Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mechanical Heartbeat

Lillian Engel's "Mechanical Heartbeat‬" school project (student dream video) was picked for inclusion in the New Canaan High School Art Show 


The November Market Report for New Canaan

       listing prices                    number of listings                 absorption rate              sold to list ratio

         still strong                          relatively high                      should be lower               back to normal?    

$2.088 million
outstanding house
$1.295 million
just sold
was $720,000
just sold

  2 acres Oenoke Ridge        now $1.89 million
 20 Toilsome Avenue
New Canaan Sales at this point in 2003
New Canaan Sales at this point in 2014
Dear Friends,

Well, it's about time! The market is coming back.

The big news is 24 houses sold in October, up from a normal of 11 or 12 each of the last 3 years. You have to go back to the late 90's to see an October like this one. Will it be enough? We are 22 house sales behind where we were at this time last year (235 vs 213) but the condo sales are up by 16 (59 vs 43).  Looking at the crystal ball a moment, we see the gap will be made up by new pending sales which jumped by 7 in October (24 vs. 17)  We predict we will end the year even with last year.


How about the rest of the towns around us?  Wilton, Greenwich and Stamford are experiencing a similar 10% decrease in sales volume (but Wilton has not seen the corresponding uptick in prices). Darien's volume is merely flat amid modest pricing gains. Rowayton stands out in the county with double digit gains in both volume and prices.


Below is a link to our New Canaan Market Report recapping October and the first 10 months of 2014. If you would like to call and discuss the report, or if you would like a price opinion on your house, feel free to let us know. 

Best regards,

Susan Engel and John Engel
203-247-5999     203-247-4700

      why New Canaan?       high ceilings, high style    1 acre @ Richmond Hill    twitter @jengel199

         Tucker knows!           condo $1.050 million           pool! $2.29 million         or
      hilltop modern              watch the leaves turn   Federal style Townhouse   1960 Mad Men chic 

         now rented                  condo $1.795 million         new $1.495 million     live in a piece of art

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Canaan Schools Rank 4th in Connecticut for SAT Scores

 "The Fairfield County high schools in Darien, Wilton, Weston, New Canaan, Westport and Ridgefield recorded the best SAT scores among public high schools in the state in 2014. With an average score of 600 in writing, 611 in math and 588 in critical reading, Darien High School had the highest combined scores in the state"


-New Canaan was number one in the state in 2012. In 2011 Forbes called us #2 in the nation.

-We rose from 5th in 2013 to 4th in 2014.

- Now, all three scores (Math, Reading, Writing) trail those of Darien and in the case of Math they trail by a considerable margin (611 in Darien vs. 594 in New Canaan)

-The ACT is now a more popular test than the SAT and the SAT is being redesigned this year. These rankings could change dramatically next year with a redesigned SAT.

Questions parents are asking in New Canaan:

-How has our early adoption of Connecticut's common core standards affected these scores?

-Why have New Canaan's math scores decreased consistently each year for the last few years?

- Did we slip because of all of the curriculum changes of the last few years?

New Canaan ranked #17 in Connecticut according to U.S. News and World Report earlier this year. There was an outcry and the school administration has responded by changing the policy with respect to who takes AP classes and the AP tests. While it shouldn't be a major indicator of school quality, it has become the major driver in the U.S. News rankings. If instead of looking at AP scores as an indication of "college readiness" we looked at only the Math Scores or Reading Scores New Canaan ranks higher than rival Darien with scores of 98% and 98% proficient vs. 97% and 96% proficient.

It will be interesting to see if Dr. Bryan Luizzi can raise those SAT math scores and regain the number one ranking. I'd like to see those AP participation numbers continue to climb as long as US News continues to exert the influence it does. Its important to note that Dr. Luizzi has been our superintendent of schools for less than a year. Give him time, he will get it done.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mid-Century Marvel in New Canaan Lists for $2M (as seen on

Mid-Century Marvel in New Canaan Lists for $2M

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Although this lovely Mid-Century home in New Canaan, CT, doesn’t have a name, it has quite a pedigree.
The quaint Connecticut city is home to quite a few contemporary designs, but this “hyperbolic paraboloid” roofline stands out among the other modern masterpieces.
Listed for $2 million, the home offers approximately 3,000 square feet of living space with four bedrooms and four bathrooms.
“People come into New Canaan, and they want to see examples of Mid-Century architecture,” listing agent John Engel said. “Philip Johnson’s Glass House brings people from everywhere into our city, and that home is just a few miles away.”
The upper level of this unique Mid-Century home is wide open and where you’ll find the living room, kitchen, library, and dining area. It’s also outfitted with fantastic floor-to-ceiling windows that serve to bring the outdoors in.
And if the icy Connecticut winters have you worried, the large living area has a double fireplace lending a cozy feel to the top floor.
Bedrooms are on the bottom floor in this home’s inverted floor plan, and the rooms downstairs have views out to the expansive lawn and surrounding acreage.
The home was designed by architect James Evans in 1960, and he recently offered his own perspective on his remarkable design in a video produced by Barbara Cleary’s Realty Guild.
“If you take a cut any place through the house, it’s a straight line,” Evans said. “So this roof is generated by taking a straight line … and you put the planking diagonally across; that’s what creates the curve.”
According to Engel, that unique shape conceived by Evans is driving the interest in this home. The agent told us the property is receiving interest from buyers in New York City as well as potential buyers from overseas.
“We’ve had quite a few international customers contact us,” Engel added. “For someone who buys this house, it’s like buying a piece of art. It appeals to the art market.”
Its lasting appeal and signature slope will make any modern architecture aficionado a happy buyer.
“It was a very contemporary design done at the time,” Evans noted. “It was very well-built at the time; that’s why it’s enduring and has lasted for this amount of time.”
To see Evans discuss his design and to learn a bit more about New Canaan modern, check out the full video: