I believe we talked about this effect when the ARC project was announced. While I agree that some towns stand to gain tremendously from this (Bergen County especially), this effectively diminishes the “Midtown direct” effect for the towns that currently benefit from it. Some towns will lose out.
Main/Bergen as well as Pascack Valley lines will get one-seat rides in, as well as the Raritan Valley line. Towns that lose exclusivity of the one-seat ride? Glen Ridge, Montclair, Millburn/Short Hills, Summit, Chatham, Madison, etc. The loss of exclusivity will result in lowering demand in those areas, as a host of other viable options will become available. Dare I say some desirable towns become even more desirable, for example, Ridgewood or Westfield.
Buyers and sellers alike should consider this information before the cars start rolling.
The full study can be found here:
From the NY Observer:
Much was made in the 1990s about the “Midtown Direct” effect in New Jersey—the apparent causation of major increases in home values and housing demand in certain New Jersey suburbs, Maplewood included, by the creation of new commuter train lines with one-seat rides to midtown Manhattan. Faster, more convenient commutes equates to more well-paid Manhattan workers wanting to live in New Jersey, so the thinking goes.
Now the Regional Plan Association is out with a study that looks at the rise in home values that followed the creation of the Midtown Direct line in the `90s, along with other improvements that opened up a more convenient commute, and makes predictions about what a new Hudson River rail tunnel, called Access to the Region’s Core (or ARC), might do for commuters in future years.
The result, RPA suggests: Property values for homes within two miles of a station could rise by a total of $18 billion. (It’s probably good to note here that RPA, which has long advocated regional transit and another rail tunnel, gets a significant amount of its funding from the two agencies sponsoring the tunnel: the Port Authority and New Jersey Transit.)
From the Star Ledger:
The planned trans-Hudson commuter rail tunnel will boost home values by thousands of dollars and help hold down property tax rates in areas where commuting times will be cut, according to a report released today by a regional planning group.
The numbers cited in the report are based on an analysis of 45,000 home sales within two miles of commuter rail stations before and after three prior rail enhancements: Midtown Direct Service on the Morris & Essex Line; the Montclair Connection for the Montclair-Boonton Line; and Secaucus Junction, which serves the Pascack Valley and Main/Bergen/Port Jervis Lines.
The value of homes within a half mile, or walking distance, of a station would increase by $29,000, while homes within two miles would appreciate by $19,000, the report concluded.
The planning association also said the project would boost total property values by $18 billion, helping to hold down property tax rates. William Dressel, executive director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, said the figure was, “not a surprise at all,” and would help cities and towns meet the new 2-percent cap on property tax increases.