Permits to build new homes increased 4.1% in October to a level of 1.15 million per year. Both single-family and multifamily levels increased by 2.4% and 6.8% respectively. On a year-to-date basis, total permits are up 11.9%; single-family are up 8.6% and multifamily are up 17.2% as the housing market continues its modest pace of recovery.
Housing starts were down primarily due to a fall in multifamily activity which was up significantly in September and expected to readjust. October multifamily starts at 338,000 were the lowest since March 2015 but increased by 10.4% year to date compared to last year.
Source: Permits to build new homes increased 4.1% | Chappaqua Real Estate | #BedfordRealEstate
NAHB’s analysis of Census Data from the Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design survey indicates that the number of custom home building starts (homes built on an owner’s land, with either the owner or a builder acting as the general contractor) posted a slight increase on a year-over year basis as of the third quarter of 2015.
Over the last four quarters, there were 157,000 construction starts of custom homes, compared to 154,000 for the four quarters prior that began with the fourth quarter of 2013.
Note that this definition of custom home building does not include homes intended for sale, so this analysis uses a narrow definition of the sector.
As measured on a one-year moving average, the market share of custom home building in terms of total single-family starts is now 22.2%, down from a cycle high of 31.5% set during the second quarter of 2009.
Source: Custom Home Building Flat | Bedford Corners Real Estate | #BedfordRealEstate
When it comes to hydrangeas, I’m certifiably loony. Or, at least, I used to be. The source of my obsession was a variegated hydrangea. I bought it in full flower, and the azure, lacecap blooms were simply stunning against the backdrop of broad, spade-shaped leaves edged with creamy white. Then winter hit and it died to the ground. New shoots burst forth in spring, adorned with luscious foliage, but no blooms appeared. Ditto the next spring. And the next. Apparently the plant was root-hardy here, but its stems and flower buds—which form on year-old growth—were not. In my USDA Hardiness Zone 6 Connecticut garden, Old Man Winter prevailed.
But it got me thinking that if I kept my variegated hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla‘Tricolor’) warmer, its stems and buds might survive. So I decided to cover the plant in winter. I bought one of those homely-looking Styrofoam cones sold to protect tea roses in winter, capped the hydrangea, and covered that with a layer of shredded leaf mulch and pine boughs. Then I waited until the next summer when—lo and behold—the hydrangea flowered.
Emboldened by success, I started experimenting with other marginally hardy plants, using everything from small glass domes to homemade, doghouse-sized plastic greenhouses. I soon realized winter cover-ups could provide an extra zone or more of warmth. I’ve used these devices to help late-season transplants get established, protect recently transplanted evergreens, and coddle a few choice perennials that would otherwise never survive winters in my garden. There’s nothing complicated about it. I rarely spend more than 15 minutes prepping a plant for winter, and unveiling it for spring takes even less time. My methods aren’t foolproof. There’s still a casualty or two every season. But even with occasional losses, my efforts are repaid several times over each year.
Source: Shelter Plants from Winter’s Worst | Chappaqua Real Estate | #RobertPaulRealtor