For the second consecutive month, U.S. consumer confidence is plunging. July's official reading is its lowest since July of last year and the figures run in stark contrast to just two months ago, when the index touched a multi-year high.
According the Federal Home Finance Agency's Home Price Index, home values are now just 12.5 percent off their April 2007 peak nationwide. This after a half-percent monthly increase in prices in May,on average.
The fiscal responsibility of a homeowner extends beyond the mortgage's basic principal and interest repayments. Homeowners are also responsible for the real estate taxes on the home and its insurance premiums, too.
Foreclosure filings rose 4 percent nationwide last month versus June, according to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac.com. For the 17th straight month, total filings topped 300,000. 6 states dominated activity levels.
Standard & Poors released its Case-Shiller Index Tuesday. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, between April and May 2010, home prices rose in 19 of Case-Shiller's 20 tracked markets. It's the second straight month of strong Case-Shiller findings.