Weekly Mortgage Applications Reflect Rapid Homebuying Recovery, plus Manufactured Home Investing, Stock Updates

DowJones5.20.2020ManufacturedHomeStockUpdatesBroaderMarketSnapshotLeft-of-center CNBC reported today a surge in mortgage applications.

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HousingWire issued a similar report. Both sets of insights, with week-over-week data is found further below.

This is occurring as dozens of states are ‘reopening’ from various degrees of partial shutdowns that have sidelined over 36 million Americans in about 2 months that previously had jobs.

What the data says and what analysts observations are about the latest are the featured focus found further below.


Quotes That Shed Light…EdwardSnowdenQuoteIfYouEverWonderWhereWeAreAtDystopianScaleNormalBelieveGovernmentSpyingOnYouCrazyToBelieveTheyAreNotManufacturedHomeProNewsLogo


The quote by President Obama is often agreed to by people on either side of that left-right media divide. Not only in politics, but also with respect to manufactured housing, there is a need to challenge the narrative spun by the so-called Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies. Not only must the prevailing narrative be challenged, it must be repeatedly challenged, because efforts at manipulation and propaganda are arguably ongoing too.


Understanding media bias is useful to sifting through possibly hidden agendas.






Headlines from left-of-center CNN Business

  • Shut down again
  • Robots stations assemble vehicle components at the Ford Motor Co. Chicago Assembly Plant in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Monday, June 24, 2019. Ford invested $1 billion in Chicago Assembly and Stamping plants and added 500 jobs to expand capacity for the production of all-new Ford Explorer, Explorer Hybrid, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator.
  • Days after two Ford plans reopened, they were apbruptly closed again due to Covid-19
  • The US already had a housing crisis. Covid-19 has only made it worse
  • Sears’ survival is now in doubt
  • LIVE UPDATES Another 2.4 million jobless claims are expected tomorrow
  • Is the bear market over? Wall Street isn’t so sure
  • ANALYSIS Asia’s richest man is trying to build the next global tech giant
  • Microsoft Windows is getting an Apple-like upgrade
  • Apple offers a faster way to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask
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  • NASA’s head of human spaceflight abruptly resigns, citing a ‘mistake’
  • CVS Health is returning millions in coronavirus relief funds
  • Why the ‘CBS Evening News’ failed to air for a chunk of America
  • Matt Lauer responds to rape allegation from Ronan Farrow’s ‘Catch & Kill’
  • ORLANDO, UNITED STATES – MARCH 19, 2020: Customers rush to purchase toilet paper at a Target store during the panic shopping. People stock up on food and personal hygiene products in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • As you shop for the apocalypse, stores are paying a price
  • A voting booth sits at a polling station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Wisconsin proceeded with its primary on Tuesday and voters defied stay-at-home orders to wait as long as two hours to cast ballots in the first state to hold an in-person election since the coronavirus pandemic sent Americans into their homes.
  • Trump will lose in a landslide because of the economy, new election model predicts
  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 27: A pedestrian walks past the boarded up Disney Store on Michigan Avenue on March 27, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Nearly all of the stores along this stretch of Michigan Avenue known as the Magnificent Mile have been closed but, only a few have been boarded up, after the governor issued a stay-at-home order in an attempt to curtail the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the city.
  • Walt Disney’s grandson slams company’s exec bonuses while workers are furloughed
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  • Clothing company pivots to masks to stay in business
  • He switched from making clothes to making masks
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  • Costco starts requiring customers to wear masks
  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK, November 1, 2019:
  • Dawn Ostroff photographed at the Spotify headquarters in New York City.
  • For Spotify, music might not actually be the key to success
  • Joe Rogan’s podcast is now exclusively on Spotify
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  • The pandemic is changing how we stream music
  • You can now make Spotify playlists for your pet

Headlines from right-of-center Fox Business

  • Stocks rally as all 50 states partially reopen
  • Connecticut became the latest state to begin reopening from coronavirus lockdowns, allowing retail, offices, outdoor restaurants and outdoor recreation activities to resume.
  • Oil prices slide off highs despite unexpected inventory decrease
  • Fed officials say ‘unprecedented’ economic turndown on the horizon
  • Ford plant reopens after brief shutdowns linked to virus infections
  • NEWS
  • Pence in Florida as coronavirus lockdowns relax, economy reopens
  • Pork plant reopens as America’s meat supply chain nears snapping point
  • Huge number of workers retire earlier than planned — and that figure could soon rise
  • SEC commissioners: Why we may make permanent change to this small biz rule
  • NEWS
  • Big money investors fear 2nd coronavirus wave will derail stocks
  • Coronavirus has Citi considering moving offices to suburbs: Report
  • Politicians in strictest coronavirus lockdown states still getting paid
  • Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s Hamptons childhood summer home for sale
  • Mark Cuban offers help with PPP loans to small businesses
  • Large sections of this state’s economy decimated from coronavirus pandemic
  • NFL player sues airline after allegedly being sexually assaulted during flight
  • Apple TV+ turns up the heat on rival Netflix by buying up these movies
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  • Increasingly vital mass transit option facing ruin amid coronavirus
  • Kobe Bryant’s wife will inherit his massive stake in startup, founder says
  • Apple, Google release coronavirus contact-tracing technology for apps
  • Thousands in Michigan evacuated as river dams break, flood communities
  • Tom Brady, LeBron James join Apple TV+ for ‘Greatness Code’ sports docuseries
  • Two detained in Mass. for helping former Nissan exec escape Japan: Feds
  • Is mortgage forbearance an option? Here’s what to know
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  • Trump says he may host G7 in person, after earlier canceling
  • United Airlines, Clorox roll out new cleaning procedures in airports, planes
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  • C. Penney reopens dozens more stores days after filing for bankruptcy protection
  • Kroger workers don’t need to repay coronavirus bonuses, grocer blames ‘payroll error’
  • ‘It’s not fair’: Salon owner demands to reopen as curve, and business, flatten
  • Hobby Lobby sues Christie’s over sale of Mesopotamian tablet for $1.7 million
  • ‘Today’ show addresses Matt Lauer’s attack on Ronan Farrow
  • ‘I want to feed people’: Oprah Winfrey gives grants to ‘home’ cities in pandemic
  • Delta CEO to Bartiromo: No US airlines will go out of business thanks to Trump
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  • Casino, gambling hall closings crush Mississippi county


10 Market Indicator Closing Summaries – Yahoo Finance Closing Tickers on MHProNews…
Featured Focus – Where Business, Politics and Investing Can Meet

First, let’s look at what CNBC reported earlier today.

  • Purchase volume was just 1.5% lower than a year ago, a rather stunning recovery from just over a month ago, when purchase volume was down 35% annually.
  • Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 6% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

If mortgage demand is an indicator, buyers are coming back to the housing market far faster than anticipated, despite coronavirus shutdowns and job losses,” said CNBC’s Diana Olick on 5.20.2020.

Quoting that same report:

  • QuoteMarkManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMortgage applications to purchase a home rose 6% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Purchase volume was just 1.5% lower than a year ago, a rather stunning recovery from just six weeks ago, when purchase volume was down 35% annually.
  • “Applications for home purchases continue to recover from April’s sizable drop and have now increased for five consecutive weeks,” said Joel Kan, an MBA economist. “Government purchase applications, which include FHA, VA, and USDA loans, are now 5 percent higher than a year ago, which is an encouraging turnaround after the weakness seen over the past two months.”
  • As states reopen, so are open houses, and buyers have been coming out in force, if masked. Record low mortgage rates, combined with strong pent-up demand from before the pandemic and a new desire to leave urban downtowns due to the pandemic, are driving buyers back to the single-family home market. It remains to be seen if this is simply the pent-up demand or a long-term trend.
  • Buoying buyers, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of up to $510,400 decreased to 3.41% from 3.43%. Points including the origination fee increased to 0.33 from 0.29 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.
  • “The average loan amount for refinances fell to its lowest level since January — potentially a sign that part of the drop was attributable to a retreat in cash-out refinance lending as credit conditions tighten,” said Kan. “We still expect a strong pace of refinancing for the remainder of the year because of low mortgage rates.”
  • Federal regulators this week changed lending guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, allowing refinances on loans that were or still are in the government’s mortgage bailout, part of the coronavirus relief package. Those loans can be refinanced once borrowers have made at least three regular monthly payments. Given tough economic conditions and rising unemployment, more borrowers may be looking to save money on their monthly payments.
  • Weaker refinance demand pushed total mortgage application volume down 2.6% for the week.
  • The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 64.3% of total applications from 67% the previous week. The share of adjustable-rate mortgage activity increased to 3.2% of total applications.


Additionally, HousingWire reported today the following.

QuoteMarkManufacturedHomeLivingNewsThe consecutive weekly increases in purchase applications may be a sign the housing market is beginning to recover from the impact of COVID-19, said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

“As states gradually reopen and both homebuyer and seller activity increases, we will be closely watching to see if these positive trends continue, or if they reflect shorter-term, pent-up demand,” Kan said.

Refinance activity fell to its lowest level in over a month despite mortgage rates remaining close to record lows. The average loan amount for refinances hit its lowest level since January, according to the report.

The low interest rates should result in an increase in refi applications for borrowers who still have jobs, Kan said.

“We still expect a strong pace of refinancing for the remainder of the year because of low mortgage rates,” Kan said. “With many homeowners still facing economic and employment uncertainty, these refinance opportunities will allow them to save money on their monthly payments, which can then be used to help other areas of their budgets.”

The Market Composite Index, a measure of overall application volume, decreased 2.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the prior week. Government purchase applications, which include Federal Housing Association loans, Veterans Administration loans, and United States Department of Agriculture loans, were 5% higher than a year ago.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of this week’s mortgage application data:

  • The FHA’s share of mortgage apps remained unchanged from the week prior at 11.5%.
  • The VA share of applications fell from 13.7% to 13.4%.
  • The USDA share of total applications increased from 0.6% to 0.7%.
  • Mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) fell to 3.41% from 3.43% the week before.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $510,400) fell to 3.66% from 3.69%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased from 3.37% to 3.46%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased from 2.92% to 2.88%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.19% at 3.26%.”


MHProNews Analysis and Commentary

This is obviously just one week of data, but it is obviously hopeful.

It should be seen in the light of the cross section of manufactured home industry feedback on their in-the-field experiences revealed in the report below.


As MHProNews reported this morning, publicly traded Legacy Housing reported a surprisingly strong results. See that in the report linked below.

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It should be noted that industry readers are apparently hungry for data and insights. The article linked below was published at 3:40 AM. This data in the box below is from Webalizer and it was “Generated 20-May-2020 07:14 CDT,” or 8:14 AM ET. So in about 4½ hours, on just one of over a dozen cPanels on the MHProNews website, there were 4,693 hits on that report. That’s over 1,000 hits an hour, most of it before dawn.

Hits URL or web address



Yes, part of that is because professionals are interested in Legacy Housing related reports. But it is also arguably because professionals are hungry for the type of hard data that a publicly traded firm provides.

April totals on HUD Code manufactured homes will be produced and published in about 2 weeks. Until then, the prior report is linked below.

Programming Note:

A detailed look at the latest COVID19 related data and the light that sheds on national and manufactured housing issues will be our planned report for tomorrow morning. Odds are excellent it will have facts that will surprise you.

Don’t miss it.

Related Reports:



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MHProNews traveled to Washington, D.C. on the week of 12.2.2019 so Tony could present to the FHFA Listening Session and meet with others in the Capitol during the week regarding industry issues.

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Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters. Connect on LinkedIn:
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