Housing market making comeback

Published 2:57 pm Tuesday, July 1, 2014

We have followed Shelby County’s housing market as it has slowly clawed its way out of the depths of the housing market crisis of 2007, and it finally seems local homeowners are seeing some good news.

Looking at local cities’ numbers of new home permits from the past 10 years can be somewhat eye-opening.

Shelby County’s largest cities were adding houses by leaps and bounds before the bottom fell out of the national housing market in 2007. After hitting a low in 2007-2008, the market has been on a steady incline over the past few years.

Last week, a study by the Nerdwallet.com national consumer advocacy website issued proof that residents in several Shelby County cities currently reside in some of the best housing markets in Alabama.

On its list of the best places for home ownership in Alabama, Nerdwallet.com named Chelsea first, Calera second, Helena third, Pelham fifth and Alabaster seventh. Leeds, which is partially in Shelby County, ranked 10th on the list.

The list ranked Alabama cities with more than 10,000 residents based on three criteria: Available homes, home affordability and growth in the area.

In its study, Nerdwallet.com praised many aspects of several Shelby County cities, and we agree wholeheartedly with the findings.

Chelsea and Calera – named the two best cities for home ownership in Alabama – have seen tremendous growth over the past several years, drawing praise from the website for its access to job opportunities in the region.

Amazingly, nearly 92 percent of homes in Helena are occupied by owners rather than renters, according to the study, which speaks volumes of the city’s offerings and sense of community.

Also drawing praise for its offerings was Pelham, which Nerdwallet.com touted for containing the Pelham Civic Complex and Oak Mountain State Park.

At just 23.4 percent, Alabaster homeowners reported one of the lowest percentages of household income spent on monthly mortgage and utility costs, and Leeds homeowners reported paying an average of $1,121 per month on home ownership costs.

We enjoy seeing outside praise of Shelby County, especially when it means positive things for those who call the county home.

The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.