Posted on 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

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Posted on January 25, 2008

Today I want to write about the median sale price of mobile homes, about the number of distress sales, and about the number of homes that are still sold that were built prior to the onset of the HUD code.

To do that, I am going to rely upon some Census data.  The Census Bureau's Residential Finance Survey is a great find.

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Posted on January 25, 2008

A lot of people want to know how many people live in manufactured homes. I think it is because there is a sense that the figure is large, but also not known. In many communities, parks are located in out-of-the-way places. In North Carolina, about one-in-six families lives in manufactured housing. Yet here in Durham, it is unusual to see even one mobile home during the course of daily life. The parks are there, just on the outskirts of town. I have a friend who lives in some remote land north of Chapel Hill. There are two parks, straddling a highway overpass, near his home.

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Posted on January 22, 2008

This editorial from the Virginia Gazette, in Williamsburg, expresses the strange contradiction in public opinion.  The public wants more affordable housing.  They don't want more manufactured housing, at least not in their neighborhood.

It is not a tsunami of public opinion, but it is nice to see the idea emerging.

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Posted on December 21, 2007

I spend a lot of time looking at statistics on loans. That includes loans on manufactured housing. Most people, if they ever think about it, can guess what the predominant nature of manufacturing housing lending is. That's right -- most of the loans are not so great. A lot of them have very high interest rates. When you consider that many also come with shorter terms than are commonly associated with site built homes, you realize that financing constrains the claims of affordability

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Posted on December 18, 2007

In the process of sending out emails about my book, a few people that I met while out on the road have contacted me. One of those people was Suzanne Ise, from the City of Watsonville's Department of Community Development.

I first met Ms. Ise when I visited a dilapidated park within Watsonville, California. Watsonville is located in a large

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Posted on December 14, 2007

One of the best pieces of advice to come out of the latest CFED I'm Home Conference was news that the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) will supply its homes to nonprofits virtually without cost.

FEMA has a lot of homes in staging areas in three cities in the Southeast. They are considering another in New Jersey. One reports says that in all, FEMA has more than 16,000 units.

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"I Feel Like I was Set Up to Fail: Inside a For-Profit College Nightmare."

This story was published in Salon Magazine on January 27th, 2014. In March, Senator Richard Durbin cited this story when speaking on behalf of his bill, The Student Loan Borrowers Bill of Rights.

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