Manufactured Housing in the News at noon 100823 presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

THE AGE OF THE McMANSION is apparently over. Some towns have passed ordinances against the lot-engulfing giants, but the end may have come from within as a result of changing consumer preferences and a new age of prudence. As the article points out, a recent survey found just nine percent said their ideal home size was over 3,200 square feet. Meanwhile, more than one-third said their ideal size was less than 2,000 feet. This appears to be true even in Texas. The article quoted Diane Cheatham, owner of Urban Edge Developers in Dallas, who commented that the average size of home they’re building is 2,200 square feet, down from 2,500 in 2005 — which was considered small for Dallas back then. If the trend continues, there may be even less room at home. The average home size in the 1960s was 1,200 square feet.

WHILE THE FUTURE of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are debated in Washington and the administration discusses taking a new look at boosting rental housing, a Wall Street Journal Market Watch article Friday pointed out that reducing the role of Fannie and Freddie may also have ramifications for the rental market. In the article, Michael Stegman, director of policy and housing at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, pointed out that a substantial segment of rental housing, known as multi-family homes, are held in portfolio by the GSEs.

Manufactured Housing in the News…

THE TELEGRAPH HERALD in Dubuque, Iowa ran a story Friday about just how difficult it can be to get a manufactured home loan. It tells the story of Mary Focht, pre-approved for a loan for a manufactured home, then turned down on the day of closing. Focht told the paper she had a job as a practical nurse, has good credit and was willing to put 30 percent down. The paper notes only a handful of financial institutions in the tri-state area offer manufactured home loans and noted that neither Fannie Mae nor Freddie Mac would buy the loans from the funding institution. Of two credit unions surveyed, one hadn’t offered manufactured home loans since 1997 and the other, DuTrac Community Credit Union, does offer loans and had not experienced losses. Lois Parris, president of the Manufactured Home Owners Association of America said that organization is pushing for changes across varying state laws to make manufactured home loans a better bet for bank lenders. At Alpine Park, the site of Focht’s would-be home, financing for half of the residents has been provided in-house. The manager told the paper none of those loans had gone sour.

THE INDEX JOURNAL in Greenwood, SC ran a story Friday headlined More people finding manufactured housing the way to go. The paper reported retailers, both nationally and locally, are seeing big sales gains, and that manufactured homes made up nearly a quarter of all new homes sold for less than $200,000. Bobby Alberts, a retail-zone vice president with Clayton Homes, told the paper that in the first six months of 2010, Greenwood saw sales double from what they were last year.

ANOTHER STORY ran this week about the increased sales of manufactured homes, this one from the Sun News in Myrtle Beach, NC. As the story points out this is despite the common difficulty in obtaining financing. Pete Hughes, Jr., the owner of H & H Builders in Conway, told the paper most buyers are looking to spend less than $70,000 and sales are up about 15 percent from last year. As the article points out, H & H used to build on site, but has concentrated on manufactured homes since the site-built market faltered.

THEY SAY THERE’S A SILVER LINING to every cloud, and the National Association of Home Builders seemed to have found one when they reported that housing affordability remained near its highest level nationwide for the sixth consecutive month since the series was first compiled nearly two decades ago. More than seventy percent of all new and existing homes sold in the second quarter of 2010 were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400. Syracuse, NY, was the most affordable major housing market in the country, edging out Indianapolis-Carmel, IN, which had held the top ranking for nearly five years. In Syracuse, 97.2 percent of all homes sold were affordable to households earning the area’s median family income of $64,300.

New York continued to lead the nation as its least affordable major housing market during the second quarter of 2010.

THIS IN FROM BUSINESSWIRE: Vermont is using technology to reduce the cost of government by introducing an online registry for manufactured home communities.

As of this month, owners of manufactured home communities in that state are able to complete a required annual registration online. Vermont’s 245 manufactured home communities provide information annually to the state and pay $9.00 for each occupied lot.

PUBLICLY-OWNED real estate trust UMH Properties announced Friday that it will be presenting at the Rodman & Renshaw Annual Global Investment Conference on September 15 at the New York Palace Hotel in New York City. Eugene W. Landy, President and CEO, and Michael P. Landy, Vice President of Investments, will present an overview on UMH Properties, Inc., followed by a question and answer session.  UMH’s presentation will be available at the company’s website (

“Up next, MARKET NEWS”

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

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In Market News…

MARKETS WERE DOWN AGAIN on Friday with the Dow losing 57 points, but the Manufactured Housing Composite Value ran counter, moving up 1.2 percent. Leading the way was Skyline Corp, up 2.5 percent to close at $18.60 a share and Drew Industries, up 2.3 percent to close at $19.44. No stock on our watch list had a share price decline amounting to more than a percentage point.

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 writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

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