Who has the ‘healthiest home markets’ in Alabama?

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Three Shelby County communities are among the healthiest home markets in the state, according to a ranking recently compiled by a national consumer advocate website.

The Smartasset.com website recently released its list of the healthiest housing markets in Alabama, and the majority of them were in central Alabama.

“A healthy housing market is both stable and affordable; homeowners in a healthy market should be able to easily sell their homes, with a low risk of losing money over the long run,” read the website. “So, in order to find the healthiest housing markets in the country, we considered the following four factors: stability, affordability, fluidity and risk of loss.”

While compiling the list, the website studied market stability, risk, ease of sale and affordability, with 40 percent weighted toward affordability and 20 percent each weighted toward the other three categories.

Alabaster was ranked the healthiest home market in Shelby County, coming in at No. 4 on the list behind Moody, Satsuma and Prichard. Alabaster had an average of 14.5 years for residents living in homes, a 7.1 percent of homes with negative equity, 20.4 percent of homes decreasing in value, an average of 96.3 days on the market and home costs an average of 19.1 percent of income.

Leeds, which is partially in Shelby County, came in at No. 5 on the list, with an average of 15.3 years for residents living in homes, a 12.6 percent of homes with negative equity, 29.6 percent of homes decreasing in value, an average of 48.4 days on the market and home costs an average of 18.2 percent of income.

Helena came in at No. 8 on the list, just behind Homewood and Gardendale. Helena had an average of 12.1 years for residents living in homes, a 8.7 percent of homes with negative equity, 19 percent of homes decreasing in value, an average of 115.7 days on the market and home costs an average of 17.9 percent of income.

Vestavia Hills and Saraland rounded out the top 10, which can be viewed at Smartasset.com/mortgage/mortgage-calculator#alabama/healthiest.