My gift for your teens…and your market update.

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Onto the market update…

Mortgage Rates and Applications: Despite the fact that interest rates dropped slightly for the week ending July 29th, applications for both refinances and purchases declined 2.0 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. This is the third consecutive week of declines in purchases. Additionally, it is the lowest pace of home purchases since February. Applications are currently running only 6.0 percent higher than the same time last year.

The question that some industry insiders are asking is “is the well running dry for refinancing?” Despite mortgage rates having declined slightly, this week’s decline in applications follows last week’s double digit drop of 15.0 percent.

Employment: As was expected, the ADP Employment Report, which provides data on private payrolls, showed that for the month of July, companies increased payrolls by 179,000. This figure was on the upper end of analyst’s expectations. The ADP Employment report this year has been far more accurate than last year.
Construction Spending: Although expectations were that spending in this sector would rise somewhere in the area of 0.6 percent, it actually declined by 0.6 percent for the month of June. May was revised with an improvement from 0.8 percent down to only a minimal drop of 0.1 percent.

Single-family construction fell 0.4 percent, which extends the negative path dating back to March. Overall, construction spending is up 4.8 percent from last year in June. One of the bright sides of this month’s report is that it appears that home improvement spending in the residential sector is up by 1.2 percent.

First Time Jobless Claims: Claims for the week ending July 30th moved up slightly to 269,000. This is an increase of 3,000 from the prior week. Overall claims remain well below the psychological benchmark of 300,000. The upward trend needs to be watched as in recent weeks there have been more increases in claims than declines.

EIA Petroleum Status: The only way you would not know that gas prices have been dropping is if you don’t use a car. With oil prices having dipped below $40 a barrel earlier in the week, we are seeing the cost of filling our vehicles steadily moving lower. This is also a reversal of the typical trend of higher gas prices during the peak driving months.

Petroleum inventories jumped by 1.4 million barrels in the week of July 29th. The overall gain in storage has increased by 14.8 percent from the same time last year. Even though refineries have cut back production slightly, it seems that less oil is being used by consumers. Next week’s potential market moving reports are:


  • Monday August 8th – Labor Market Conditions
  • Tuesday August 9th – Small Business Optimism Index
  • Wednesday August 10th – MBA Mortgage Applications and EIA Petroleum Report
  • Thursday August 11th – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday August 12th – Retail Sales, Producer Price Index, and Consumer Sentiment


As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can. Please feel free to reach me at 661-618-1789.