Initial jobless claims for the week fell a bit short of expectations, dropping 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 262,000, this according to the Labor Department. Applications for unemployment benefits Should You Form an LLC?
have now been under the 300,000 mark for 76 straight weeks, the longest since 1973. This new data may be just another indicator of a strengthening economy, although many workers will tell you they don’t really feel any economic boom of any sort. Consumer Confidence from June to July held relatively steady. We’ll see if employment and wage trends continue to show positive trends when the August job numbers are released September 2

Yesterday the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage application volume fell again by 4.0 percent even as interest rates are very near record lows. Applications to buy and finance a home are at their lowest levels since February of this year. February typically sees fewer applications than any other month both due to fewer business days in the month as well as the time of year when home sales have generally cooled off. This tells us that homeowners aren’t refinancing their mortgages and home sales are slowing, although as we head towards the fall, sales begin its seasonal slowdown.

Yet rental demand is still on the rise, especially in metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Austin and Seattle. Rental demand is up in most areas of the country primarily due to the continued influx of millennials graduating from college and entering the workforce. If this trend continues of relatively tepid home sales, even in spite of low rates, and more renters coming into the markets, rental rates as well as occupancy rates should remain strong over the next few years.