Official New HUD Home Shipment # for Jan & much more…

Blog # 388 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 6 March 2016;

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7® Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!, & Goal of its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & Opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance!’

INTRODUCTION: Year 2016 = An opportunity for a fresh start within the MHIndustry. Let’s ALL report the same new HUD-Code home shipment # each month of this year!!!


Tired of being ignored by the greater housing market? Read Part II, & YOU will be for sure! The challenge today is, WE have no practical way to ‘Get Our Word Out’ to where it needs to go; to be seen, heard, believed, and acted upon by homebuyer/site lessees!



The Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’); Department of Housing & Urban Development (‘HUD’); Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’); and Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® (‘COBA7®’), agree & announce the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry shipped 5,862 new manufactured homes during the month of January 2016! That’s 893 more homes than were shipped during January 2015. So, we’re off to a Great Start!

WARNING! 5,862 new manufactured homes shipped during the month of January 2016 is the MHIndustry’s ‘sole official count’! There might be another ‘figure’ thrown out for consideration, but it’s not this authoritative one, carefully researched and published by aforementioned IBTS! So, don’t be fooled!

CHALLENGE! Let’s chart new HUD-Code home shipments during 2016, with everyone on the same statistical reporting page – by getting your data here, and from nowhere else. Proof? Just google ‘IBTS-manufactured housing’, to learn this is indeed ‘the source’ for this data we subscribe to, receive, and pass unadulterated onto you!


Housing Industry All-Stars Keep Affordable Factory-built Housing on the Bench & Out of the View of Homebuyers!

The QUESTION: ‘How can HUD-Code manufactured housing be a meaningful part of, let alone the practical solution to, ‘scarce homeownership supply’ & the’ housing affordability crisis’ when it’s not even (ever) part of the public marketing conversation?

The ANSWER: It can’t, and won’t be, as long as quasi-academic papers like ‘Meet Me in the Middle: Supply Trends, Factors, & Product Considerations Impacting Homeownership Affordability Today.’ do not include us in the housing marketing mix! This paper by Todd LaRue, writing for the RCLCO Real Estate Advisory Services firm.

Here’s Summary of Findings; condensing data & information in this ten page report:

“Instead of targeting the meat of the market with a volume-driven strategy, high land costs, flat income growth, and a shrinking middle class are leading builders to target fewer but more affluent buyers. New for-sale homes are therefore getting bigger and more expensive, prices are rising faster than income, and household formation is outpacing single-family starts. In addition to limiting the affordability of new supply, conventional new detached homes may also be overlooking lifestyle preferences for more walkable, compact communities. As a result, key buyer segments are currently underserved. In pursuing more midscale, mid-priced product, builders may be able to offer more attainably priced housing – while leveraging the additional density to also improve their bottom line.”

As you can see (read), the researcher/author tiptoes all around HUD-Code manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle community characteristics of proven affordability, modest density, professional management, and more. Wonder if he’s even aware of our unique product & lifestyle advantages?

Here however, are some of the statistical tidbits found in this document:

• “In 2015, there were over one million new households (formed), and only 630,000 single-family housing starts (U.S. Commerce Dept says 728,000, but NAHB 549,000. Who to believe?), well below the long-term average (of what number?) – NAHB says 1,300,000 new homes per year.” This is what I dislike about business writer’s not footnoting statistics. Can pen anything they want!

• Measuring housing affordability as a multiple of Area Median Income (‘AMI’). “In San Francisco, expect to pay nine times the (area) median income for the median price resale home today.” (e.g. AMI = $77,485 in 2013 X 9 = $697,365). Indianapolis = 2.8 times X AMI, or $52,268 in 2014 X 2.8 = $146,182. To bring this ‘closer to (manufactured) home’, there’s a local housing market nearby where the AMI is $36,000. Using the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’*1, with variables of site rent @ $300/month, and ‘home only’ chattel loan terms @ 9.5% & 20 years, a prospective homebuyer/site lessee can get into a new HUD-Code home for $68,000 (including site rent), or 1.89X the AMI of $36,000. Yet, even with this much ‘affordability’ potential, manufactured housing continues to be ignored!

• Deterrents to Purchasing a Home, include: 63% @ COST (Hard to find homes in my price range); 39% @ SAVING for a down payment; 35% @ LOW SUPPLY of attractive homes sold fast and got multiple offers; 26% @ KNOWLEDGE – Did not know where to start; 21% ! FINANCING (low credit score or other debt); and, 20% @ PRODUCT (lack of home types wanted, regardless of price).*2 Whew! And here’s manufactured housing – more than able to compete in the deterrent areas of COST, KNOWLEDGE, & PRODUCT. ‘Hey, we’re over here!’

• Unmet (housing) demand. “The way current supply and demand forces are currently coming together, new housing supply tends toward small units in urban, midrise, or high-rise multifamily buildings, or large, exurban single-family detached homes. This leaves key buyer segments underserved, because this supply does not offer the value and or lifestyle sought by 1) young families & first-time buyers, 2) empty nesters, and 3) low & middle-income renters.” The last sentence so-describes manufactured housing’s traditional market of ‘Newly Weds & Nearly Deads!’, plus many low & middle-income renters.

• “’Missing middle’ housing (i.e. ‘midscale & mid-priced product types’) can be thought of as a value play and as a lifestyle choice.” Now read this carefully. “…these middle products …being between seven and 20 units per acre, which makes them somewhat smaller than the conventional detached home…are also relatively inexpensive to construct…The moderate density, unit sizes, and construction costs allow builders to sell these middle products at prices…more attainable to young families, first-time buyers, and middle-income buyers than new detached products.” With all that said (written), however, nary a word about ‘middle housing’ being ‘manufactured housing’. These folk are actually seeking ‘our answer’ as if we’re hiding in plain sight. ‘Hey, we’re over here!’

• And finally, “Why aren’t we building midscale, mid-priced product today?” Three reasons: Zoning & Regulation (NIMBYism via limited density & minimum lot & home sizes *3); Market & Land Value (High costs require greater density & projects too small to warrant financing); and, Consumer Preferences (Unaware of product alternatives)

So, where does all this leave us? In a word, ‘nowhere’ – until this sort of real estate advisory service, and others, ‘discover’ factory-built housing in general, HUD-Code manufactured housing in particular, even land-lease-lifestyle communities – and then write about us!

But how to accomplish ‘getting the word out’ to housing developers, land planners, real estate advisors, and prospective homebuyers/site lessees? Right now, that’s a difficult thing to do, as neither the mainstream secular or building trades business press demonstrates any interest in the quality, affordability, and energy efficiency our housing products bring to the shelter table! And add to that dismal reality, our industry has but one advertising-supported print trade publication left, and two limited circulation print business newsletters. And not much of an online presence either, despite promises and claims to the contrary. Neither national advocacy organization, at this point in time, uses the services of a public relations firm to position and publicize our unique housing product and community lifestyle. Until all those shortfalls are addressed, consider us ‘dead in the water’ marketing wise.

End Notes:

1. ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ is available ‘for the asking’ from COBA7®, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764; & email via An amazing do-it-yourself tool for calculating new home price points in any local housing market defined by postal zip code (to ascertain AMI), and ‘How much new or resale home ($) a prospective homebuyer and or homebuyer/site lessee can truly afford to buy’, under ‘risky’ & ‘affordable’ housing payment conditions. This form belongs in every housing professional’s collection of resources and practical tools.

2. ‘According to Sample of 2014-2015 First-Time Buyers, February 2016’.

3. NIMBY = ‘Not in my back yard!’; oft shadowed by LULU as in ‘Locally Unwanted Land Use!’; and, tongue in cheek, BANANA = ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody!’


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