The housing market is finishing the year on a high note, and 2017 could see it head even higher, said David Berson, chief economist for Nationwide. Nationwide's fourth-quarter Leading Index of Healthy Housing Markets revealed that the overall U.S. housing market continues to be healthy, with a positive outlook over the next year. The LIHHM said that solid job growth and a pick-up in household formations are offsetting rising home prices and interest rates. The index also shows that most local housing markets should see expansion over the next year, not merely the largest metropolitan areas. That said, the index shows that energy-sector slowdowns continue to depress the housing outlook in several energy-intensive areas, especially in North Dakota, Wyoming, Texas and Louisiana. Stabilizing oil prices and employment levels, however, should improve the housing metrics in these regions soon.