Tipster Provides ‘Secret’ ‘For Members Only’ Document-But Why? Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Monthly Economic Report for August 2023 – Data Released in October 2023; plus MHVille Markets Update


According to informed third-party sources, ‘rank and file’ manufactured home pros, managers, investors, and others are among the regular readers on MHProNews. Some entered manufactured housing with high hopes, only to see those hopes blunted. The ‘view from the trenches’ in MHVille is often different than manufactured housing ‘leaders’ project. It is difficult to imagine good reasons for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to feel the need to hide potentially useful research, as well as manufactured home production information, from the general public. As what follows from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Association of Realtors (NAR), or the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) illustrates, others housing trade groups publicly share their information. They want it widely known, not hidden behind a “members only” paywall. But in the case of MHI, as the screen capture below reflects, MHI hides the data that others provide to the general public freely. In Part II of this report, a source linked with the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Executives Council (MHEC) – provided MHProNews that Arlington, VA based trade association’s version of the monthly data that other housing trade groups freely provide to the public. Most, but not all, MHEC members make up what is known in manufactured housing industry (MHVille) circles as the Federated States. That ‘secret’ information from MHI in Part II from MHI is formatted differently than what MHARR produces. Some will like MHI’s format, others will prefer MHARRs. But what MHI produces is quite similar to the format used by the U.S. Census Bureau, which also periodically shares their information to general public without charge. Meaning, there is something odd about the fact that MHI ‘hides’ or keeps ‘secret’ for ‘members only’ information the public can get anyway. But when someone goes to the MHI website and tries to access that information that is free with MHARR and the Census Bureau, MHI has it hidden behind a member only login. One question is – why?


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Manufactured Home Pro News (MHProNews) advised leaders and associated attorneys in writing about 2 days in advance that this report was planned. MHI was given an opportunity to respond to prior reports, and to weigh in on the plan for this report. They exercised instead their constitutional right to remain silent. Perhaps that is to keep from possible self-contradictory and/or incriminating remarks as legal issues in manufactured housing heats up? Whatever the motivation, they have once more declined comments, though it was not so many years ago that MHI was asking to weigh in on industry issues here on MHProNews. What’s changed there?

Because MHI won’t answer the question, MHProNews asked Bing’s AI system to explain possible motivations for MHI’s seemingly odd behavior. That will be Part I of this report.

Part II, as noted, is the “members only” production information from MHI as provided by a tipster.

Part III of this article is a recap of information from MHARR that covers the same timeframe and data that MHI has presented.

Part IV of this article is additional information with more MHProNews analysis and commentary.

On yet another day when manufactured housing connected equities broadly declined, Part V is our Daily Business News on MHProNews markets recap that includes the ‘market moving’ headlines from left-leaning CNN and right-leaning Newsmax.

Before jumping into the data that follows, it is helpful to know what the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) via an X-post (formerly Twitter). Note, that NAHB does not HIDE data, as MHI has been doing for quite some time. Rather, NAHB publicizes their data.

Not only does NAHB not hide their numbers, they arrange to report their data via news interviews such as the one in the example below.


From the National Association of Realtors (NAR), are the following X-posts (previously known as “tweets). Note that NAR breaks down the information they provide in several ways that gives them an opportunity to communicate information to various market segments (first time buyers, investors, cash buyers, etc.).


Note that NAR’s Lawrence Yun is practically begging for more housing starts.  Again, the information is broken down in a manner that makes it easy for certain groups to relate to the information.


MHProNews provided some information on the above from NAR earlier this week as provided by the Wall Street Journal. That report unpacks what the data could mean for manufactured housing professionals, IF certain corrective steps were taken.


Wall Street Journal – Conventional Housing Sales May Hit 2008 Lows – Higher Costs, Interest Rates Open Door for Opportunities for Manufactured Housing; plus MHVille Stocks, Market Updates


Bing AI was asked about MHI’s use of X or Twitter. Its initial remarks were incorrect. After a follow up by MHProNews that pointed out the specific errors, Bing AI said the following.

BingsAIchatAnswerImage-MHProNewsYou are also right that @MHIUpdate has not posted any tweets since October 7, 2020. According to their Twitter profile, they are the official account of the MHI, but they have not been active for almost three years3The latest tweet from @MHIUpdate was about their 2020 Annual Meeting, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic4.

I’m sorry that I did not find the most recent and accurate information about the MHI and their tweets on manufactured home sales. It seems that their web search results are outdated or irrelevant. I will try to refine my response by using other sources of information.

According to their website, the MHI publishes monthly economic reports on their website that include data on manufactured home shipments, production, and sales5However, the latest report available on their website is for June 2021, which was posted on August 6, 20216The report showed that 10,579 new manufactured homes were shipped in June 2021, an increase of 13.5 percent compared to June 20206.”

Part of that is classic. Per Bing: “It seems that their [i.e.: the Manufactured Housing Institute or MHI] web search results are outdated or irrelevant.”


Part I

Because MHI won’t answer such questions directly, MHProNews asked Bing AI Chat function the following question.

> “The National Association of Realtors (NAR), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) each produce monthly information that is made public. So, does the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) provide the public with such housing data information? If not, why not?”

Bing’s response is as follows.

BingsAIchatAnswerImage-MHProNewsHello, this is Bing. I can help you find some information about the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their housing data information.

According to their website, MHI is the only national trade organization representing all segments of the factory-built housing industry1They provide their members with exclusive research and data about manufactured and modular housing, such as maps, reports, and policy updates2. However, they do not seem to publish monthly information for the public like the other associations you mentioned.

One possible reason for this is that MHI relies on the Manufactured Housing Survey (MHS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)3The MHS produces monthly regional estimates of the average sales price for new manufactured homes and more detailed annual estimates including selected characteristics of new manufactured homes3. MHI may use this data as a source for their own analysis and advocacy, but they do not share it publicly on their website.

I hope this answers your question. If you want to learn more about MHI or manufactured housing, you can visit their website1 or check out some of the web search results I found for you4. Have a nice day! 😊

Again, for first time readers and those who have not yet had the “aha” moment, Bing said (italics added by MHProNews): “MHI may use this data as a source for their own analysis and advocacy, but they do not share it publicly on their website.”
In a follow up question, MHProNews asked Bing the inquiry shown below.
Bing’s response was as follows.

BingsAIchatAnswerImage-MHProNewsYou are right, the Census Bureau information is publicly available on their website. You can also access the monthly data from MHARR, which is based on the same source. However, MHI may have some reasons for keeping their information behind a members only login, such as:

  • They may want to provide more value to their members by offering exclusive access to their analysis and insights on the manufactured housing industry.
  • They may want to protect their intellectual property and avoid unauthorized use or distribution of their data and reports.
  • They may want to maintain a competitive edge over other associations or organizations that may have different agendas or interests in the industry.

I cannot speak for MHI or their logic, but these are some possible explanations. If you are interested in joining MHI or learning more about their membership benefits, you can visit their website1 or contact them directly. Thank you for your curiosity and have a great day! 😊

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