NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – In New York area towns where prices and sales are showing a certain vitality – there’s a train station and a short trip to the city.

“Towns that are Manhattan-centric are experiencing price increases today,” says Jeffrey Otteau at Otteau Valuation Group in East Brunswick, New Jersey

To him, it goes back to jobs and income driving housing demand.

“The suburban markets are looking at a recovery that will likely take five years or more,” he says.

The New Jersey median home price rose only 1 percent last year in his data. It was a 6 percent increase in towns with Midtown Direct service.

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“New construction really can’t get underway until we work off this excess supply of distressed housing that’s affecting the market,” says Fairfield University economist Ed Deak.

He wonders if sellers jumping back into the housing market will drag all that out as the housing picture improves.

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In Greenwich, realtor Mark Pruner says the era of the spec house is over.

“Most of the building that you see going on in town – there actually is a fair amount – are owners who are building to their own designs,” he says.

Overall, for Connecticut sales, Deak says they’re not where they were mid-decade.

“We were over 60,000 sales in Connecticut at that point. We think we’re just about going to break 50,000 over where we were the last year or two when we were down around 35,000,” says Deak.


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