LearnMH Webinar Recap: The Bowtie Economist’s Outlook on 2022

Paul Barretto

Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. strongly believes in manufactured housing and shared his expertise as The Bowtie Economist to make his point on the last LearnMH webinar of 2021. Dr. Eisenberg brings his pragmatic view on the economy and the role housing plays in it. Today, we have supply chain issues, employment challenges, tremendous demand, and other factors which are causing inflation we haven’t seen in a while. Much of it was amplified or caused by the pandemic. However, Q4 2021 GDP (gross domestic product) is expected to be strong and will continue throughout 2022.  

When the pandemic hit, our economy shut down and we experienced massive unemployment which shut down our supply chains long enough to create the disruption we’re experiencing due to the tremendous spike in demand for goods and services.  The impact of the pandemic is unique in that it compressed an economic boom and bust cycle in a very short period of time when historically they are drawn out. The good news is that by the end of 2022 we will have recovered the total number of jobs we lost.  With respect to housing, we can expect to see continued demand in the coming year whether in rental or homeownership. Since 2008, we have been ‘under building’ to the demand for housing which has led to a deficit of about four million homes. The demographics for home buying will fuel the demand for housing despite the increased prices.  

The Bowtie Economist’s message to the manufactured housing industry is direct. ‘This is your moment to shine… you are the best solution out there!’ he emphatically stated. The cost per square foot to produce a manufactured home is significantly less than the site-built alternative and there is no other way to efficiently create a home. The challenge he sees is zoning restrictions preventing the placement of manufactured homes and encouraging our industry to go to the politicians and zoning boards and show them today’s manufactured homes and explain why they need to allow them. 

“We need you. We really need you. Any reduction in home prices really matters now. You don’t get these opportunities often, seize it,” encouraged The Bowtie Economist. The industry can be focused on affordability and attainability, and still be profitable as long as the final price is significantly less than the site-built alternative. There are other advantages inherent to manufactured housing as well. For example, less waste, greater energy efficiency, efficient use of products and materials, and better working conditions. It’s better for the workers, and better for the environment. 

To close out his discussion the Bowtie Economist made the point that the nation is counting on the manufactured housing industry to solve the housing problem, “If we don’t build enough houses, people will rent and their futures won’t be as good because housing is a critical rung on the ladder of economic prosperity and success.” Eisenberg continues, “Manufactured housing is the most critical component because the stick-built builders are gone.”
For more insights and information from experts like the Bowtie Economist, check out past webinars here.

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About Paul Barretto

Paul Barretto is the Executive Director for LearnMH where he is responsible for the organization’s growth and strategic development as a resource for positive change in the offsite factory-built housing industry.
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