Housing Groups, Mortgage Lenders Urge Powell to Halt Fed Hikes

Three major housing-industry lobby groups called on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to refrain from raising interest rates any further and to pledge against selling mortgage bonds unless real estate financing stabilizes.

“We urge the Fed to take these simple steps to ensure that this sector does not precipitate the hard landing the Fed has tried so hard to avoid,” the National Association of Realtors, Mortgage Bankers Association and National Association of Home Builders wrote in a letter to Powell dated Monday.

The trio said that “ongoing market uncertainty about the Fed’s rate path” is contributing to a widening premium of 30-year mortgage rates over benchmark 10-year Treasury yields. This spread has now reached “historically high levels,” they said.

“This has exacerbated housing affordability and created additional disruptions for a real estate market that is already straining to adjust to a dramatic pullback in both mortgage origination and home sale volume,” they said.

Mortgage Rates Hit Two Decade Highs