Mad Money

Higher interest rates could destroy this group

Cramer takes a look at the housing landscape

As the U.S. reaches peak planting season, Jim Cramer is not only thinking about his own garden but he's also thinking about stocks such as Home Depot and Lowe's, and the impact on their businesses from rising interest rates.

Peak planting season for these two companies is the equivalent of Christmas holiday season for sales. Home Depot brought on 70,000 new associates just for this time period, as the warm weather and sunshine inspire Americans to start planting, seeding, fencing and fertilizing. In fact, Home Depot refers to the second weekend in April as "spring black Friday" to note the kickoff of garden season.

It is also the time of year when consumers begin to renovate their homes after a long winter, which explains the 5 percent appreciation of homes in March, according to the Case Shiller index.

With the possibility that more than a million homes will be built this year, a bounce back to levels last seen before the great recession. Cramer suspects that this trend is also the reason why both Home Depot and Lowe's stocks shot higher on Wednesday.

I think that this nascent housing boom could be threatened instantly by any rate hike. In fact, it is the industry I am most worried about
Jim Cramer
A worker cuts a piece of pipe as he builds a new home in Petaluma, California.
Getty Images

Now, Cramer is beginning to hear rumors that if the Fed were to raise rates, buyers will come out of the woodwork to buy even more homes so that they can get in on low mortgage rates.

"I could not disagree more. I think that this nascent housing boom would be threatened instantly by any rate hike. In fact, housing is the industry I am most worried about if the Fed raises rates," the "Mad Money" host said. (Tweet This)

So while there may be stories that homes are appreciating rapidly, Cramer doesn't think the solution to that problem is to raise interest rates. Rather, it could be simply aided by building more homes.

On Wednesday, Toll Brothers used the term "choppy" to describe sales. In Cramer's opinion, the time to raise interest rates is not when things are choppy. The Fed should raise interest rates when things are humming, and they are positive that the housing trend is in a steady enough position to not be destroyed or damaged by the increased rates.

The country is just now getting a million housing starts, meaning this trend is just beginning. Thus, Cramer wants the Fed to wait just a little bit longer, until the demand for things such as paint, wood, bedding, flooring and kitchen and bath appliances has more momentum.

"I think many of the Fed heads out there are suffering from a huge misimpression—they believe housing's hot enough and business is good enough in this country that we have to act," Cramer added.

The "Mad Money" host's advice?

Get comfortable being on hold. At least until the dollar really does stop rising and housing sales are so strong that they can only be slowed by rates. (Tweet This)

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So, while the outlook may look great, Cramer says we are not there, yet. The trend of strong home sales could ultimately be destroyed if the Fed decides that June or September is the time to hike rates.

"The Fed members who constantly blather about when and how much rates need to be raised should stop the clock, stay close to the data, take time to smell the newly planted roses and, for heaven's sake, shut up!" Cramer said.

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