Train service to Midtown driving NJ suburban home price rebound

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The surest sign of an upcoming suburban real estate rebound in the New York metropolitan area? A train station. According to Jeffrey Otteau, a New Jersey-based appraiser, commuter towns are rebounding fastest because jobs in the city are what’s driving demand for housing. “Towns that are Manhattan-centric are experiencing price increases today,” Otteau told WCBS 880. While New Jersey towns with direct train service to Midtown Manhattan saw median home prices shoot up by 6 percent last year, New Jersey overall saw only a 1 percent rise. This may not come as a surprise, but it’s relevant to the ongoing debate in the real estate industry about how to increase the commuter rail capacity between New York and New Jersey. Last year, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie cancelled the $9.8 billion Access to the Region’s Core tunnel beneath the Hudson River that would have doubled that rail capacity, citing potential cost overruns. Since then, Amtrak has accelerated its proposal for a $13.5 billion “Gateway” project, which would expand Penn Station and add two new high-speed rail tunnels along NJ Transit’s Northeast corridor. [WCBS 880]