The problem with HR 650 is that it won't actually fix the problems with chattel lending. If you want to cure the ills of manufactured housing, then the solution is not to raise interest rates in the name of access to credit. The solution is to involve the GSEs. Fannie and Freddie create access for real property mortgages and they would do the same for manufactured housing if they were required to buy chattel loans as part of their duty-to-serve mandate.
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The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act of 2015" is a win-lose. It's a win if you want to make home loans to people with incomes of less than $30,000 at interest rates of more than twelve percent. So maybe those folks will benefit from more access to credit. But wait, they already borrow at those rates. With this bill, they will be able to get loans at interest rates of more than fourteen percent. That sounds like quid pro non.
US Postal Service is closing branches: To those that support a new postal banking system, I have a wrench to offer. One of the supports for such a system is the extensive network of post offices across the country. That has been the case for a
Recent data from the Census Bureau's American Housing Survey shows that people living in mobile homes spend far less on keeping up their homes than do residents of stick-built homes.
Real estate values may have a long way to fall. While the stimulus had done a lot to prop up asset prices across the economy, real estate's buoyancy is driven by its own activity. That means that there is good chance that we will see less demand for real estate even in a recovery. Housing inventories are not declining, and in many cities, inventories are growing.
Construction jobs lead to housing demand. Construction workers make $15 to $25 per hour. At that pace, their families can afford to own a home in most of the country. The earnings that people captured as roof layers and electricians are not matched by new work at a call center. Those jobs paid a lot of money. They paid a lot of money to men. This is not just a recession. It is a mancession. One problem, at least in terms of finding other jobs for construction workers, is that they face the same challenges that are bedeviling men throughout the workforce. Men are less likely to have a college degree to fall back on. Almost two in five construction jobs had evaporated in the last four years. Two percentage points of U-3 unemployment can be attributed to this one sector.
Consumers took out home equity loans. That debt fueled housing demand, but it also fueled employment in all kinds of other places.
Clayton has produced a new manufactured home that should stimulate a lot of conversation about the viability of mh's future.
The new "i-house" is both an aesthetic knockout and a legitimately green endeavor. I would be surprised if the home is not snapped up by a whole new demographic of homebuyers.
In many ways, the recent history of mobile homes mirrors our current credit crisis and its impact upon home sales.
Warren Buffett's annual shareholder letter spends a good deal of time talking about manufactured housing. Some of his thinking focuses on Clayton, the Tennessee manufactured housing company that he bought several years ago. Buffett calls the company one that is built by solid, sensible underwriting. Here is an excerpt:
In his annual letter to shareholders, released today, Warren Buffett talks up one or two bright spots in the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio. Geico, he says, has some buying opportunities in the insurance industry. "Like mosquitoes in a nudist camp!" quips the Sage.
And, Buffett points out that loans made within Clayton Homes, the Tennessee manufactured housing company that he acquired several years ago on the urging of a group of MBA students, is actually performing very well. In spite of all the factors that could lead to it having difficulty, less than four percent of its homes are in foreclosure.
This is an ineresting statement. On the one hand, four percent in foreclosure is actually pretty high. Yet,