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Make Your Outdoor Decorating Merry, Bright and Safe

December 6th, 2022 by tisner


For many people, this is the time of year for dressing up their home and yard in lights galore! The planning and prepping are exciting and fun but keep safety in mind. Following these tips will have your outdoor decor safely sharing holiday cheer!
 

  • Outdoor decor requires lights and extension cords that are manufactured for outdoor use. Look for this information on the packaging or tag at the end of the cord. Heavy-duty extension cord plugs should have a three-prong ground plug. 
  • Do not use lights that have stayed out since last year! Non-commercial light strands are only safely exposed to the elements for 90 days. Any longer, and deterioration of the insulation will begin. 
  • Outdoor receptacles should be ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets which will shut off power in case of electrical overload. If your home does not have enough outdoor outlets, purchase a portable outdoor GFCI plug. Safety outweighs any extra cost. 
  • As you unpack the decorations, inspect older lights for frayed wires, nicks, or cuts along the outer cord, as well as broken bulbs. Broken bulbs can be replaced but toss the strands with damaged cords in the garbage. 
  • Use clips or hangers that are UL-approved–never nail, tack, or staple lights to any fixture. 
  • Before adding lights to tree branches or tall fixtures, make certain no power lines run through the branches, and keep all lighting at least ten feet from power lines. 
  • Only connect strands with the same number of bulbs–in other words, do not connect a 100-strand with two 25-strands.  
  • Avoid using a metal ladder if you are having to get up high with your lights–use wooden or fiberglass instead. If metal is your only choice, do not plug the lights in until installation is complete. 
  • LED light strands should never be connected to incandescent lights. Now may be the time to think about using all LED lights. The start-up cost will be higher, but it will save money on your power bill as well as in replacement costs–LEDs can last up to twenty years! 

Know your home’s electrical limits and use common sense and care while decorating. No one wants the friendly neighborhood competition to turn into a disaster or experience a classic Clark Griswold power outage at home. Keep your holidays merry, bright, and safe! 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: onekindesign.com

Orlando State of the Market October 2022

November 17th, 2022 by tisner

Orlando Area Residential Real Estate Snapshot for October-2022

State of the Market

  • October’s interest rate was recorded at 7%, a 10% increase from September when the interest rate was 6.3%. The last time interest rates were this high was May 2002.
  • That 7% interest rate in October 2022 was 131% higher compared to October 2021 when the interest rate was recorded at just 3%.
  • Inventory rose 3.5% from September to October, from 6,884 to 7,128. This is the eighth straight month of inventory increases.
  • Inventory in October 2022 was 109.3% higher compared to October 2021, when it was recorded at 3,406 homes.
  • Homes spent an average of 38 days on the market in October, up from 31 days in September.
  • New listings decreased by 8.3% from September to October, with 3,041 new homes on the market in October.
  • Overall sales in October held steady from September. There were 2,716 sales in October – down one sale from September.
  • The median home price for October was recorded at $365,000, the same median home price recorded in September. This comes after three consecutive months of decreasing median home prices.
  • “We have the perfect storm of economic uncertainty in the U.S. accompanied by the highest interest rates Orlando has seen in more than 20 years,” said Tansey Soderstrom, Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association President. “Rapidly rising interest rates are having a huge impact on buying power. Home Prices and sales are flat from September to October, but rising rates are causing buyers to look at different price points in order to find a monthly mortgage payment that they are comfortable with.”

Market Snapshot

  • Interest rates increased as the average interest rate for October was recorded at 7%. This is 131% higher than October 2021 when interest rates were 3%.
  • Pending sales decreased by 24% from September to October for a total of 2,915 pending sales.
  • 20 distressed homes (bank-owned properties and short sales) accounted for 0.7% of all home sales in October. That represents a 66.7% increase from September, when 12 distressed homes sold.

Inventory

  • Orlando area inventory increased by 3.5% from September to October from 6,884 homes to 7,128 homes. Inventory in October 2022 was 109.3% higher than in October 2021, when it was recorded at 3,406 homes.
  • The supply of homes increased to 2.62 months in October. This is the third month since June 2020 with over two months of supply. A balanced market is six months of supply.
  • The number of new listings decreased from September to October by 8.3% down to 3,041 homes.

ORRA’s full State of the Market Report for September can be found here.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

By: www.orlandorealtors.org

Thanksgiving Travel Tips. Thank Us Later!

November 15th, 2022 by tisner

11-16-thanksgiving-travel-tips

Simplify Your Thanksgiving Travels!

This Thanksgiving, AAA expects 53.4 million Americans to hit the road, the highest single-year increase since 2005. Here are expert tips and tricks for making one of the busiest travel holidays of the year easier than ever. You can thank us later!

Be Mindful and Thoughtful

Can holiday travel feel stressful? Does it help to take out your frustration on fellow passengers and travelers? It doesn’t have to be this way. Frame your journey as an exciting adventure. Everyone traveling has a similar goal to celebrate Thanksgiving with loved ones. Practice slowing your breathing if long lines or traffic are causing you stress.

Travel Light

Everyone flying will be packing carry-ons to accommodate their journey. Overhead compartments will fill up quickly. Try to pack everything into a backpack that will fit under the seat in front of you. If you have gifts or bulky items, consider shipping them to your final destination ahead of time.

Travel at Odd Times

The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, closely followed by the Sunday after the big day. Fly to your destination a few days early and fly back on Friday when the masses are out shopping the best deals of the year. Drive through the night to avoid traffic.

Stay Connected

Smartphone users can take advantage of apps that provide updates on airline statuses, road traffic, weather, and current news. Social media is a great resource to be the first place to hear about anything that might go wrong with your flight. Airlines can also be more responsive to public pleas of assistance on social media.

By using these tips as a guideline, you can better organize and prepare for your trip.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

By: Surge365

Should Sellers List Now or Try to Wait It Out?

November 10th, 2022 by tisner


With home prices’ peak likely in the rear-view mirror, should sellers waiting to maximize profit jump in before it’s too late or wait and hope for another market reversal?

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As the housing market has cooled considerably, sellers are now wrestling with whether to sell their homes as soon as possible or hold off on selling.

Two years ago, it was an easier decision: Prices were at record highs, interest rates were lower than they had been in years, and buyers were so desperate to get into a home that they often bid up on homes and waived any appraisals.

But now, with more homes coming to the market and higher interest rates, buyers have started to reclaim more of the power, throwing sellers into unfamiliar territory.

With the market having shifted, is it more beneficial for them to sell now or wait for another boom?

“We ask them a simple question: ‘Do you think your house will be worth more in six months or a year than it is today, looking at the way the economy is and what interest rates are?’” said Alex Platt, a Realtor with the Platt Group at Compass in Boca Raton.

A seller’s perspective

For Dr. Imran Mirza, the decision to put his home up for sale was an easy one. He saw the bidding wars around him and properties flying off the market, and decided to capitalize on South Florida’s record boom before a possible correction took place.

He finally closed on his five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom house in Boynton Beach about a week ago for $1.4 million, a down adjustment from the price he wanted – $1.895 million.

It was still a significant profit from the $900,000 he paid for the home in 2017. There are “these kind of profits where people live in their homes for 20 years, and they don’t see these kind of profits,” he noted.

For potential sellers looking to list now, there is some anxiety around deciding to sell: Have they missed the peak of the market in terms of prices? Will holding off on selling decrease their ability to get a high price even more?

“If they are moving out of town, or if it’s a second home or investment home that they want to pull money out of in the next five years, they should really sell now,” said Brian Pearl, principal agent with the Pearl Antonacci Group in Boca Raton, said. “We are really trying to paint the picture, are you OK waiting for another 5 to 10 years? If you are not, you should strongly consider selling now. If you need to move, sell now because the future is uncertain.”

For Mirza, he believes that if the time is right in a seller’s life and if someone wants to sell, they should do it now rather than wait out the shifting market.

“I figured we were at the peak for selling it and you don’t want to wait another seven years for this to happen again,” he said. “If they put their house out now, they have a good chance of selling it.”

What sellers need to weigh

Most experts agree: If a seller needs to move and wants to, then they should put the home up for sale. However, if a seller likes their home and is comfortable with their current payments, then they should stay in their house.

“While things have cooled off in South Florida, this is still a good time to sell,” said Jeff Tucker, senior economist with Zillow. “I don’t see a whole lot to gain from waiting, in part because the market is turning and the higher interest rates are having a snowball effect and cooling the market even more.”

Stephan Gehrig, 38, sold his home in Delray Beach in August for about $2.2 million, a little before prices started to adjust in South Florida.

“I saw how I was kinda at the end of the peak,” Gehrig said. “I was one of the last homes that sold in the neighborhood. I waited to list and I saw how previous homes, they had all sold within a week or two, and I got concerned [when] mine didn’t.”

Interest rates and inventory levels have been the main driving force of the housing market. Right now inventory levels, while they have risen compared to last year, are still low enough to keep prices high, a plus for sellers. Should more homes become available on the market, sellers would face more competition in selling their homes, Platt noted.

“It does appear that prices will come down a lot more because people are cutting their asking price,” said Eli Beracha, director of the Hollo School of Real Estate at Florida International University.

For Gehrig, his home sold in less than 30 days, and while he had to compromise on price a little bit as he witnessed the beginning signs of the incoming cooldown, Gehrig still feels that the price was enough to make it worth listing his home.

“I do wish I listed sooner,” Gehrig said.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

© 2022 South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Get the Kids Involved in Home DIY

November 8th, 2022 by tisner


Home projects and family go together! While there will be tools and situations where children should be closely supervised, there are plenty of activities that can include the entire family!
  

  • If you have a room that needs painting, have the children paint the sample swatches on the walls. These areas do not have to be perfect, but this small job is the perfect way for them to learn beginner painting techniques. 
  • Furniture kits are a great way to have children learn about using tools and following step-by-step plans. Reading is not always required as there are many instructions that feature symbols, numbers, and diagrams that children can easily follow. 
  • Installing wall-hanging hardware or window treatments are excellent ways to teach school-age kids about using a level or measuring tape. 
  • Children and gardening go together naturally! Not only can they assist with planting projects, but building raised beds or trellises as well, and even preschoolers can be handy with a rake or help with weeding. 
  • Teach children that some repairs do not require a service call. Replace faucets, door knobs, or cabinetry pulls yourself, and let them in on the action when smaller tools are involved. They will not only learn valuable skills, but they will also learn about saving money! 
  • Creating outdoor spaces for the kids such as a pallet playhouse, a swing set kit, or simple soccer/street hockey goal will give them a sense of accomplishment if they help! 

Get your family excited about helping, have patience, and keep them safe while you are working. You will find that while you are spending time with them, those DIY jobs will start them on a journey of learning how to take care of their future home as a handy homeowner! 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: Bless’er House

Grow These 8 Houseplants – No Green Thumb Necessary

November 1st, 2022 by tisner


One welcome comeback in home decor is the use of houseplants! Indoor plants bring so much to our homes, and one does not have to have a lot of gardening knowledge to grow beautiful plants. Here are just a few plants that will give even the brownest thumb success!
 

  • Succulents are at the top of the easy indoor plant list. No wonder–they need just a little bit of attention, take up very little space, and most only need indirect light. 
  • The spider plant is as lovely in a pot stand as it is hanging from a ceiling hook. Available in green or variegated leaf color, these plants offer a bonus: easily-rooted baby plants to share or keep for yourself! 
  • A proven air purifier, the ZZ plant is great for homes with low light. These plants will thrive in even the darkest corner of a room, but keep in mind that they need to be out of the reach of pets and is not for human consumption, either. 
  • For a bit of color, grow a variety of bromeliad. Other than needing to be misted often and keeping their natural “cups” filled with fresh water, these tropical beauties will reward you with splashes of color. 
  • The name “air plant” is synonymous with “easy to grow!”  These plants do not need soil, can be placed in virtually anything, and need only indirect sunlight and weekly misting or soaking. 
  • Lavender as an easy indoor plant? Absolutely! As long as there is bright light and occasional watering, the room will be filled with its comforting scent. 
  • A hanging basket of philodendron is a common sight, but this plant is easily grown in water! Choose an opaque container, keep the water fresh and chlorine-free, adding water-soluble fertilizer occasionally, and this trailing plant will thrive! 
  • If you want blooms, the tried and true African violet is the plant to grow indoors! This dainty plant simply asks to be placed in bright light and its soil kept moist. Many hybrids are available in several colors to brighten any space.

There are many proven benefits to growing plants indoors, so why not try one or several easy-to-grow plants shared by Guide to Houseplants? Your health, home, and happiness will get a much-deserved boost, and it could be the start of a rewarding hobby! 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: Gardens Nursery

Orlando State of the Market September 2022

October 27th, 2022 by tisner

Orlando Area Residential Real Estate Snapshot for September-2022

New Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association data shows interest rates surge as home sales see biggest drop since January 2022

State of the Market

  • September’s interest rate was recorded at 6.3%, a 19.5% increase from August when the interest rate was 5.3%.
  • Overall sales in September dropped by 18.3% for a total of 2,717 sales compared to 3,324 sales in August.
  • Overall sales dropped 28.3% in September 2022 compared to September of last year.
  • The median home price for September 2022 was recorded at $365,000, a decrease of 3.4% compared to August’s median home price, $377,750. This is the third month in a row that the median home price has fallen.
  • Inventory rose 1.8% in September, from 6,762 to 6,884. This is the fifth straight month of inventory increases.
  • Homes spent an average of 31 days on the market in September, jumping 14.8% from August when the average was 27 days.
  • New listings decreased by 27.1% from August to September, with 3,318 new homes on the market in September.
  • “We are starting to feel the impacts of rising interest rates on the Orlando housing market as they have more than doubled over the past 12 months,” said Tansey Soderstrom, Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association President. “Rising interest rates are causing buyers to be more cautious, resulting in fewer Orlando home sales for the month of September. This cooling off in sales does have an upside for buyers, as they now have the luxury of being more patient when looking for a home.”

Market Snapshot

  • Interest rates increased as the average interest rate for September was recorded at 6.3%. This is 120.9% higher than September 2021 when interest rates were 2.9%.
  • Pending sales decreased by 8% from August to September for a total of 3,838 pending sales.
  • 12 distressed homes (bank-owned properties and short sales) accounted for 0.4% of all home sales in September. That represents a 100% increase from August, when 6 distressed homes sold.

Inventory

  • Orlando area inventory increased by 1.8% from August to September from 6,762 homes to 6,884 homes. Inventory in September 2022 was 87.9% higher than in September 2021, when it was recorded at 3,664 homes.
  • The supply of homes increased to 2.53 months in September. This is the second month since June 2020 with over two months of supply. A balanced market is six months of supply.
  • The number of new listings decreased in September from August by 27.1% down to 3,318 homes.

ORRA’s full State of the Market Report for September can be found here.

 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

By: www.orlandorealtors.org

Trick or Treat Home Safety

October 25th, 2022 by tisner


It won’t be long before the streets of your neighborhood are filled with children, and some parents, will be costumed and carrying bags and buckets for Halloween treats!  Since many homeowners don’t regularly use the front entrance to their home, they may 
not think about all the little feet that will be tramping up the path to your door.  Make sure everyone has a safe trip for their candy by following these tips before October 31! 

  • Do your own walk-up to your front door, and examine everything, including the driveway and front steps.  Make sure there are no loose pieces or large cracks that can cause anyone to take a tumble.  Porch railings should be secure. 
  • Yard decor should be fixed securely so the wind can’t blow it over, or curious little hands cannot pull it down. 
  • Battery-operated LED tea lights are inexpensive and much safer to use in place of lighted candles.  Many options are available for LED’s, including a flickering light that is perfect for your jack o’ lantern. 
  • Speaking of lights, make sure that not only is your porch light switched on, but that the path you’ve created is well-lit. 
  • Decor that hangs from the trees is scary and fun, so make certain they are hanging at least ten feet from the walkway, making certain they don’t obstruct anyone’s view. 
  • Take an afternoon close to Halloween to be sure any shrubbery, trees or edging isn’t in the way of where trick-or-treaters must walk.  Inspect for loose branches in nearby trees and remove them. 
  • If you have room in the garage, consider parking the car there.  The folks that are coming and going would likely appreciate the extra room to pass others. 
  • A constantly-ringing doorbell or persistent knocking can cause your pets some distress and a lot of barking.  Confine them to a room, or even better, to their crate.  Check out these other great tips about your pets and Halloween from the ASPCA. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: amazon.com

Tricks and Treats to Help You Sell Your Home

October 18th, 2022 by tisner

Soon little goblins from all around your neighborhood will be coming to your door asking for candy by saying “trick or treat”. There may be more to than you think if you are in the market to sell your home. Let’s take a look at a few tricks and treats that may help you to sell your home more quickly than you may have thought you could. Of course a good Realtor is the way to go but you and your Realtor can talk about these ideas and decide which tricks and treats you want to use to sell your home.

  • For some reason buyers are a little scared of the number 9 in your asking price. The last thing you want to do is to frighten your potential buyers off by using the number 9. We have all seen this tactic in the local stores where items are listed for sale at a price of $9.99 or $12.99. Instead of using the number 9 in your sale price why not just round up to the next number to make the number nice and round and to avoid turning away buyers that may have otherwise been interested in your home. For instance instead of listing your home at $199,000 go ahead and list it at $200,000. When your sale price ends with a 9, it looks like you are trying too hard to give a bargain and buyers are not particularly looking for a bargain deal when buying a home.
  • Another trick and treat that may help you sell your home is to stay away from a lot of aromatherapy. While aromatherapy is a good thing, it can confuse and even turn off some potential buyers. When potential buyers are looking at your home they are affected by not only what they see but by what they smell as well. If you happen to have a person tour your home who hates the smell of vanilla and you have it piped throughout your house with candles or other smelly goods you may lose that buyer that easily. A good rule of thumb is to go for a fresh clean scent such as pine sol or something similar. You can fill a sink with water and put a dash of pine sol in there to help your home smell nice and fresh.
  • If at all possible, stage your home. Homes that are staged tend to sell more easily than those that look extremely lived in. Folks want to imagine their own family living in your home, not see how you and your family live there.

Hopefully these tricks and treats for selling your home will help keep you from frightening off potential buyers.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently. You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: Real Simply 

Study Supports Earliest Interest Rate Hikes’ Timing

October 13th, 2022 by tisner


Study says: If the U.S. central bank had acted in early 2021, inflation would be down about a percentage point, but unemployment would be up 2 percentage points.

SAN FRANCISCO – Did the Federal Reserve make a historic blunder by not starting to raise interest rates early last year to fight inflation? And if so, how bad a mistake was it?

Not so bad, according to a paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco released Tuesday.

In the study, the San Francisco Fed argues if the U.S. central bank had acted in early 2021, inflation would be about a percentage point lower than it is today, but unemployment would be 2 percentage points higher.

“The main effect of earlier action by the (Fed’s policymaking committee) would have been slightly lower inflation at the cost of a substantially higher unemployment rate,” Regis Barnichon, a senior research adviser at the San Francisco Fed, wrote in the study.

The Fed, the paper says, likely would have raised rates just moderately because it would have been mindful of its “dual mandate” to achieve both price stability and maximum employment, especially as the nation was still emerging from the deep recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The San Francisco Fed, along with the 11 other regional Fed banks, operate independently but under the Federal Reserve’s supervision.

Fed officials have been widely criticized for calling the inflation surge “transitory” for much of last year, contending it was caused by pandemic-related supply chain bottlenecks that soon would ease. As a result, they kept the Fed’s key short-term interest rate near zero to spur economic activity and lower unemployment, which peaked at 14.7% in April 2020 and still stood at an elevated 6.2% in early 2021.

Inflation, meanwhile, was starting to creep up, with a core measure – which excludes food and energy items – rising from 1% in July 2020 to 2.3% in March 2021 before peaking at 6.2% this past February.

Since the Fed was assailed for being behind the curve, it’s now hiking rates too sharply to tame inflation, according to many economists, and likely tipping the economy into recession by next year. The Fed has hoisted the federal funds rate by 3 percentage points in 2022 after its third straight hike of three-quarters of a point in September. It expects the rate to close out 2022 at about 4.4%.

“They’re going from one extreme to the other,” says Joseph LaVorgna, chief economist of SMBC Nikko Securities.

The Fed hasn’t been the only target of criticism for the price surge. Republicans, among some top economists, also blame President Joe Biden’s $2trillion American Rescue Plan in early 2021 for distributing big checks to households, which goosed consumer spending and further strained supply chains.

Yet the San Francisco Fed paper addresses only the Fed’s role in the episode.

Barnichon argues that even if the Fed could foresee the current price spike, it likely would have raised its federal funds rate by about a percentage point immediately and another percentage point by early 2022, leaving the rate at about 2% early this year instead of near zero.

Separately, Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, agrees the appropriate federal funds rate early this year in light of the Fed’s dual mandate was 2%.

Under that scenario, Barnichon writes, core PCE inflation now would be about 4.8% – still well above the Fed’s 2% target – instead of the current 5.8% while unemployment would be about 5.5% rather than today’s 3.5%, which matches a 50-year low.

In other words, inflation would be less virulent at the cost of fewer people working and a weaker economy.

“The Fed was too slow to begin raising the federal funds rate” and that was partly responsible for raising consumers’ inflation expectations, which in turn led to sharper wage growth and inflation, Zandi says.

But, he adds, “it’s inappropriate to be overly critical of the Fed’s slow response, given the heightened uncertainties caused by the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback.”

If the Fed has acted sooner, the federal funds rate would be a half to three-quarters of a point lower by early next year than currently forecast, Zandi estimates.

LaVorgna disagrees, saying, “When the emergency is over, you take away emergency policy,” adding that’s what the Fed historically has done.

By doing so, he argues, the Fed may only have had to boost its key rate to about 2.5% by now and then paused. A more temperate rise in interest rates could have made for more stable financial markets and avoided perhaps about half of this year’s 24% plunge in the S&P 500 index, LaVorgna reckons.

He also disputes that unemployment would be notably higher than today’s 3.5% and believes inflation would be more than a percentage point lower, though he wouldn’t be more specific.

In his paper, Barnichon says that economic models during the current period are highly uncertain.

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Source: www.floridarealtors.org, Paul Davidson

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