These Are The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Alabama For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in Alabama that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Alabama.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Alabama does this very well. Families love the Heart Of Dixie’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Alabama that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Alabama for 2019.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Alabama? That would be Gulf Shores.

So hopefully Roanoke (the cheapest place to live in Alabama) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Alabama and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Alabama For 2019

Gulf Shores, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,358
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.6x (16th most expensive)
More on Gulf Shores: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Gulf Shores comes in at $50,227 and the median home value is $251,100 for 2019.

Auburn, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 61,462
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.5x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.2x (15th most expensive)
More on Auburn: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Auburn is a city in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is the largest city in eastern Alabama with a 2016 population of 63,118. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 158,991, along with the Columbus, GA-AL MSA and Tuskegee, Alabama, comprises the greater Columbus-Auburn-Opelika, GA-AL CSA, a region home to 501,649 residents.

The median income in Auburn comes in at $42,600 and the median home value is $236,200 for 2019.

Tuscaloosa, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 97,373
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.6x (19th most expensive)
More on Tuscaloosa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the Piedmont, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 99,543 in 2016.

The median income in Tuscaloosa comes in at $42,428 and the median home value is $172,000 for 2019.

Troy, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 19,010
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.7x (10th most expensive)
More on Troy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Troy is a city in Pike County, Alabama, United States. The city is the county seat of Pike County. It was formally incorporated on February 4, 1843.

The median income in Troy comes in at $30,538 and the median home value is $147,600 for 2019.

Montevallo, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,626
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.4x (23rd most expensive)
More on Montevallo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Montevallo is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. A college town, it is the home of the University of Montevallo, a public liberal arts university with approximately 3,000 students. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city of Montevallo is 6,323. Hollie Campbell Cost, a professor in the College of Education at the University of Montevallo, serves as Mayor.

The median income in Montevallo comes in at $37,929 and the median home value is $159,400 for 2019.

Foley, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,315
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.1x (31st most expensive)
More on Foley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Foley is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 14,618. Foley is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Baldwin County.

The median income in Foley comes in at $42,468 and the median home value is $161,200 for 2019.

Fairhope, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 19,561
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (18th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.3x (47th most expensive)
More on Fairhope: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on a sloping plateau, along the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 15,326. Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County. In 2016, Fairhope was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine.

The median income in Fairhope comes in at $66,074 and the median home value is $239,000 for 2019.

Pell City, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 13,465
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 8)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (17th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.0x (45th most expensive)
More on Pell City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pell City is a city in St. Clair County, Alabama, United States. The city is the county seat of St. Clair County along with Ashville. At the 2000 census the population was 9,565. At the 2010 census, the city-limit population jumped to 12,695.

The median income in Pell City comes in at $45,647 and the median home value is $165,600 for 2019.

Homewood, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,678
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 69.8x (78th most expensive)
More on Homewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Homewood is a city in southeastern Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. It is a suburb of Birmingham, located on the other side of Red Mountain due south of the city center. Its estimated 2015 population is 25,708.

The median income in Homewood comes in at $71,494 and the median home value is $319,300 for 2019.

Orange Beach, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,826
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.5x (69th most expensive)
More on Orange Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Orange Beach comes in at $69,388 and the median home value is $256,600 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Heart of Dixie For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Alabama
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Alabama to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 102 places in Alabama that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Alabama according to the data is Gulf Shores.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Alabama For 2019

Well there you have it, the places in Alabama that have the highest cost of living, with Gulf Shores ranking as the most expensive city in the Heart of Dixie.

Here’s a look at the most affordable cities in Alabama according to the data:

  1. Roanoke
  2. Tuscumbia
  3. Attalla

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Alabama

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Gulf Shores 8.67 11,358 5.0x 50.6x
2 Auburn 9.0 61,462 5.5x 50.2x
3 Tuscaloosa 15.67 97,373 4.1x 51.6x
4 Troy 16.67 19,010 4.8x 46.7x
5 Montevallo 18.33 6,626 4.2x 52.4x
6 Foley 22.33 17,315 3.8x 54.1x
7 Fairhope 25.0 19,561 3.6x 61.3x
8 Pell City 28.0 13,465 3.6x 61.0x
9 Homewood 28.33 25,678 4.5x 69.8x
10 Orange Beach 29.67 5,826 3.7x 67.5x
11 Spanish Fort 32.67 8,017 3.5x 68.1x
12 Demopolis 33.33 6,999 4.3x 53.0x
13 Bay Minette 34.33 8,990 3.9x 54.1x
14 Dothan 36.0 67,784 3.3x 60.3x
15 Mountain Brook 36.33 20,438 4.4x 108.4x
16 Phenix City 36.67 36,870 3.1x 50.1x
17 Selma 36.67 19,176 3.7x 42.1x
18 Monroeville 37.0 6,072 4.2x 53.5x
19 Opelika 37.17 29,372 3.4x 64.5x
20 Wetumpka 37.67 7,799 3.2x 53.6x
21 Guntersville 38.0 8,333 4.1x 74.7x
22 Enterprise 38.0 27,776 3.2x 66.3x
23 Atmore 38.33 9,969 3.5x 49.9x
24 Huntsville 39.0 190,501 3.3x 67.2x
25 Daphne 39.0 24,685 2.9x 64.0x
26 Vestavia Hills 39.67 34,003 3.7x 94.2x
27 Hoover 40.0 84,150 3.4x 77.3x
28 Eufaula 40.0 12,467 3.6x 57.4x
29 Mobile 40.17 192,085 3.0x 49.3x
30 Jasper 40.33 13,854 3.5x 64.2x
31 Jacksonville 41.0 12,731 3.7x 68.2x
32 Robertsdale 41.67 5,853 3.0x 50.9x
33 Prattville 42.67 35,286 2.7x 59.7x
34 Florence 43.67 39,824 3.3x 62.3x
35 Alexander City 46.67 14,705 3.3x 53.8x
36 Rainbow City 48.0 9,560 3.1x 67.2x
37 Cullman 49.0 15,111 3.3x 68.9x
38 Trussville 49.0 21,145 2.7x 69.9x
39 Lanett 49.33 6,341 3.0x 51.8x
40 Sylacauga 50.0 12,492 3.3x 64.8x
41 Andalusia 50.33 8,918 3.1x 58.9x
42 Montgomery 51.0 200,761 2.7x 52.5x
43 Satsuma 51.0 6,145 2.5x 62.8x
44 Northport 51.67 24,708 2.9x 70.9x
45 Tarrant 51.67 6,238 2.8x 39.1x
46 Chelsea 52.0 12,199 2.3x 63.7x
47 Albertville 52.0 21,342 3.0x 61.0x
48 Oneonta 52.17 6,585 3.1x 73.3x
49 Bessemer 52.33 26,697 2.7x 41.7x
50 Irondale 53.33 12,453 2.6x 56.8x
51 Anniston 54.0 22,097 3.0x 53.0x
52 Arab 54.33 8,200 3.3x 77.8x
53 Tuskegee 54.33 8,852 2.7x 44.3x
54 Scottsboro 54.67 14,584 3.2x 68.6x
55 Pleasant Grove 55.33 10,224 2.3x 60.7x
56 Fairfield 56.0 10,850 2.7x 50.9x
57 Center Point 56.0 16,564 2.5x 46.4x
58 Greenville 56.17 7,766 3.1x 65.8x
59 Birmingham 56.33 212,265 2.6x 43.9x
60 Chickasaw 56.33 5,889 2.6x 34.3x
61 Smiths Station 56.67 5,311 2.5x 59.1x
62 Prichard 57.33 22,063 2.6x 35.9x
63 Millbrook 57.33 14,994 2.5x 65.7x
64 Decatur 58.33 54,844 3.0x 69.1x
65 Pike Road 59.0 8,417 2.5x 90.0x
66 Talladega 59.33 15,747 2.8x 55.6x
67 Madison 59.67 47,079 2.6x 104.9x
68 Sheffield 59.67 9,007 2.6x 52.0x
69 Fultondale 59.67 9,012 2.3x 59.5x
70 Fort Payne 60.0 14,017 3.1x 70.0x
71 Hueytown 60.17 15,698 2.5x 55.4x
72 Athens 60.33 24,735 3.0x 77.9x
73 Calera 60.67 13,216 2.2x 60.6x
74 Helena 61.0 17,928 2.2x 68.4x
75 Muscle Shoals 62.0 13,701 2.7x 70.4x
76 Oxford 62.33 21,231 2.5x 66.3x
77 Saraland 63.0 14,026 2.4x 64.9x
78 Pelham 63.0 22,941 2.4x 72.1x
79 Opp 63.33 6,580 2.7x 61.1x
80 Ozark 64.67 14,546 2.8x 66.2x
81 Gardendale 65.0 13,799 2.5x 73.5x
82 Boaz 65.33 9,580 2.7x 66.9x
83 Valley 65.33 9,331 2.3x 48.8x
84 Brewton 65.33 5,279 2.7x 65.9x
85 Clanton 66.67 8,701 2.6x 66.1x
86 Pinson 66.67 7,563 2.1x 62.8x
87 Daleville 67.0 5,138 2.5x 56.9x
88 Moody 67.67 12,585 2.5x 74.8x
89 Alabaster 68.33 32,567 2.3x 75.7x
90 Midfield 68.67 5,174 2.0x 43.8x
91 Leeds 69.67 11,847 2.4x 81.4x
92 Southside 70.0 8,679 2.3x 80.8x
93 Glencoe 70.33 5,116 2.7x 87.3x
94 Gadsden 72.67 35,832 2.2x 51.9x
95 Clay 76.33 9,685 2.0x 84.1x
96 Hartselle 77.67 14,395 2.4x 87.6x
97 Russellville 78.67 9,715 2.5x 68.5x
98 Lincoln 80.17 6,544 2.1x 69.3x
99 Hamilton 83.0 6,718 2.5x 70.5x
100 Attalla 84.33 5,884 1.9x 63.0x

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