As mortgage rates go down during the pandemic, home prices go every which way

Homebuyers who are emerging from their COVID-19 cocooning are likely to encounter bargain-rack mortgage rates for the forseeable future. But it’s less clear what they’ll find when they look at home prices.

Are prices going up or down? Recent reports have been mixed and largely don’t reflect the impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

What’s likely to happen to prices in the coming months? The forecasts are murky, too.

Here’s a look at what we know — and what we don’t know.

Several reports say home prices are going up

House models arranged on stacked coins at table against gray background
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

One closely followed national survey said last week that home prices across the U.S. were up 4.4% in March, compared to a year earlier. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller study also tracks prices in 20 major cities and says Phoenix saw the biggest year-over-year gain — 8.2% — while Chicago had the smallest growth, at just 1.5%.

Meanwhile,

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Amazon’s best-selling seat cushion has done wonders for my bum while working from home

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For the foreseeable future, I’m going to be working from home, and while adjusting to this “new normal,” I decided that it’s finally time to amp up my work-from-home station. (I mean, it’s about time since we’re on our third month of working from home).

While I have yet to invest in an additional computer monitor (that’s next on my list), and there are so many other work-from-home accessories you can shop, my new favorite obsession is this best-selling seat cushion I found on Amazon.

Never did I think I would be the person to geek out about a seat cushion, but here we are. The

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Inside a Mecca of Midcentury Brazilian Art and Design

Brazilian design dealer Ulysses De Santi and his husband, Graham Steele, didn’t normally spend long periods of time together. They had different responsibilities, and very different rhythms. “Graham is extremely social, hyperactive, and his schedule was always insane,” says De Santi, who’s been sheltering at home with Steele since the pandemic upended life as we know it. “So just to be able to have him here is such a gift.” As a senior director at Hauser & Wirth, an art gallery with outposts in Asia, Europe and North America, Steele was used to jetting across the globe, sometimes having breakfast in one continent and dinner in another. By contrast, De Santi is an introvert. “He would happily be socially isolating for the next five years,” says Steele, only half-jokingly.

The couple’s personality contrasts extend to their design sensibilities: One is a minimalist and the other a maximalist. And yet in

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7 Non-Scary Bikini Trimmers To Try At Home For Smooth Skin

While forgoing a standing wax appointment at the spa is the least of anyone’s worries during a pandemic, you’re not alone in wanting to DIY salon treatments at home in the name of feel-good pampering. Perhaps it’s a manicure (bonus points for fun nail art) or freshening up your hair color — or maybe it’s attempting your very own bikini cleanup. It sounds ambitious, but it can be done.

Unlike shaving with a razor, bikini trimmers are often easier to maneuver around hard-to-reach spots on your body. (In other words, no more needing to awkwardly perch one leg on the toilet seat, disposable razor in hand.) And while you might not be spending much time in a swimsuit these days, if keeping things smooth along your bikini line makes you feel like your most confident self, then by all means, do you. Here, we’ve rounded up seven devices we

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John Lautner’s personal home sells in Silver Lake

A piece of architectural history just traded hands in Silver Lake. The modernist home that celebrated architect John Lautner designed and used as his personal residence has sold for $1.67 million.

Built in 1939, the hillside residence first hit the market in April and found a buyer about a week later, eventually closing for $80,000 over the original asking price.

The successful sale shows continued interest in the late architect’s work. Actor Ed Norton dropped $11.8 million on a Lautner-designed beach house in Malibu Colony in 2017, and earlier this year, Amanda Hearst, descendent of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, paid $5.9 million for a modernist home he built in Hollywood Hills West. In 2014, Lautner’s famous futuristic Silvertop residence sold for $8.55 million — or 14% over the asking price.

This one’s a bit on the smaller scale, spanning three stories with just over 1,200 square feet. Lautner designed

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