months immediately after expiration of the home buyer tax credit, pending home sales have risen modestly, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The Pending Home Sales Index rose 5.2 percent to 79.4 based on contracts signed in July from a downwardly revised 75.5 in June, but remains 19.1 percent below July 2009 when it was 98.1. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun [the u sounds like the oo in foot] says, “Affordability could reach a generational high in the second half of this year because of rock-bottom mortgage interest rates, helped partly by the Fed’s very accommodative monetary policy. The loan underwriting standards are tighter, but home buyers can improve their chances of getting a loan by staying well within their budget.”

U.S. HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced Wednesday an agreement with the nation’s top mortgage lenders to offer selected state and local governments, and nonprofit organizations, a “first look” or right of first refusal to purchase foreclosed homes before making these properties available to private investors. In collaboration with national servicers Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, the First Look program is intended to give communities participating in HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program a brief exclusive opportunity to purchase bank-owned properties in certain neighborhoods so these homes can either be rehabilitated, rented, resold or demolished. “This groundbreaking agreement will help rebuild neighborhoods that have been struggling with blight and declining home values due to foreclosures,” says Donovan.

ALSO FROM HUD – approximately $110 million in grants will be made available to help eliminate dangerous lead-based paint from lower income homes and to protect young children from lead poisoning.  The grants to States and local governments are being offered through HUD’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Programs.

“Up next, Manufactured Housing in the News”

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.

Manufactured Housing in the News…

FROM SANTA MARIA we find the new manufactured home community that almost was. The Times reports that a proposal for almost 300 single-family homes is moving forward to the City Council with a favorable recommendation from the city Planning Commission. The property was originally planned as a 375-unit manufactured home community. Those plans were shelved and in their place is a new plan that is expected to include 296 single-family homes, a 2.3-acre community park and trails for walking and biking.

FROM ELOY, ARIZONA the Dispatch reports that residents of Buckeye Mobile Home Park are angry after being told the park will close at the end of the month. Moreover, a city ordinance prohibits homes more than three years old from being relocated inside its borders, leaving the only alternative of trying to sell or moving it outside the city. According to the report, residents received a three-sentence letter that read: “The Buckeye Trailer Park is closing September 30, 2010. You need to arrange for other housing now. Thank you all for your time spent here.” Dave Meunier at the Arizona Office of Manufactured Housing was quoted in the article as saying some residents may qualify for funds that could help with the relocation costs.

Modular Housing in the News…

FROM PENNSYLVANIA comes a follow-up report in the Daily Item regarding modular builder Penn Lyon Homes. The company is not going out of business as previously reported, but a lack of production orders is forcing a layoff of 90 percent of its work force. Company founder Roger Lyons told the paper the company will keep a few office workers to handle phone calls and service orders. Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association Executive Vice President Mary Gaiski was quoted in the report as saying there are about 40 such companies in Pennsylvania, and all have had to downsize in some way in the past year.

In Market News…

THURSDAY Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, and for yet another week, fixed-rate mortgages reached record lows, as did the 5-year adjustable rate in this survey. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.32 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending September 2, 2010, down from last week when it averaged 4.36 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.08 percent. Amy Crews Cutts, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, added that house prices appear to be firming. Home prices rose 2.3 percent between the first and second quarter of this year, reaching the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the S&P/Case Shiller National Home Price Index.

THE DOW ENDED UP 50 points on Thursday to close at 10,320. Down more than two percent, Palm Harbor Homes was the only declining stock on our watch list today. The big mover by percentages was penny stock All American Group, up more than 35 percent to close at 23 cents per share. Up more than two percent were Barnes Group, Skyline Corp and UMH Properties. The manufactured housing composite value was up just over 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. Gday!

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