Area realtors say 2013 ended on a high note for home sales. The Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors is reporting December closings rose 14.2 percent compared to a year earlier. For the entire year, sales increased 20.84 percent. The average home price rose 5.75 percent last year to $165,037.
"The Greater Cincinnati Housing Market continues to improve at a moderate rate," said Ken Parchman, President of the CABR, in a statement. "Our low inventory coupled with relatively low interest rates and stronger demand pushed the average price higher."
According to RealtyTrac, Cincinnati ranked fifth nationally in December when it came to the cities with the highest percentages of institutional investor purchases. These real estate investors are known as flippers and they buy lots of bank-owned foreclosed properties.
Cincinnati officials said Wednesday they still do not know the cost of delaying work on the streetcar project for most of last month. They're still calculating that number and also the effect on the timeline to build the first phase.
Council delayed the project for several weeks before deciding on December 19th to let it move forward. Officials also say the cold weather has caused some delays.
The first actual streetcar will arrive in the city in March 2015.
One of the still hotly contested debates over fracking is whether the practice of extracting trapped gas underground contaminates drinking water. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati are using an expensive machine to determine whether, at least in eastern Ohio, any contamination is naturally occurring or from fracking.
There's no shortage of negative publicity when it comes to fracking. Take the 2010 documentary "Gasland."
Hamilton County Commissioners continue to weigh an offer to turn the former Mercy Mount Airy hospital into a new crime lab.
Catholic Health Partners is willing to give the facility to the county for free and the county coroner says the cost to renovate the old hospital would be a lot less than building a whole new crime lab. To make the deal cost effective, however, the county wants to move the Board of Elections out there as well.