Dallas area shines in housing study

The healthiest housing markets in the nation are found in the suburbs of Dallas, according to a study by SmartAsset.

To come up with the list, the personal-finance website examined factors including the cost of homes compared with incomes, the percentage of homes declining in value, the time required to sell a home and the number of "underwater" homes.

Four of the nation's eight healthiest housing markets were in the Dallas suburbs of Plano, Arlington, Grand Prairie and Irving.

The Columbus housing market ranked 31st healthiest out of the 100 studied. The only Midwestern city to crack the top 10 was Grand Rapids, Michigan, at No. 3.

Local home prices stacking up well

Central Ohio home prices rose 6 percent between April 2016 and this April, according to figures released last week by the real-estate and mortgage service CoreLogic.

Nationally, prices rose 6.9 percent during the same 12 months, as a drop in interest rates fueled already strong demand.

"Mortgage rates in April dipped back to their lowest level since November of last year, spurring home-buying activity," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "In some metro areas, there has been a bidding frenzy as multiple contracts are placed on a single home."

Among states, Washington posted the highest price hikes of 12 percent during the year, followed by Utah (10.1 percent) and Oregon (9.1 percent).

Three states — Alaska, Delaware and Wyoming — saw modest price declines during the period.

In all of Ohio, prices rose 3.4 percent.

CoreLogic forecasts prices to rise 5.1 percent nationally through next April. 

Study looks at gays on 'House Hunters'

A study finds that gays and lesbians are well-represented on HGTV's “House Hunters” show.

The study, by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, found that 4.3 percent of the television show's 1,565 episodes include gay or lesbian couples, a rate slightly higher than the 3.5 percent of the U.S. population that such couples represent.

In the shows, the couples searched for homes in 24 states, but they were most frequently on the West Coast and in the South.


— Jim Weiker