Just a little more good news…

Last month, we told you about how recordation tax receipts were up, a good sign for housing. And last week, we learned that manufactured housing shipments were up in Virginia for the month in a while.

Well, today we got some more good news: recordation tax receipts continue to rise, with an 11.7% increase in in September, 2015 vs. September, 2014. For the current fiscal year, that leaves us 9.7% head vs. last fiscal year. What makes that more remarkable is that the fiscal year to date projection was for Virginia to be 8.1% down.

For more details on the September, 2015, revenue figures, please click here to read the release from the Governor’s Office.

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Nailed it!

Please, right now, go check out this column by Thomas Sowell.

Suffice to say, he nails it about the root cause of housing UN-affordability in the San Francisco area:

Housing prices in San Francisco, and in many other communities for miles around, were once no higher than in the rest of the United States. But beginning in the 1970s, housing prices in these communities skyrocketed to three or four times the national average.

Why? Because local government laws and policies severely restricted, or banned outright, the building of anything on vast areas of land. This is called preserving “open space,” and “open space” has become almost a cult obsession among self-righteous environmental activists, many of whom are sufficiently affluent that they don’t have to worry about housing prices.

Food for thought for the rest of the nation….

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We told you so….

h/t to MHProNews for getting this information out:

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) informs MHProNews that data regarding lending at 7,000 financial institutions and covering nearly 10 million mortgage applications and six million loan originations reveals manufactured home lenders are not making HOEPA (Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act) loans because of the increased liability and burdensome rules of smaller loans, like many MH loans.

In a nutshell: regulators were wrong to ignore the warnings  about the effects of Dodd-Frank on manufactured housing consumers. In other words, WE TOLD YOU SO!!

You can read all of the details here.

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Virginia Chamber of Commerce Candidate Interviews – Transportation

First, it was business climate. Then came health care. Today, we are pleased to share with you the Virginia Senate candidate interviews on transportation.

Please take the time to view these interviews and share this with your employees so that everyone can cast an informed ballot in November.

Next week’s interviews will feature education.

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Multi-Story MH?

Multi-story manufactured housing.

That is a new idea, right?

Not really. As this informative article shows, it is an idea that some folks have talked about, and even tried, before.

Interesting read. Thank you to our colleagues at the Manufactured & Modular Home Association of Minnesota for sharing it with us.

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Virginia Chamber of Commerce Candidate Interviews – Health Care

Last week, we brought you Virginia Chamber of Commerce interviews with candidates on business climate.

This week, we invite you to take a look at candidate interviews on health care. Please take the time to view these interviews and share this with your employees so that everyone can cast an informed ballot in November.

Up next week is transportation.

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Virginia Chamber of Commerce Candidate Interviews – Business Climate

As much as we spend time focusing specifically on housing issues, we know that issues affecting the wider business community are very important to the housing industry and the overall quality of life we enjoy here in Virginia.

For that reason, we are members and supporters of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

As they have in past years, this year, they are interviewing General Assembly candidates across the Commonwealth on issues of importance the business community. If you click here, you can take a look at interviews with selected Senate of Virginia candidates on issues related to Virginia’s business climate.

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Recordation Tax Revenue Bumps up 2.2% over 2014

Recordation tax revenue is up 2.2% over 2014. That is positive news on the housing front in Virginia. Let us hope this trend continues. For more details on the latest revenue numbers, you can check out this release from the Governor’s Office.

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Are Federal Regulations Hurting American Home Buyers? (Hint: Yes, They Are.)

According to this insightful article, it does appear that in an effort to enact regulations and “do something,” the federal government has once again created a regulatory scheme that works against the very Americans it is intended to help.

Witness this scenario:

The man spent two hours browsing through models and weighing the many options. This was an important decision — and likely the biggest purchase he would ever make.

Finally, he was ready to get down to business. The salesman handed him an application. The old man barely glanced at it and asked for help filling it out.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that,” the salesman told him, then explained that new federal regulations prohibited manufactured home retailers from helping customers apply for financing.

The old man might have been illiterate; he may have forgotten his reading glasses. Maybe he just hated filling out forms.

For whatever reason, he seemed deeply offended — and perhaps embarrassed.

“If you’re not going to help me, I’m not buying from you,” he told the salesman as he stormed out the door.

And this one:

One of the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank has all but shut down financing for homes priced below $20,000. That left Powell with a Hobson’s choice: Continue to rent an apartment indefinitely, as he had for the past 10 years, or take out an unsecured personal loan from a non-MH lender at 36 percent interest to purchase a home he could call his own in less than five years.

“Our desire to buy the home outweighed our desire to not pay 36 percent interest,” Powell says.  Even at that rate, Powell’s payment was less than half what apartment rent would have cost him.

Now, you would think that federal regulators who claim to want to protect Americans like these would quickly fixed these broken, ill-conceived regulations.

And there, you would be wrong because while the House and two Senate committees have passed legislation to fix this problem, the President has threatened to veto any relief for these Americans, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the very agency created to help home buyers, has absolutely refused to act:

Presented with a list of questions asking for the reasoning behind the CFPB-imposed rules — why they have been applied to manufactured housing and whether the agency is aware of their impact on consumers — CFPB spokesman Sam Gilford cited excerpts from the Dodd-Frank Act, itself, but did not directly address the issues raised.

You should check out the entire article for yourself. But be warned, the picture that emerges of the CFPB is not pretty. It is actually quite shameful to see how this group of federal bureaucrats has turned its back on the very families it is supposed to serve.

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The Case for Dodd-Frank Reform for Manufactured Housing Consumers

MHI’s Lesli Gooch has written an excellent piece in Roll Call on the need for modest reforms that will benefit manufactured housing consumers.

Here is a part of her on-point assessment:

While the law’s intent was to protect consumers, it is currently forcing many credit-worthy families to opt for less optimal housing alternatives and pay higher housing costs. Current manufactured home owners are losing equity as home values drop because potential buyers can’t get financing. In the midst of a national affordable housing crisis, it is unconscionable that federal rules are limiting access to credit for affordable, quality housing.

You should click through to read the rest of this great summation of the case for Dodd-Frank reform.

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