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Real estate

Inspection Season

By John Engel As we approach the end of the Spring market this is the point of the year when we appear to have the most amount of inventory, the crest of the inventory sine wave. That is because everything that is coming on is on, and those properties that

Beach Season – the Waterfront Report

By John Engel It’s beach season and Save the Sound has graded all 197 Connecticut beaches on water quality and 75% of them got a grade of A or B. Beaches at the entrance to Long Island Sound such as in Noank and Groton lead the list, but in this

Tailwinds and Low Sensitivity to Rates

By John Engel I want to revisit why the New Canaan housing market is so far out balance, favoring sellers, and why prices keep rising, and why this trajectory is destined to continue. New Canaan will continue to see rising prices for two reasons: low interest rate sensitivity and strong

Who Moved the Realtor’s Cheese?*

By John Engel People ask, “How long does it take to write the real estate column?” All week. I have dozens of columns rattling around up there, but I sometimes struggle with what it is my audience wants. The easiest column to write is just a list of statistics. The

Fairfield vs. Westchester County: Head to Head

By John Engel Head-to Head Comparison Here’s a head-to-head comparison of the current real estate market conditions for Q1-2024 between Westchester County, NY, and Fairfield County, CT. Fairfield: Average Sales Price: $915,665, a slight decrease from the previous year Average Price Per Sq Ft: $422 Median Sales Price: $545,000, a

New Canaan and Greenwich vs. Fairfield County

By John Engel Median Sales Price (Single Family) New Canaan: The median sales price stands at $2,161,000, showing a modest quarterly growth (+1.9%) and a year-over-year increase (+7.7%). Greenwich: Surpasses New Canaan with a median sales price of $3,000,000, indicating a more pronounced quarterly surge (+60.3%) and a significant year-over-year

Mill Rates and Property Tax Changes May Shake Out New Inventory

By John Engel Manhattan Market Report Manhattan first quarter sales fell, down 11.3% annually, now below two thousand (1,988), the lowest level in 3 years. Prices slid year-over-year, 17.4% below pre-pandemic levels. Inventory went lower due to the “lock-in-effect”. Mortgage-purchases dropped 26.7% annually. The percentage of cash sales has reached

The Lock-in Effect

By John Engel Many of us are wondering how long it will take until the pendulum swings. How long before the seller’s market becomes a buyer’s market? There are many factors at play, but the favorite term being bandied about on talk shows and cocktail parties is “Lock-in effect”.  This

Harkaway: The Estate of Mary Tyler Moore

AS OF: MARCH 29th, 2024 Harkaway: A captivating retreat in the heart of Greenwich with a storied pedigree, this distinguished Georgian Colonial was home of the late Mary Tyler Moore. Following a meandering stream to Oakley Pond, the long, gated drive leads to the quietly secluded stone house on 7.37

The Wealth Report – 2024

By John Engel Douglas Elliman and Knight Frank have released the highly anticipated 2024 Wealth Report. These are the highlights: First, some definitions: HNWI is a high-net-worth individual, defined as $1 million or more. UHNWI is ultra-high-net-worth individual, defined as $30 million or more. Prime property is the top 5%

1343 Smith Ridge Road Open House Sunday

AS OF: MARCH 22nd, 2024 Elegant Estate Living in Tranquil Splendor. Welcome to this stunning retreat nestled on 1.94 acres of lush, manicured grounds. As you approach the grand entrance, you’ll be greeted by the stately main home, with 10-foot coffered ceilings, 9,656 square feet of living space spanning across

1343 Smith Ridge Road Open House Sunday

Elegant Estate Living in Tranquil Splendor. Welcome to this stunning retreat nestled on 1.94 acres of lush, manicured grounds. As you approach the grand entrance, you’ll be greeted by the stately main home, with 10-foot coffered ceilings, 9,656 square feet of living space spanning across 4 finished floors, chef’s kitchen

A Case Study: Wide Range of Opinions on a Home’s Worth

By John Engel This is the most important question Realtors answer, and busy agents are answering it every day. It is particularly relevant this month while 300 residents are arguing their values in front of the New Canaan Assessment Board of Appeals. This is a case-study on how I do

February Market Report for 15 Towns Across Fairfield County

By John Engel We divided 15 markets into 4 groups 1. High-End 2. Cities 3. North of the Parkway and 4. Coastal Neighborhoods to see what comparative conclusions we might draw from their performance these last 3 years. Greenwich – UNDERPERFORMING.  Median price is $1.75m, more or less flat since

How Buyers Win in this Market

By John Engel So many sad stories by homeowners who have lost bidding wars. I’m reprinting their stories and my advice: “These houses are definitely way over the price that they will be once appraised.” Last year houses were routinely selling for double their assessment and the sales were still

The Booming Market Has an Insurance Problem

By John Engel On my Boroughs & Burbs podcast we did a show called “Uninsurable Florida”, episode #93. It’s fun to pick on Florida while they are having an insurance crisis. But we are all having an insurance crisis, so we did it again: episode #113 “The Changing Insurance Landscape”

COLUMN | “They’re not making any more of it.” Will Rogers

“Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O’Hara, that Tara, that land, doesn’t mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.” That quote from Gone With the Wind

January Report: New Canaan, Westport, Wilton and Darien

New Listings. Westport wins with 47 new listings, an 88% rise. New Canaan had 16 new listings in January, a -24% drop from the previous January. This 20% decline in new listings was about typical among towns in our peer group. Darien is also lagging with only 13 new listings,

Dead Cat Bounce

A dead cat bounce is a temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market that’s followed by a continuation of the downtrend. In other words, it’s a false optimism. Cats don’t bounce. I was wondering if that is what we are really experiencing in the housing market when we

Year End Market Report

The article discusses the real estate market in New Canaan, highlighting the impact of the recent revaluation. The median sales price in New Canaan is $1.80 million, a 6.5% annual increase, with single-family homes at $1.975 million and condos down by 7.3%. The price per foot is $488, up 4.9%, indicating larger house sizes in New Canaan compared to nearby areas. Inventory levels are significantly down by 46.3%, a trend seen across Fairfield County. The article predicts that inventory levels will remain tight in 2024 due to high demand and lagging price appreciation. Median days on the market in New Canaan is 26, down 13.3%, with a high percentage of cash offers. Homes generally sell at 100% of the last list price. The article concludes with notes from a meeting, discussing strategies and the importance of personal relationships in real estate over advertising.

Co-ops, Cats and Community

Co-ops are a funny thing. People complain about their restrictions but love the sense of community they can offer.

COLUMN | Real Estate by John Engel: Thoughts on New Canaan’s Revaluation

Connecticut towns, including New Canaan and Wilton, are undergoing a mandatory property revaluation to update the “Grand List” of taxable properties. New Canaan’s assessor, Sebastian Calderella, notes a 30% surge in house and condo markets. The 2018 revaluation may not predict current sale prices accurately, with less than a third of houses selling at expected values. Zillow’s predictions also vary in accuracy. With potential tax hikes on the horizon, this revaluation could lead to significant market shifts, prompting many homeowners to consider selling.

How Is the Market in 2023?

We are in a seller’s market driven by a lack of inventory. Despite the explosion of building permits we are not seeing an increase in house construction. A rise in cash transactions, predominantly from diverse buyer profiles, showcases the evolving nature of market participants.

Timing the Market

The article discusses the impact of rising interest rates on New Canaan’s real estate affordability, advising against waiting for rate drops due to potential heightened competition. It highlights the job market’s role in supporting the housing market, particularly in New York City’s finance sector. The article also presents projections of 2023 price appreciation between 5% and 10%, along with a “Rent vs. Buy Analysis” showcasing the potential gains of buying over renting.

COLUMN | The Real Estate Column by John Engel

Let’s talk about the impact of our zoning decisions. Are ADU’s part of our future?
How are we and the towns around us responding to affordable housing pressures?
And, of course, what about our house values?