Coronavirus: What new restrictions are coming into force in England today?

Coronavirus: What new restrictions are coming into force in England today?

Earlier this week, it was announced that the UK’s Covid-alert level had been raised from 3 to 4, indicating that transmission of the coronavirus across the nation is currently “high or rising exponentially”.

On Tuesday 22 September, Boris Johnson outlined a series of new measures that are being implemented across England as a means of curbing further spread of the virus, warning that the UK is at a “perilous point” in the fight against Covid-19. 

In addition to doubling the fine for a first time offence if members of the public are found breaking the “rule of six” when socialising with friends and family, the prime minister announced that pubs and restaurants will be required to close their doors at 10pm.

Here are all the new rules coming into effect on Thursday 24 September. 

Face coverings

From Thursday 24 September, people will be required to wear face coverings when they are being served at hospitality venues.

This means that while customers can take their face coverings off when they are sat down at a table to eat or drink, if they stand up and walk to the bathroom or are being shown to their table on arrival, they must wear a face covering.

People working at hospitality and retail services must also wear face coverings, a measure that was previously up to individual discretion. The government website states: “Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law.”

10pm curfew

Any business that sells food or drink, including cafes, pubs, restaurants, social clubs and casinos, must close their doors between the hours of 10pm and 5am every day, the government has said.

While this rule also applies to takeaway services, food and drink deliveries, or the use of drive-thru services, can continue after 10pm, meaning that some restaurants like McDonalds have already told customers they will remain open.

Table service

When dining out from Thursday 24 September, members of the public can only be served food and drink when sitting at tables. 

This means that while they could previously order food or drinks at a bar, they will no longer be allowed and must wait to be served. 

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‘Check-in’ at businesses

From Thursday 10 September, businesses in England were obliged by law to record the contact details for customers, visitors and staff members, in order to keep track of anyone who may have tested positive for the virus and come into contact with others. 

Now, businesses have been told they must put up NHS QR code posters on their premises. 

This will allow customers to “‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally”, the government said. 

The NHS Covid-19 app is being launched today, having originally been due to launch four months ago. 

Group limits

On Tuesday 22 September, the prime minister announced that further restrictions were being placed on the number of people permitted to socialise with one another at any one time. 

While the “rule of six” has been in place since Monday 14 September, failure to comply with the rule could now result in a £200 fine for a first offence, double the previous amount. 

From Monday 28 September, wedding ceremonies and receptions will only be permitted to allow 15 attendees, half of what was formerly allowed. 

And from Thursday 24 September, support groups –which includes those providing support for people recovering from addiction, helping individuals who have suffered from long illnesses or supporting people who are grieving a loss –  will only be allowed to include 15 people, the government stated. 

Furthermore, while indoor adult team sports must now also follow the rule of six, there is an exemption for indoor organised team sports for disabled people, which comes into effect today. 

Childcare in restricted areas

In areas of the country that where restrictions on interhousehold mixing have been established, a new exemption on childcare has been announced. 

From Thursday 24 September, friends and family “in those areas of local intervention where household mixing is not allowed” will be allowed to informally help take care of other people’s children in their homes, for children under the age of 14, the government outlined.

Coronavirus: Charities call on MPs to scrap emergency powers law

Coronavirus: Charities call on MPs to scrap emergency powers law

A coalition of charities and human rights groups is calling on MPs to scrap a piece of emergency coronavirus legislation that has allowed ministers to impose dramatic restrictions on individuals’ liberties without debate in parliament.

Boris Johnson must win a vote in the Commons on Wednesday to preserve the Coronavirus Act, which was rushed through in a single day at the start of lockdown on 23 March but must be renewed every six months to remain in effect.

He is already facing potential defeat at the hands of Tory rebels, 42 of whom have backed an amendment that would force him to hold a parliamentary debate and vote before imposing any new restrictions, such as curfews, lockdowns or limits on social contact.

Now groups including Liberty, Black Lives Matter UK, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, the Traveller Movement and Big Brother Watch have demanded that the act be scrapped altogether.

The groups – representing causes ranging from civil liberties to disability rights, race equality, migrants’ rights, Gypsy and Roma Traveller advocacy, mental health, policing and homelessness – warned that the legislation has had a disproportionate impact on ethnic minorities and vulnerable people.

In a joint statement, they described it as “a lasting threat to our human rights as long as it remains on the statute books”.

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The director of Liberty, Martha Spurrier, said: “MPs had barely any time to scrutinise the Coronavirus Act when it was introduced. They’ve had six months to watch the failure of using a criminal justice response to a public health crisis and the cruelty of how the act abandons the most marginalised when their rights need to be upheld.

“The act epitomises the government’s determination to prioritise criminal justice over public health, and its disregard for our rights. Renewing the act now would consolidate this power grab, putting our rights at even greater risk in the long term.

“It is time for parliament to repeal the Coronavirus Act and create a strategy that protects our rights, as well as our health.”

Liberty pointed to the admission from the Crown Prosecution Service that dozens of people had been wrongly charged by police under the act, with all 44 detentions of “suspected infectious persons” between March and May found to be incorrect.

And the civil liberties campaign said that its own research found that people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) backgrounds were 54 per cent more likely to be given fixed penalty notice fines than white people – with one police force issuing almost seven times as many fines to Bame people given their proportion of the local population.

The 329 pages of legislation created substantial powers to detain any person who might be infectious, to close borders and postpone elections, and to suspend human rights safeguards in a range of settings, from the surveillance regime to care homes, said Liberty, which has been campaigning for the act’s repeal since its introduction.

The act “not only created an unprecedented reimagining of state powers, it has also watered down laws that protect our human rights”, they said.

Some 76 per cent of people in a recent poll agreed that human rights should be protected during a national crisis.

As MPs prepare to vote on Wednesday, the joint statement signed by 22 organisations, urged them to “scrap the act and … instead focus on a response to the pandemic which protects everyone’s human rights and keeps civil liberties intact”.

The statement said: “In times of crisis, governments can either tap into public spirit and connect communities or increase state powers and use coercive methods that foster ill-will and blame.  

“Faced with this choice, the government opted for a criminal justice response to a public health crisis, prioritising immigration control over saving lives, and rushing through an act of parliament that strips away our rights.”

Signatories include: Liberty; Another Night of Sisterhood; Big Brother Watch; Black Lives Matter UK; Black Protest Legal Support UK; British Institute of Human Rights; Centre for Mental Health; Inquest; Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants; Justice; London Campaign Against Police and State Violence; Maslaha; Museum of Homelessness; National Survivor User Network; Netpol; Northern Police Monitoring Project; Release; Rights and Security International; Runnymede Trust; Streets Kitchen; StopWatch; The Traveller Movement.

Becoming a Half-Tourist; Combining Work with a Change of Scenery

Becoming a Half-Tourist; Combining Work with a Change of Scenery

So you’re not quite ready to switch over to the digital nomad lifestyle yet. But you’ve become a remote worker maybe by choice and maybe by force. Coworking is a great option for a designated office space not at home. But have you considered a workation in your very own home state or country?

I’ve been working from home for months now, and love it especially after designing my office to fit my personal working style. But I have been craving a change of scenery.

I heard about the new concept of a half-tourist, and decided to try it out myself. By definition, a ‘half-tourist’ combines work with a change of scenery.


And thanks to Airbnb it’s easy to find accommodations in areas not too far from home. This allows for safe travel in your car and access to new landscapes that aren’t your backyard.

So I’ve flocked to Indian Rocks Beach! And I have to admit, working on a patio with the strong smell of seawater and seagulls gawking on the beach is probably the best experience I’ve had this year.

Interested in becoming a half-tourist? I would love to know where you’d like to go for your very own half-tourist workation!

The post Becoming a Half-Tourist; Combining Work with a Change of Scenery was first published on Coworkaholic. These are the 10 most flood-prone counties in the U.S. These are the 10 most flood-prone counties in the U.S.

Owning a beachfront home is a seductive dream for many Americans. Dramatic or serene ocean views right outside your living room! Communities offering up a relaxed or high-energy way of life—your pick! Heaping, fresh seafood platters and frosty margaritas by the water. Hey, what’s not to love?

Plenty, in fact. Sorry to intrude on the fantasy, but living near the water comes with some very real risks: the ongoing threat of destructive storms and regular flooding that can range from costly to catastrophic. And the worst of these dangers seems to be escalating.

In the past two months alone, the nation has been been hit by not one but two major storms: Hurricanes Laura and Sally bringing destruction and death to large swaths of the coastal U.S. And there were five more storm systems moving through the Atlantic Ocean as of Friday—only the second time in history that so many have been tracked at the same time.

That’s why the team at® decided it was time to take the high ground to find which counties in the U.S. have the greatest flood risks. Because while these areas are often rich in natural beauty and other attractions, those considering buying homes in these places should understand how their properties could be affected.

“The landfall of Hurricane Sally on the Alabama coast was just the latest exclamation point in what is turning out to be a record active-storm season in the Atlantic [Ocean],” says Danny Brouillette, a research climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University in State College.

“Climate change [is] causing tropical cyclones to be more slow-moving. … Paired with the increased water content of air as it grows warmer, it’s a recipe for more [storms] that produce extremely prolific rainfall that causes flooding, both at the coast and inland,” says Brouillette. “And increased sea levels due to climate change will tend to worsen flooding from storm surge near the coast.”

Floods are the most common weather-related natural disaster in the U.S., according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Despite the increasing risks, homeowners continue to be drawn to homes in some of the most flood-prone areas, such as beach communities on the shore of the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. But folks looking for property inland shouldn’t ignore the risks there either.

“It’s a risk that an inexperienced buyer could easily overlook, says Danielle Hale, chief economist at, “such as in a home that is relatively lower-lying than its neighbors, but nowhere near a body of water.”

Just over half of home shoppers would still consider buying a home even if they know it’s in a flood zone, according to a recent report on flood risk. But about 40% of those buyers expect a discount on the home price.

To come up with our ranking, our data team combined First Street Foundation’s flood data with’s property data. The team analyzed factors that contribute to flooding, including tides, rain, and storm surge. It also looked at the impact of environmental changes, like sea-level risk, changing precipitation patterns, and warming atmospheric temperatures.

( recently teamed up with the foundation to display the flood risk of every property listed on the site. Listings display a flood factor, ranging from 1 to 10, provided by First Street.)

We selected one county per state with the most major to extreme flood risk and included only the counties with at least 100,000 residents. So what are the areas in the U.S. at greatest risk?

1. Charlotte County, FL

Median county home list price: $280,000*

Most flood-prone ZIP Code in county: 33948 (Port Charlotte)

Much of Florida is technically in a high flood risk zone. (If we didn’t limit our criteria to just one county per state, Florida would dominate our rankings.) But, it’s also one of the country’s most desirable places to live with its 663 miles of prime beaches.

Charlotte County, in southwestern Florida on the Gulf Coast, attracts a variety of homeowners, including full-time residents and snowbirds who flock there in winter months.

“Even with the flood risk, Southwest Florida offers year-round great weather, more golf courses than any other place in the U.S., and some of the top-rated beaches in the country,” says Violetta Zalevskiy, a real-estate agent with Keller Williams in the area.

You pay a price for all that beauty. In 2004, Hurricane Charley devastated the Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda areas, wiping out about half of Charlotte County’s roughly 12,000 homes. The county was hit with flooding and damage again in 2017’s Hurricane Irma, although not nearly as bad.

Properties in Charlotte County are dominated by single-family homes, condos, and villas. A lake-view condo with two bedrooms and two baths is going for $119,900. A brand-new, three-bedroom home with a lanai is listed at $288,000.

2. Terrebonne Parish, La.

Median county home list price: $198,100

Most flood-prone ZIP Code in county: 70343 (Bourg)

Terrebonne Parish is known as Louisiana’s “Bayou Country” on the Gulf of Mexico. A little over an hour southwest of New Orleans, the county is home to vast wetlands, lakes, bays, bayous, and canals, along with wildlife preserves, oyster beds, and a rich Cajun culture.

The whole area mostly comprises water and wetlands, with the highest point just 13 feet above sea level. The coastal parish is regularly in the path of major storms, including Katrina in 2005. Most recently, Hurricane Laura last month caused damage and flooding.

Still, residents are attracted by the commercial fishing and the oil and gas industries, and low cost of living. In Houma, the parish seat, there are mostly single-family homes for sale, including this 2,400-square-foot home with a large backyard for $213,000. In Bourg, a little closer to the coast, this 7,000-square-foot home with extra storage and workshop spaces is going for $327,000.

3. Beaufort County, S.C.

Median county home list price: $429,100

Most flood-prone ZIP Code in county: 29928 (Hilton Head Island)

Hilton Head Island, located in Beaufort County, is renowned for its sandy beaches, resorts, multitude of golf courses, and subtropical heat. It has a booming tourism industry that inspires many visitors to invest in vacation homes.

The downside: Beaufort County is located in the state’s Lowcountry. Every few years, a hurricane makes landfall along this part of the coast, often causing damage from storm surges. And the low-lying landscape makes the county frequently vulnerable to floods. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused more than $57 million in damages.

Nonetheless, homes in Hilton Head Island have a median list price of $495,000. But deals can be found: This furnished, newly renovated condo located in a resort with a golf course and lagoon views is listed at $249,900.

4. Galveston County, Texas

Median county home list price: $305,100

Most flood-prone ZIP Code in county: 77554 (Galveston Island)

Located in southeastern Texas along the Gulf Coast, Galveston County often takes the brunt when a major storm hits. The area was devastated in 1900 by the deadliest hurricane in American history, which left 6,000 people dead. More recently, the city saw flooding from Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Still, Galveston is a “dreamy” place to live with friendly people, beaches, a great nightlife, and beautiful weather, says Johell Aponte, property specialist with Move On House Buyers.

“Homes are normally found raised up on stilts to avoid pitfalls of flooding, and generally don’t have basements,” he says.

But before buying a home in the Galveston area, do your research, says local agent Kristina Morales.

“Buyers should be looking at flood maps and really understand which properties are at the greatest risk of flooding,” she says. “They need to know the elevations of the homes they’re considering.”

Those interested in real estate in Galveston can find a variety of homes, including condos, townhouses, and single-family homes. This spacious Victorian-style home with four bedrooms and two bathrooms is listed at $399,000.

5. Jackson County, Miss.

Median county home list price: $210,000

Most flood-prone ZIP Code in county: 39581 (Pascagoula)

Katrina and its damaging storm surges caused catastrophic damage to Jackson County, located along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Then this June, Hurricane Cristobal brought 11 inches of rain, 46 mph winds, and storm surges of 5.5 feet. It left low-lying areas flooded.

Jackson County’s landscape is mostly marshlands and bayous, but it’s home to several beaches, too, and boasts a bustling tourism industry. Beach towns like Ocean Springs and Pascagoula are popular with visitors and residents, and nearby Biloxi draws crowds with its large casino resorts.

A variety of affordable homes is available in Jackson County. In Pascagoula, buyers can find a brand-new home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms clocking in at just over 1,500 square feet for $149,900.

6. Kanawha County, W.Va.

Median county home list price: $165,100

Most flood-prone ZIP Code in county: 25075 (Ohley)

Kanawha County is West Virginia’s most populous county and home to the state capital of Charleston. However, due to its location on the Kanawha River, Charleston and the surrounding areas are vulnerable to floods, especially after heavy rainfall.

In 2016, West Virginia saw one of its worst floods in its history, after about 10 inches of rain fell within 24 hours. The flood caused extensive damage and left more than 20 people dead in the state, including six in Kanawha County. The National Weather Service referred to it as a “one in a thousand year event.”

In spite of the flood risk, residents enjoy the suburban vibe of Charleston and its very low cost of living. The county offers the lowest-priced homes on our list and that are less than half of the national median list price of $350,000 in August, according to data. A three-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot home with a large, screened porch is going for $199,900.

7. Merced County, Calif.

Median county home list price: $350,100

Most flood-prone ZIP Code in county: 95365 (Planada)

Merced County is more than 90 minutes inland in California’s northern San Joaquin Valley. Heavy rainfall in the county’s namesake Merced River often causes dangerous overflow. One of the area’s worst floods in 2006 hit the Franklin-Beachwood area, forcing the evacuation of residents and leading to a state of emergency declaration.

Earlier this year, the California Department of Water Resources awarded Merced County a $9.7 million grant to help reduce flooding. The money will go toward a new 300-acre flood detention basin to add an extra layer of protection.

Single-family homes make up the bulk of available properties in the city of Merced, about two hours southeast of Silicon Valley. This 2,000-square-foot, four-bedroom with a large back patio is going for $343,000.

8. Chatham County, Ga.

Median county home list price: $342,000

Most flood-prone ZIP Code in county: 31411 (Savannah)

Known for its historic architecture and Southern charm, Savannah is the largest city in Chatham County—and the one most at risk of flooding. Hurricanes Matthew in 2016 and Irma in 2017 both hit Savannah, causing evacuations, flooding, and millions of dollars in damage.

Despite the disasters, Savannah’s beauty makes it a popular destination for visitors and home buyers.

“You can have the best of all worlds, with urban living, coastal living, country living,” says Janet Howard, a real-estate broker with RealtyONE Group in Savannah. “You can put your toes in the sand and relax listening to the Atlantic Ocean in all her glory.”

9. Atlantic County, N.J.

Median county home list price: $252,100

Most flood-prone ZIP Code in county: 08402 (Margate City)

Coastal flooding is common in Atlantic County, home to the eponymous Atlantic City, NJ. The area has experienced several major storms over the past decade. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy left about 80% of Atlantic City underwater at one point, and the year before, Hurricane Irene caused extensive damage and flooding.

Still, the housing market in Atlantic County has a lot to offer, says local real-estate investor Steven Orlowski.

“The area has been through the wringer recently with COVID-19 and for years prior because of the tumult in the casino business, but that is where the opportunity exists,” he says. “We have beaches, boating, and very diverse geography within driving distances of Philadelphia and New York.”

Waterfront properties are a draw for homeowners, but properties located more inland are less of a flood risk, Orlowski says.

10. New Hanover County, N.C.

Median county home list price: $380,600

Most flood-prone ZIP Code in county: 28480 (Wrightsville Beach)

In recent years, North Carolina has become a popular destination for those working in finance and tech as well as baby boomers looking for warmer weather and a lower cost of living without having to move all the way to Florida. New Hanover County, on the coast about an hour and a half north of Myrtle Beach, SC, is particularly popular due to its scenic shorelines.

North Carolina sees an average of 54 inches of rainfall in its coastal areas each year and 16 inches of snowfall in the mountains, so flooding is a big deal for the state.

Areas along the Atlantic coast are also regular targets for hurricanes. New Hanover County recently saw flooding and other damage from Hurricane Isaias last month. That’s why buyers should seek out properties that can hold up better to flooding.

“Look for homes that have flood protection features,” says local real-estate expert Michael Dean, co-founder of Pool Research, which provides consumers information about swimming pools. “Look for flood walls, flood-proof doors, and elevated houses.”

Median home list prices as of Aug. 1 on

This article originally appeared on

Erica Sweeney is a writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Parade, HuffPost, and other publications.

Former Rockets owner Leslie Alexander sells La Jolla beach house for $16 million

Former Rockets owner Leslie Alexander sells La Jolla beach house for $16 million


3 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks With Over 7% Dividend Yield

Markets are volatile, there can be no doubt. So far this month, the S&P 500 has fallen 9% from its peak. The tech-heavy NASDAQ, which had led the gainers all summer, is now leading the on the fall, having lost 11% since September 2. The three-week tumble has investors worried that we may be on the brink of another bear market.The headwinds are strong. The usual September swoon, the upcoming election, doubts about another round of economic stimulus – all are putting downward pressure on the stock markets.Which doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities. As the old saw goes, “Bulls and bears can both make money, while the pigs get slaughtered.” A falling market may worry investors, but a smart strategy can prevent the portfolio from losing too much long-term value while maintaining a steady income. Dividend stocks, which feed into the income stream, can be a key part of such a strategy.Using the data available in the TipRanks database, we’ve pulled up three stocks with high yields – from 7% to 11%, or up to 6 times the average dividend found on the S&P 500 index. Even better, these stocks are seen as Strong Buys by Wall Street’s analysts. Let’s find out why.Williams Companies (WMB)We start with Williams Companies, an Oklahoma-based energy company. Williams controls pipelines connecting Rocky Mountain natural gas fields with the Pacific Northwest region, and Appalachian and Texan fields with users in the Northeast and transport terminals on the Gulf Coast. The company’s primary operations are the processing and transport of natural gas, with additional ops in crude oil and energy generation. Williams handles nearly one-third of all US commercial and residential natural gas use.The essential nature of Williams’ business – really, modern society simply cannot get along without reliable energy sources – has insulated the company from some of the economic turndown in 1H20. Quarterly revenues slid from $2.1 billion at the end of last year to $1.9 billion in Q1 and $1.7 billion in Q2. EPS in the first half was 26 cents for Q1 and 25 cents for Q2 – but this was consistent with EPS results for the previous three quarters. The generally sound financial base supported the company’s reliable dividend. Williams has been raising that payment for the past four years, and even the corona crisis could not derail it. At 40 cents per common share, the dividend annualizes to $1.60 and yields an impressive 7.7%. The next payment is scheduled for September 28.Truist analyst Tristan Richardson sees Williams as one of the midstream sector’s best positioned companies.“We continue to look to WMB as a defensive component of midstream and favor its 2H prospects as broader midstream grasps at recovery… Beyond 2020 we see the value proposition as a stable footprint with free cash flow generation even in the current environment. We also see room for incremental leverage reduction throughout our forecast period on scaled back capital plans and even with the stable dividend. We look for modestly lower capex in 2021, however unlike more G&P oriented midstream firms, we see a project backlog in downstream that should support very modest growth,” Richardson noted.Accordingly, Richardson rates WMB shares as a Buy, and his $26 price target implies a 30% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Richardson’s track record, click here)Overall, the Strong Buy analyst consensus rating on WMB is based on 11 Buy reviews against just a single Hold. The stock’s current share price is $19.91 and the average price target is $24.58, making the one-year upside potential 23%. (See WMB stock analysis on TipRanks)Magellan Midstream (MMP)The second stock on our list is another midstream energy company, Magellan. This is another Oklahoma-based firm, with a network of assets across much of the US from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi Valley, and into the Southeast. Magellan’s network transports crude oil and refined products, and includes Gulf Coast export shipping terminals.Magellan’s total revenues rose sequentially to $782.8 in Q1, and EPS came in at $1.28, well above the forecast. These numbers turned down drastically in Q2, as revenue fell to $460.4 million and EPS collapsed to 65 cents. The outlook for Q3 predicts a modest recovery, with EPS forecast at 85 cents. The company strengthened its position in the second quarter with an issue of 10-year senior notes, totaling $500 million, at 3.25%. This reduced the company’s debt service payments, and shored up liquidity, making possible the maintenance of the dividend.The dividend was kept steady at $1.0275 per common share quarterly. Annualized, this comes to $4.11, a good absolute return, and gives a yield of 11.1%, giving MMP a far higher return than Treasury bonds or the average S&P-listed stock.Well Fargo analyst Praneeth Satish believes that MMP has strong prospects for recovery. “[We] view near-term weakness in refined products demand as temporary and recovering. In the interim, MMP remains well positioned given its strong balance sheet and liquidity position, and ratable cash flow stream…” Satish goes on to note that the dividend appears secure for the near-term: “The company plans to maintain the current quarterly distribution for the rest of the year.”In line with this generally upbeat outlook, Satish gives MMP an Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating, and a $54 price target that implies 57% growth in the coming year. (To watch Satish’s track record, click here)Net net, MMP shares have a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, a show of confidence by Wall Street’s analyst corps. The stock is selling for $33.44, and the average price target of $51.13 implies 53% growth in the year ahead. (See MMP stock analysis on TipRanks)Ready Capital Corporation (RC)The second stock on our list is a real estate investment trust. No surprise finding one of these in a list of strong dividend payers – REITs have long been known for their high dividend payments. Ready Capital, which focuses on the commercial mortgage niche of the REIT sector, has a portfolio of loans in real estate securities and multi-family dwellings. RC has provided more than $3 billion in capital to its loan customers.In the first quarter of this year, when the coronavirus hit, the economy turned south, and business came to a standstill, Ready Capital took a heavy blow. Revenues fell by 58%, and Q1 EPS came in at just one penny. Things turned around in Q2, however, after the company took measures – including increasing liquidity, reducing liabilities, and increasing involvement in government-sponsored lending – to shore up business. Revenues rose to $87 million and EPS rebounded to 70 cents.In the wake of the strong Q2 results, RC also started restoring its dividend. In Q1 the company had slashed the payment from 40 cents to 25 cents; in the most recent declaration, for an October 30 payment, the new dividend is set at 30 cents per share. This annualizes to $1.20 and gives a strong yield of 9.9%.Crispin Love, writing from Piper Sandler, notes the company’s success in getting back on track.“Given low interest rates, Ready Capital had a record $1.2B in residential mortgage originations versus our $1.1B estimate. Gain on sale margins were also at record levels. We are calculating gain on sale margins of 3.7%, up from 2.4% in 1Q20,” Love wrote.In a separate note, written after the dividend declaration, Love added, “We believe that the Board’s actions show an increased confidence for the company to get back to its pre-pandemic $0.40 dividend. In recent earnings calls, management has commented that its goal is to get back to stabilized earnings above $0.40, which would support a dividend more in-line with pre-pandemic levels.”To this end, Love rates RC an Overweight (i.e. Buy) along with a $12 price target, suggesting an upside of 14%. (To watch Love’s track record, click here)All in all, Ready Capital has a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, based on 4 recent positive reviews. The stock has an average price target of $11.50, which gives a 9% upside from the current share price of $10.51. (See RC stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.