Pickerington Times-Sun

Study: Pickerington best city in state for home ownership

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A California-based consumer advocacy website has validated through a data-driven study what Pickerington's biggest boosters have been saying all along -- it's a great place to own a home.

In fact, it's the best city in Ohio for homeownership.

That's what NerdWallet found after crunching the numbers in analyzing 183 communities in Ohio.

The list was dominated by small and mid-sized cities within commuting distance of Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Researchers for NerdWallet analyzed federal data for six factors: rates of homeownership, median monthly homeowner costs and household income, homeowner costs as percentage of household income, home values and population growth.

Pickerington boasted the second largest population growth of any place on the list's top 20, growing 8.1 percent from 2010 to 2012.

Pickerington Development Services Director Joe Henderson said the study is another feather in the cap for the city.

"I think it helps show all the great things happening in Pickerington, and it's more proof we are a growing community that has a bright future," he said.

"Homeownership is a very important factor when people are looking at great communities to be a part of," Henderson said.

"I've been saying for a while that we are the hottest city in central Ohio, but this helps prove we are also one of the hottest cities in Ohio," he said.

Sara Collins, an analyst for NerdWallet, said consumers often utilize the information in making decisions about where to settle down.

"Regular folks really should think of it as a helpful resource when they're considering buying a home, which is a huge and often difficult financial decision," Collins said.

She said while affordability might be the most obvious factor, the study aimed to provide a more "holistic picture" of what makes a desirable place to purchase a home.

"For that reason we also looked at each town's population growth, which we consider an indicator of economic stability, and availability of homes, determined by the homeownership rate, a low figure here would indicate a competitive market," Collins said.

Pickerington's close proximity to Columbus was not a factor in the study, however, Collins said "metrics for quality" often result in strong scores for communities that are located close to large cities.

"You will find that all of our Top 10 places were within commuting distance from cities like Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus," Collins said.

Also in the Top 10 were the communities of Powell and Hilliard, registering 3 and 8 on the list, respectively.

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