Last updated: September 06. 2013 4:10PM - 50 Views

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Staff Writer

Three of the top 10 most expensive housing markets in Ohio can be found right here in Delaware County, according to a new study released by one of the country’s largest residential realtors.

A four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Galena was listed by Coldwell Banker at an average of about $341,500, good for second-most expensive in the state. Close behind was Powell, at $317,700, or third-most expensive. Lewis Center ranked seventh, at about $275,100.

At around $258,600, Delaware city was ranked 12th-most expensive of the 80 Ohio markets Coldwell Banker studied. The U.S. average was about $293,000.

The average price is derived from four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes the realtor listed (which is almost always lower than the actual selling price) between September 2010 and March 2011.

The study did not control for factors like house size or age. The realtor examined 2,300 markets nationwide.

Greater Columbus was well-represented in the top 10 most expensive in Ohio — Upper Arlington and Dublin were ranked first and fourth, respectively.

When compared to other places in the state, what makes homes in Central Ohio, and particularly Delaware County, stand out? Location, location, location, said Bill LaFayette, an economist with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

“Forty to 60 percent of the value of a house is based not on the house itself, but on its neighborhood. So if the neighborhood is especially good or desirable, then the house is going to sell for more,” LaFayette said.

Among the factors that make a neighborhood desirable: good schools, and access to transportation and proximity to employment, LaFayette said.

Much of the new home construction in Delaware County has taken place in the past 20 years, which could explain the higher listing prices compared to other, older markets in the state, he said. And in general, Columbus and its surrounding areas are growing while other cities in Ohio aren’t necessarily.

Newer houses come with newer, more efficient furnaces and other appliances, and can carry quite a bit more value than older homes, said Doug Price, president of the Delaware County Board of Realtors.

Galena is likely to carry higher home values than elsewhere in the county because it has two high-end “gated-community,” style developments, compared to Lewis Center homes, which are typically found in subdivisions. Powell, meanwhile, has more of a town-style feel with a specific sense of community identity, Price said.

Delaware homes typically sell for less money than elsewhere in the county mostly because of their distance from Columbus, where many people in Delaware County commute to work, especially with rising gas prices, Price said.

Ohio was not in the upper real estate echelon nationwide. Even Upper Arlington, the most-expensive housing market in Ohio, listed at an average of $390,200, did not crack the top one-fifth of all real estate markets Coldwell banker examined nationwide. There were five Ohio markets amongst the 20 cheapest in the country: Cleveland, Trotwood, Euclid, Canton and Mansfield.

To see the study, go to http://hlr.coldwellbanker.com

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