Sunday, April 20, 2003

Blue Ash

8.4% price drop a numbers game

By Jeff McKinney
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The numbers suggest that home-sale prices fell hardest in Blue Ash, one of Greater Cincinnati's most affluent suburbs. A closer look says that isn't really true.

Real estate agents say the unusual sale in 2001 of 11 new homes priced $400,000 to $500,000 inflated that year's average price. New construction is rare in Blue Ash, which is so built up there's not room for new housing. Without similar sales of new homes in 2002, the average price showed a dramatic drop: 8.4 percent.

The 137 homes that sold last year went for just under $200,000 on average; some Blue Ash homes can fetch $500,000 or more.

Blue Ash is bolstered by 2,000 businesses, including operations of Procter & Gamble, LSI Industries and Sara Lee. The city's residential population of 13,500 swells to 75,000 during the day.

"It's centrally located and within about 15 minutes' driving distance of anywhere you want to go around the city," Brian Kreindler, 34, says. An avid golfer, he bought his $222,500, three-bedroom home in the Carpenter's Run subdivision last July because an 18-hole public golf course was nearby.

Residents cite other amenities as well. Kenwood Towne Centre is just a mile away. The Blue Ash Recreation Center has a 30-foot-high "super slide" connected to the swimming pool. And the annual Taste of Blue Ash attracts 225,000 people for a three-day party.

Schools are strong, too. Sycamore Local Schools consistently achieve the highest rating on the state's annual report card.

Several well-respected private schools also are nearby. Among them: Ursuline Academy and Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. Moeller High School, just minutes away, boasts one of Cincinnati's richest athletics traditions.

Average home prices rose in most neighborhoods
See how home prices in your neighborhood fared:
OhioNorthern Ky.Top 10 lists of real estate transactions
A close look at what's driving sales in popular areas:
Blue Ash: 8.4% price drop a numbers game
Florence: Most sales in N.Ky.
Harrison: New homes, old appeal
Madeira: Biggest price increase
Mason: Region's most home sales
Oakley: Area's fastest home sales

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