Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Review of all things Real Estate: Economic and local real estate news plus a Public Service Announcement

Bob Hillery

CR Properties

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, the Federal Reserve met and voted to not raise the prime rate but reserved the option of raising the prime rate one more time before the end of the year.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell prefaced his comments about the potential for further rate hikes by emphasizing that decisions will depend on “incoming data and their implications for the outlook for economic activity and inflation.”

Which means that they will analyze the numbers and trends between now and the next two meetings scheduled in November and again in December to determine if the 11 prime rate hikes that have been enacted over the last 1 ½ years will be enough to meet the target of 2% inflation rate.

As previously discussed, the Fed is all about controlling the supply of money in the economy as a means to affect inflation. In my mind the best way to control inflation is for the government to quit deficit spending! We have added $2 trillion in debt this year which is spending money we don’t have and it’s adding huge debt loads for our children and grandchildren.

As a result of the continued efforts by the Fed to control inflation by manipulation of the interest rate (cool down the economy by discouraging consumer spending… government should take a lesson), there is increasing concern among economists that the Fed will overkill their efforts to control our spending and the economy will sink into “mild” recession in 2024.

If jobs evaporate because businesses cannot borrow money due to high prime interest rates and the price of gasoline goes up another $1-2 a gallon, our economy will most definitely slow down, prices will go up due to labor and supply chain shortages and the economy will likely slump into recession.

Some economists have stated that it takes 12-18 months for the effects of a prime interest rate adjustment to be realized. We’ve sustained 11 interest rate hikes over the last 18 months. How much is enough? How much is too much? These random feeling adjustments leave me quite unsettled.

In local real estate news, the ALTOS Report Market Activity Meter remains at 50 this week which makes seven weeks of activity level between 48-52 indicating a neutral market with seller’s market leanings.

Our days on the market for properly priced properties remain in the low double-digit number of days before they are sold. Inventory remains low and consequently prices are firm as we head towards the fourth quarter, which is a traditionally slow time for real estate.

If the intent is to sell, the slower season tends to be a good time to come onto the market because there will be even fewer homes on the market to compete with…but the key phrase is “properly priced,” not optimally priced.

Short PSA: I got hacked due to my own ignorance by answering an email sent from Geek Squad. The email said I had been charged for signing up for their service and to call if there were any questions.

First mistake: I called the number in the email instead of going online and finding a national telephone number and predictably the provided phone number was a fake. I told the person who answered that I hadn’t signed up for any service and that I wanted the $457 charge reversed, to which he replied, “no problem.”

He directed me to open a new browser and enter a code to get to the refund page which I did: second big mistake. That code allowed them to take control of my computer and they uploaded software and moved money between my accounts. I had signed into my bank account at his direction to verify that the refund showed up.

When I saw my mouse move, the voice in my head started shouting “danger Will Robinson!” I shut down the computer over his objections and called my trusted IT technician who advised me to immediately contact my bank and freeze my accounts. The fraud department person saw the money they had moved from my personal account into my business account which was a hefty sum.

Over the last several days, I have opened new accounts and started changing the account numbers for my auto deposits and auto pays. It’s painful, but the money transfer was stopped successfully.

Since then, I have learned there are multiple scams using Amazon, Pay Pal and Apple cover names. My IT technician informed me that there are more scams perpetrated in the U.S. than any other country, perhaps because we are among the wealthiest.

The fraudsters are everywhere, and they are trying to steal your money; do your research, discuss proactive and defensive actions with your trusted IT technician and protect yourself.


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