Shelby County cities among healthiest housing markets in state

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

Four Shelby County communities are part of the top 10 healthiest housing markets in Alabama, according to a survey by the national consumer advocate website Smartasset.com.

Each year, the site examines the housing market and creates this ranking based on a number of observations.

The four Shelby County communities included in the list are Alabaster, Pelham, Leeds and Hoover.

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

Stability was determined by the number of years people remain in their homes and the percentage of homeowners with negative equity.

The site measured risk by the percentage of homes that have lost value.

Data for the average time a home spent on the market determines the fluidity. Homes that take longer to sell lead to a decrease in fluidity score.

Affordability was calculated by examining the monthly cost of home ownership as a percentage of household income for its particular city.

Alabaster was the highest ranked healthiest home market among Shelby County, coming in at No. 2 on the list behind Mountain Brook. The city scored 87.17 on the healthiest markets index. It had an average of 12 years of residents living in their homes, 7.1 percent of homes with negative equity, 12 percent of homes decreasing in value, an average of 83.7 days on the market and home costs at an average of 17.4 percent of income.

Pelham was next highest ranked healthiest home market among Shelby County, coming in at No. 5. The city scored 83.99 on the healthiest markets index. It had an average of 10.8 years of residents living in their homes, 9.1 percent of homes with negative equity, 12 percent of homes decreasing in value, an average of 83.7 days on the market and home costs at an average of 17.2 percent of income.

Leeds, which is partially in Shelby County, placed came in at No. 9. The city scored 82.75 on the healthiest markets index. It had an average of 12.1 years of residents living in their homes, 12.6 percent of homes with negative equity, 12 percent of homes decreasing in value, an average of 83.7 days on the market and home costs at an average of 17.5 percent of income.

Hoover, which is also partially in Shelby County, followed Leeds in 10th place. The city scored 81.53 on the healthiest markets index. It had an average of 9.6 years of residents living in their homes, 7.7 percent of homes with negative equity, 12 percent of homes decreasing in value, an average of 83.7 days on the market and home costs at an average of 17.6 percent of income.