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Editorial

January 13, 2009

Sheila Bair indicates that the FDIC will require its member institutions to report on how they are using their Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds. The request is new and the details are not yet specified.  At this point, Bair is asking only that recipients report how they used their funds to stimulate lending.  They can make the report a part of their 10-k or their annual report.

Bair's actions are the first from a regulator to require some kind of reporting regime.  Earlier, advocates had led in wanting some indication of how public funds were being utilized.  See the list of banks who have applied for funds here.

This is a step in the right direction, but it seems likely to produce reports that are selectively transparent.  A better plan would be to develop a systemic set of guidelines, much like the FFIEC uses for reporting on home mortgage loans or for small business

October 14, 2008

Guest Editorial by Peter Skillern

September 11, 2008

The New York Times has a nice piece about people living in very small homes.  Some of the homes are built from kits. Its not really factory-built housing, but then again, its not developer built onsite housing, either.  And as the picture shows, they are mobile.

June 24, 2008

The answer to the question "What is wrong with our manufactured housing communities" has less to do with any specific problem and more to do with a thousand little shortcomings.  It is not just the lack of real property rules, not just the financing, not just the lack of consumer protections....Dayenu!

April 3, 2008

The Federal Reserve is proposing a change that would have a large impact upon how lending takes place for most manufactured housing.

February 14, 2008

In its report on fourth quarter results, made on Feb. 12th, Pasadena-based thrift IndyMac canceled its dividend. IndyMac has a had a bad year. Its shares are at $8.20, off their 52 week high of $37.95. It reported a lost of $6.43 a share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007.

February 6, 2008

There is an article in todays WSJ about the lengths that stick-built homebuilders are going to assure nervous homebuyers. KB Home offers "price protection" in 35 markets. Ryland is doing the same when buyers bring it up.

January 28, 2008

The Census Department has numbers for shipments and placements of manufactured homes in the United States in 2006.  There are preliminary data for the first 11 months of 2007.  The numbers show that the crisis within the industry has not lifted.

In all, 117,300 homes were shipped in 2006. This was a drop off from 2005, when the industry moved 146,800 homes. It was not as much as in 2004, either, when 130,700 homes were shipped.

For 2007, 89,900 units were shipped in the first 11 months of the year.  December is not traditionally a barn burner of a year.  This means that there is a distinct possibility that fewer than 100,000 units will be shipped in 2007.  That would be the lowest number since shipments were first tracked back beginning in 1959.

The numbers include seasonal expectations. The suggestion is that summer and early fall should be a time of peak sale. That was part of the problem. While shipments were fairly high for low-volume periods in the winter months of early 2006, shipments fell far below expectations in the latter months of the fall. In particular, October appears to have been a bad month.

Some time has passed. I wonder how changes in the macro environment of our economy will influence these numbers. At the time, hybrid mortgages were making it possible for a lot of people to get convenient low-cost financing on single-family site built homes. Those

July 27, 2007

Just a moment to mention that the FHA Manufactured Housing Loan Modernization Act of 2007 has passed the House of Representatives. It is now in committee with the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) are the ranking members.

I like the simple explanation of this bill that is provided on this site.

You can contact their offices or that of another Senator on the committee by filling out a contact form here.

July 17, 2007

· One in six North Carolina households lives in manufactured housing.

· More than 5 million children live in manufactured housing in the United States.

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