Linkage: Check out this new app that lets you rent friends!

Wanna be the smartest person at your 4th of July barbecue tomorrow? Here’s your quick reading list on toxic mortgage bonds finally going away, latest jobs and home price numbers, and apps to hang your head about.

– Home prices are still growing nationally, but as a much slower rate than in previous years, say the real estate experts at John Burns

– That’s an important trend to keep an eye on, since home affordability is increasingly a global issue

– That’s why Oregon is on the verge of completely disrupting the way we think about housing zoning in the U.S. It might eliminate single-family zoning entirely at the state level.

– Maybe if we all get some more neighbors, we won’t feel compelled to rent friends for $50/hour. Yeah, you read that right, and there’s an app for that called RentAFriend.

– Toxic mortgage bonds that caused the 2008 financial crisis are almost out of the financial system

IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID

And if you need some dry material to quickly end conversations with your annoying uncle, here’s some economic news. I’ll still make it interesting for you, though:

– Unemployment filings were down 8k last week.

– The 4-week moving average of jobless claims barely rose.

– The U.S. added 102k private-sector jobs in June

– That’s a nice rebound from 41k jobs added in May, but less than half the # of jobs added in June 2018

– These are good numbers, but there are still 7 million job openings for only 6 million job seekers, so we could be seeing much bigger numbers and aren’t.

– That means there’s tons of demand for labor, but the workforce isn’t able to fill it right now.

More on economics later today. For now, enjoy today’s Linkage before you try to duck out of work early.

Because what’s more American than that?