Significant Drop in Housing Sales, Splits Experts on Cause-Effect



CNBC and the National Association of Realtors are among the sources that report a drop in resale activity for December of 2018.

Here are some significant bullets and pull quotes for factory-built housing professionals to consider.

The latest decline is harder to explain. Perhaps it is the decline in consumer confidence that’s been occurring in the latter half of 2018,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors. The latest numbers do not reflect the lower, current mortgage rates compared to the November figures, so it’s really harder to explain.”

To put this in context, the rate for existing home sales is about 50 times that of HUD Code manufactured homes. So don’t let the MHI or related powers that be spin this fact.

This weakness is certainly due to the sharp home price gains along with the rise in mortgage rates,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, per CNBC.


While positive demographics and a solid job market would normally offset this relatively modest rise in mortgage rates, it’s been about 10 years since mortgage rates have been as high as they were at the November peak – suggesting that there is a larger share of current homeowners who feel they are ‘locked in’ at a lower mortgage rate … reducing the number of them who would be looking for a home at a higher mortgage rate, said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide, wrote Diana Olick.

The partial federal shutdown doesn’t factor in here, looking backwards, but it may going forward. “Looking ahead to 2019, expect weaker existing-homes sales as the new year ushered in a government shutdown and worsening economic uncertainty,” said Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia.

Learn more about the cause and effect of manufactured housing’s slide, at this link here.

Affordability, rates, and a shift in uncertainty are among the debated points.  But each of these items – headwinds in conventional housing – could be used by manufactured home professionals to attract more buyers.  At various times in manufactured housing’s history, a drop in conventional housing would lead to a rise in manufactured home sales.

So why did manufactured housing slip before conventional housing?





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