A look at Norwalk’s newest, most Pinterest-ready, subdivision

The details could have been lifted from a Pinterest inspiration board: There are vaulted ceilings, quartz counters and backsplashes of smoked mirrors. The dishwasher and fridge are built into the cabinetry and the inside of the oven is a royal blue. White oak floors are of “character grade,” embracing their knots and imperfections.

Denise Walsh, of William Raveis, noted the features as she walked through one of the homes in Norwalk’s newest subdivisions, Windover Common, on Wednesday afternoon.

“Right now the market, the buyers, are fixated on finishes, more so than ever,” she said. “And their choices are derived by what they see on Houzz, on Pinterest, other style websites.”

To cater to that need, the homes come with a finish-focused perk: a designer concierge service with Allie Wood Design Studio that helps pick out the color scheme and fixtures that best suit your tastes

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Trade lobby taps Perras as CEO

A lobby representing home builders, developers and remodelers has named a veteran attorney as its new CEO.

The Home Builders & Remodelers Association of CT (HBRA CT) announced Jim Perras, an attorney with more than 20 years of government and advocacy experience, has replaced former CEO and lobbyist Bill Ethier, who retired June 30 after 25-plus years leading the group. Perras joined the association in May and transitioned into the CEO position at the end of June.

Perras recently served as an attorney for law firm Wilson Elser LLP, where he lobbied for a variety of clients before state lawmakers and government agencies.

Founded in 1960, HBRA CT is a nonprofit trade association representing more than 900 member firms employing 30,000 workers in Connecticut.

HBRA members belong to a three-tiered organization including the state association, regional associations and the National Association of Home Builders.

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Housing Starts Fall 12.3 Percent As Tariffs Draw Increased Concern

Total housing starts fell 12.3 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.

The June reading of 1.17 million is the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts fell 9.1 percent to 858,000 units. Meanwhile, the multifamily sector — which includes apartment buildings and condos — dropped 19.8 percent to 315,000.

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Kavanaugh and Home Building: What the Record Shows

As legal pundits and news outlets pour over Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s extensive judicial record to learn more about President Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee, members need only turn to the multiple NAHB court cases over which Kavanaugh has presided at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to get a fuller picture.

In his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh has been involved in eight cases in which NAHB was a petitioner, appellant or amicus. While not always siding with NAHB’s position, Kavanaugh has consistently viewed agency rulemakings with a healthy dose of skepticism.

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Age-in-place, casual spaces are hot trends in home buildings

With land at a premium, price for materials climbing and people wanting to stay in their homes longer, the demand for new home construction is trending downward, but builders are keeping busy with major renovation projects designed to help people age in place.

“Historically, it (new home construction) is as low as it’s ever been – nationally and in Connecticut,” Jim Blansfield of Blansfield Builders in Danbury, said. “The interest to do things is there but the reality is catch-is-catch-can. It comes down to who has the money and that’s usually the upper two percent.”

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