Biden admin 'putting Band-Aids on everything' in the housing market

Home builder confidence for October fell eight points from the previous month, according to the NAHB’s latest index report. Howard predicted those levels aren’t likely to recover anytime soon, primarily due to ongoing supply chain issues and high construction and supply costs.

“This is the tenth month in a row it’s gone down. I don’t see any reason why it’s going to come back up any time soon,” Howard said. “We’re still having supply chain problems, we’re still having problems with increased regulation…right now, the home building sector is facing a perfect storm.”

Howard expressed that his organization has met with the Biden administration to discuss housing inflation solutions, but noted that “they’ve done nothing” to reduce regulations and “make financing easier to get at the front end of the pipeline.”

“Their answer to stopping inflation in housing is to reduce the value of American baby boomers’ largest asset, just when they’re getting ready to rely on it for their retirement, and at the same time, make it increasingly difficult, as Dr. [Ben] Carson said, for young people, for first-time homebuyers, for first-generation homebuyers to get into the market,” Howard said.

“By collapsing the housing market, that will certainly end inflation,” the CEO continued. “But boy, that’s a risky way to go.”

In a previous interview with Varney, Howard stressed that “policymakers need to take action to fix supply chains,” noting that “obtaining a new softwood lumber agreement with Canada and reducing tariffs is an excellent place to start.”

Howard had also called on policymakers to take action, specifically putting the onus on President Biden to provide access to a steady, affordable supply of lumber and to “fix the overall supply chain.”

The Federal Reserve is tightening policy at the fastest pace in three decades as it tries to crush runaway inflation. Policymakers have voted to approve five consecutive interest rate increases this year, including three consecutive 75-basis-point hikes in June, July and September. At the conclusion of their latest meeting, Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that another 125 basis points of rate increases are on the table this year.

The rate hikes have driven the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage rate above 6%, according to Freddie Mac, the highest since the 2008 recession

With mortgage rates rising, demand for new homes is rapidly drying up, prompting home prices to fall.

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