Real Estate

Fed rate hike would 'crush' US housing: Analyst

Santelli Exchange: Home price growth stalls
Santelli Exchange: Home price growth stalls

Demand for U.S. housing in the second half of 2015 looks so weak that the Federal Reserve will not be comfortable starting its interest rate tightening cycle, independent real estate analyst Mark Hanson said Tuesday.

"Having rates at zero hasn't done much if you take a look at the numbers, but having rates 200 basis points higher or 100 basis points higher would crush housing. I don't think they can take that chance," the founder of M Hanson Advisors told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

Hanson said last week's new home sales data from the Commerce Department was a sign of a lingering stimulus hangover and a "huge miss."

The Commerce Department reported new home sales fell 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 482,000 units. Analysts had expected a 0.7-percent increase to 550,000 units.

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With respect to homebuilder's pricing power, he said new home prices have been down for the last seven months. The picture in 2015 looks worse when compared with 2013, he added, noting that comparisons with 2014 data are misleading because an interest rate plunge and the stimulus cycle boosted demand that year.

"When you do that, you'll see new home sales are only up 4.65 percent and prices are relatively flat," he said.