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It’s not just about how expensive housing became—it’s how fast it got there. It only took 24 months for U.S. home prices to soar a staggering 37%. For comparison, the biggest two-year spike leading into the 2008 housing crash was 29%.

Heading into this spring, the Federal Reserve decided it had seen enough. The central bank quickly raised interest rates, which saw the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate climb to 6%—up from 3.2% at the start of the year. Those higher rates, which have priced out many home shoppers, ultimately ended the pandemic housing boom. Now we’re in a sharp slowdown, with the Mortgage Bankers Association reporting on Wednesday that mortgage applications are down 16% on a year-over-year basis.

As this shift occurred, we heard very little from the Fed. Well, that was until chair Jerome Powell addressed reporters on Wednesday.