A mom, dad, and their daughter standing outside with their arms around each other and looking at their new home.

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Mortgage rates have been remarkably low since the summer, and for that reason alone, many prospective buyers have clamored to purchase homes. They’re being tripped up, however, by soaring prices.

Home prices increased 5.9% nationally in August 2020, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index, compared to a year prior. We have limited inventory to thank for that. The supply of available homes in August decreased by 17% from the previous year, leading to an uptick in demand and creating a housing market loaded with bidding wars as eager buyers compete to win contracts on the limited inventory.

The result? Many buyers are struggling to find homes, so they may not get to take advantage of the phenomenally low mortgage rates.

Is it worth it to buy a home today?

Locking in a mortgage at a low rate could result in a world of savings — but that assumes you don’t grossly overpay for a home. While home prices climbed 5.9% in August on average, in some parts of the country, there’s an even higher level of inflation in play. So what you save on mortgage interest by snagging a low rate, you’ll pay for with a higher purchase price.

That said, depending on your local housing market, there may, in fact, be some deals. If you find a home with a listing price that’s only slightly elevated, it could be worth it to buy.

Imagine you’re looking at paying an extra $5,000 for a home now (compared to what prices looked like last year). That additional $5,000 only adds $21 a month in principal and interest on your mortgage payment if you snag a 30-year fixed loan at 3%. And given that the 30-year mortgage has been trending even lower than that, it could be

Mulberry (OTC:MLBGF, OTC:MLBGY) is a British luxury goods company best known for its leatherworking. It has its own network of shops and a well-regarded brand in the luxury space. However, it is a small player and that has exacerbated its struggles amid demand depressed by the pandemic. Avoid.

About Mulberry

The company has a key brand, Mulberry. The brand is well-regarded but the lack of a portfolio approach has made itself felt recently, as when consumers tighten their belts, there is no lower priced brand in the portfolio for them to trade down to. Additionally, as an independent, niche player, the brand lacks the heft and security that come with being part of a larger luxury goods house like Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy (OTCPK:LVMHF, OTCPK:LVMUY) or Kering (OTCPK:PPRUF, OTCPK:PPRUY). It thus relies more on the attractiveness of its mainline brand.

Despite its British associations, the company sources from multiple countries including lower cost countries. It says rather cryptically that its U.K. factories support up to fifty per cent of its leather bag production, whatever that means. Given its premium price points, I think that this is a challenge: as a consumer, I would sadly expect a midmarket brand like Coach to use factories in low cost countries, but I wouldn’t expect of it Louis Vuitton, for example. Mulberry at its high end is comparable to LV.

The Pandemic Has Hit Mulberry Hard

The pandemic and recession have combined in an unfortunate hit for the company. Not only are some consumers spending less on luxury goods, greatly reduced international travel also means lower interest in the quintessentially English brand.

In its preliminary results released this week, the company revealed that even though its year ended 28 March, which meant limited impact from COVID-19 in key western markets, it still took a

By contrast, about a fifth, $884 billion, went to help workers and families. And even less aimed at the health crisis itself, with 16 percent of the total going toward testing and tracing, vaccine development, and helping states provide care, among other health-related needs.

The division of the funds, laid out in a deeply reported Washington Post investigation into the federal pandemic response, shines a light on the origin of the K-shaped economic recovery. 

It continues to cushion the blow for the well-off while leaving millions of low and middle-income Americans struggling.

“The legislation bestowed billions in benefits on companies and wealthy individuals largely unscathed by the pandemic,” Peter Whoriskey, Douglas MacMillan and Jonathan O’Connell report, “while at the same time allowing special aid for unemployed workers to expire over the summer and leaving some local public health efforts struggling for money to conduct testing and other prevention efforts.”

They point to $651 billion in business tax breaks that “often went to companies unaffected by the pandemic and others that laid off thousands of workers.” That’s in part because the breaks weren’t targeted to sectors that suffered the most acutely during the pandemic shutdowns. And the legislation offered breaks for operating losses dating all the way back to 2018, making companies eligible for relief for setbacks from well before the pandemic struck.

The Cheesecake Factory, for one, said it will claim a tax break for $50 million despite furloughing 41,000 workers. And United Natural Foods, an organic grocer that saw its revenue surge by $1 billion this year, applied for a $28 million refund, the Post team found.

Another source of aid for larger companies came in the form of $454 billion that went to support lending by the Federal Reserve. 

That pot of money helped “stabilize markets, and those

Tenants and landlords across Miami-Dade can apply for county help from the CARES Act, with stipends available to cover rent payments that can’t be made because of the COVID-19 crisis.

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Miami-Dade is accepting applications for the next two weeks for a second round of payments from its $15 million tenant program, which can cover up to three months’ worth of rent payments for tenants who meet income requirements. The application window closes on Friday, Oct. 16.

To qualify, a person must be a Miami-Dade resident, unable to pay full rent because of a COVID-related hardship, and make no more than 20% more than the county’s median income. For a single person, that sets the threshold at $76,800, and for a family with four people at home, the threshold is $109,680.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to help a lot of people,” said Michael Liu, the county’s housing director.

The program will cover up to three months’ worth of rent payments, with a cap of $5,000 per recipient.

Online applications are available at miamidade.myhousing.com.

The rental aid involves two programs approved by county commissioners, including one reserved only for residents living outside city limits. There’s no need for applicants to know if they live inside a city or not, because the county has rental-assistance dollars for all eligible residents.

“You can just apply,” Liu said. “We’ll figure that out for you.”

The second wave of grants for a rental program launched in July captures a challenge for Miami-Dade and its $474 million pool of federal CARES Act dollars.

Most county relief programs haven’t been able to distribute all of their allocated dollars. Originally capped at $10 million, the county’s rental-assistance program had paid out just $5 million as of late September, according to county figures. The program had stopped accepting

(Bloomberg) — Singapore banks will extend debt relief for individuals and small-to-midsized businesses beyond the end of the year to support borrowers hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.



a group of people walking down a street next to tall buildings with Westin Bonaventure Hotel in the background: Buildings stand in the central business district in Singapore, on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Rising interest rates and the latest round of property curbshave put the brakes on mortgage demand at Singapore’s banks, potentially further dragging down the city’s housing market.


© Bloomberg
Buildings stand in the central business district in Singapore, on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Rising interest rates and the latest round of property curbshave put the brakes on mortgage demand at Singapore’s banks, potentially further dragging down the city’s housing market.

The measures, set to expire on Dec. 31, will now progressively end over 2021, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement. The extended program will be tiered so those businesses needing the most help — such as aviation and tourism — can defer 80% of their principal repayments for as long as June 30, the regulator said.

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Individuals with property loans who are unable to resume making full repayments due to a loss of income can apply for reduced payments pegged at 60% of their monthly installments for as long as nine months. Borrowers struggling to pay unsecured revolving credit facilities can apply to have repayments at a lower rate, the MAS said.

The Singapore government, like many around the world, is trying to navigate what’s expected to be a record recession brought on by the pandemic. Authorities are taking steps to mitigate the so-called “cliff effect” on consumers and businesses once relief measures end. The city state has pledged virus aid of around S$100 billion ($73 billion).

Cash Flow

“We want to continue providing relief to borrowers facing cash flow challenges while encouraging them to resume loan repayments to the extent they are able to, so that they do not accumulate too much debt,” MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said in the statement.

Bloomberg reported last week that the regulator and banks had been