U.S. Conventional Housing Starts Rise, Building Permits Hit New High, Manufactured Housing Insight

Still from video posted further below.

While the manufactured housing industry is struggling at sales levels about ¼th that of the most recent high from 1998, conventional housing has building permits indicate a twelve year high.


  • single-family homebuilding rebounded in October and permits for future home construction jumped to a more than 12-year high.
  • The data pointed to strength in the housing market amid lower mortgage rates.
  • Housing starts increased 3.8% to 1.314 million units last month, with single-family construction rising for a fifth straight month and activity in the volatile multi-family sector rebounding solidly, the Commerce Department said.

A report from the U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday also showed an increase in home completions and the stock of homes under construction.

Other housing data are shown in the graphics from various sources as shown on this report.

To see this graphic full size, click to download, then open.

This is an important report for future homebuyers since one of the largest deterrents to entering the market right now is the lack of robust housing options,” said Bill Banfield, executive vice president of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans in Detroit.



Housing starts increased 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.314 million units last month, said CNBC, with single-family construction rising for a fifth straight month and activity in the volatile multi-family sector rebounding solidly.

  • Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts increasing to a pace of 1.320 million units in October.
  • Housing starts advanced 8.5% on a year-on-year basis in October.
  • Building permits surged 5.0% to a rate of 1.461 million units in October, the highest level since May 2007.
  • Permits were driven by the single-family housing segment, which increased 3.2% to the highest level since August 2007.


To see this graphic full size, click to download, then open.

By contrast with more costly conventional housing is the most proven form of affordable housing in the U.S., HUD Code manufactured homes.  While conventional housing is data provided by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), based upon IBTS statistics collected for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

To see full size, click to download and then open.
Per research by Zillow, a two year snapshot reflects that interest in manufactured homes declined. So much for MHI’s claims of “momentum?” To see full size, click to download, then open.

A survey Monday showed confidence among homebuilders hovering near a 1-1/2-year high in November. Conventional builders complained about “a lack of labor and regulatory constraints,” adding that “lot shortages remain a serious problem, particularly among custom builders.”

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is at 3.75%, well below its peak of 4.94% in November 2018, according to data from Freddie Mac.


To see this graphic full size, click to download, then open.


MHProNews Analysis

It doesn’t take a genius to see that conventional housing is rising while manufactured homes are overall down on a year-over-year basis.

Despite the evidence of the data, the corporate and staff ‘leaders’ of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) strive to paint a picture otherwise, often pointing to their ‘new class of homes’ which they recently dubbed “CrossModTM Homes.” Who does that program benefit?

Isn’t it odd that since that ‘new class of homes’ scheme was touted in MHI’s video claiming “momentum” in late 2018, that the industry’s new home shipments have overall declined?

To see full size, click to download, and then open.

Even MHI’s and Fannie Mae’s recent statements indicate that the program is not successful, something that MHProNews warned against in 2017.

Manufactured Housing’s “Trojan Horse”

As MHProNews has previously noted, comparing RV shipment data from 1998 to manufactured housing from the same year, RVs used to trail manufactured homes by a 3 to 2 ratio. Today, RVs outsell manufactured homes by some 5 to 1. Yet manufactured homes are ‘affordable housing’ – a necessity – while much of the RV industry is as the name implies, recreational, a ‘luxury’ item.

It all begs the question. How is it possible that the HUD Code manufactured home industry has slumped to such a low level? Are we to believe it is mere accident?  Restocking? Fewer FEMA units ordered? Since when does the industry’s fortunes rise or fall on FEMA? Don’t retailers destock and restock on a regular basis, as part of the course of doing business?

To learn more on such valid queries, see the related reports, below the byline, notices, and offers.

mas kovach mhpronews shopping with soheyla .jp

Get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading 

get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates


That’s your second installment today of “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing,” © your runaway #1 biggest and most-read professional information resource, where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.

Soheyla is a co-founder and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. Connect with us on LinkedIn here and here.


Subscribe to Our Newsletter



Related Reports:

Click the image/text box below to access relevant, related information.

Surprising 21st Mortgage President/CEO Tim Williams Statements – “Lending Trends in Manufactured Housing,” Fact-Check, Analysis

Unique Opportunities for More Competitive Lending for All HUD Code Manufactured Homes

“White Hat” Manufactured Home Community Operator, MH Retailer Sound-Off on FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Duty to Serve Manufactured Home Lending

Investor Alert – Manufactured Housing Institute Paltering Concerns, Fannie Mae’s Duty to Serve, plus Manufactured Housing Investing, Stocks Updates

Bringing Financial Balance and Increased Equity to Manufactured Housing Independents, Homeowners, Other Stakeholders, Including Taxpayers

Saturday Satire and Executive Summaries for Manufactured Housing Professionals, Investors, Advocates, Researchers, Public Officials, and Investigators


Cavco, Sun, ELS Public Statements Point to Problems for MHI, Fannie, Freddie – Public Officials, Investor, Advocates, Professionals Alerts

Clayton Homes Exposé – Wall Street Journal, MHVillage, MHInsider, and Statistical Surveys Contradict Clayton Claims – Evidence, Fact Check, Analysis

Publicly Traded Manufactured Housing Firms – Which Source Do You Trust More? Why? MHI, MHARR, Others

mas kovach mhpronews shopping with soheyla .jp

Get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading 

get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates

Scroll to Top