The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Alabama For 2023


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 2023. This is our tenth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Alabama.

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 2023.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Alabama? That would be Gulf Shores.
the 2017-2021 American Community Survey for the 101 places in Alabama with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Alabama for 2023:

  1. Gulf Shores
  2. Tuscaloosa
  3. Troy
  4. Auburn
  5. Fairhope
  6. Pell City
  7. Montevallo
  8. Foley
  9. Orange Beach
  10. Homewood

What's the most expensive place to live in Alabama? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Gulf Shores is the most expensive place to live in Alabama.

So hopefully Attalla (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 2023

1. Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,712
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.1x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.9x (8th most expensive)
More on Gulf Shores: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Gulf Shores comes in at $53,048 and the median home value is $271,500 for 2023.

2. Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa, AL

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 99,252
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.5x (14th most expensive)
More on Tuscaloosa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Tuscaloosa comes in at $44,880 and the median home value is $194,500 for 2023.

3. Troy

Troy, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,765
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.9x (6th most expensive)
More on Troy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Troy comes in at $36,409 and the median home value is $168,700 for 2023.

4. Auburn

Auburn, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 74,637
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.2x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.1x (39th most expensive)
More on Auburn: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Auburn comes in at $54,700 and the median home value is $285,000 for 2023.

5. Fairhope

Fairhope, AL

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 21,825
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.5x (4most expensive)
More on Fairhope: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Fairhope comes in at $83,258 and the median home value is $337,100 for 2023.

6. Pell City

Pell City, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 12,923
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 8)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (16th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.6x (40th most expensive)
More on Pell City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Pell City comes in at $58,036 and the median home value is $205,900 for 2023.

7. Montevallo

Montevallo, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,968
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.6x (28th most expensive)
More on Montevallo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Montevallo comes in at $43,504 and the median home value is $163,100 for 2023.

8. Foley

Foley, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 20,170
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 64.1x (54th most expensive)
More on Foley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Foley comes in at $53,817 and the median home value is $205,300 for 2023.

9. Orange Beach

Orange Beach, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,847
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 70.8x (73rd most expensive)
More on Orange Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Orange Beach comes in at $84,838 and the median home value is $353,000 for 2023.

10. Homewood

Homewood, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 26,206
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.4x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 72.1x (79th most expensive)
More on Homewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Homewood comes in at $89,433 and the median home value is $391,500 for 2023.

Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Heart of Dixie For 2023

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 2017-2021 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 101 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. You can download the data here.

Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Alabama For 2023

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. Attalla
  2. Hamilton
  3. Russellville

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 7.0 14,712 5.1x 46.9x
2 Tuscaloosa 13.83 99,252 4.3x 49.5x
3 Troy 14.33 17,765 4.6x 45.9x
4 Auburn 16.33 74,637 5.2x 59.1x
5 Fairhope 18.67 21,825 4.0x 60.5x
6 Pell City 24.67 12,923 3.5x 59.6x
7 Montevallo 26.67 6,968 3.7x 56.6x
8 Foley 28.0 20,170 3.8x 64.1x
9 Orange Beach 28.33 7,847 4.2x 70.8x
10 Homewood 29.0 26,206 4.4x 72.1x
11 Oneonta 29.33 6,778 4.1x 60.9x
12 Daphne 32.0 27,088 3.1x 62.1x
13 Rainbow City 33.33 10,093 3.3x 61.1x
14 Wetumpka 33.67 7,025 3.3x 54.7x
15 Mountain Brook 35.67 22,184 4.6x 95.3x
16 Phenix City 36.33 38,216 3.2x 49.4x
17 Mobile 36.67 187,445 3.1x 48.8x
18 Florence 37.0 39,709 3.6x 58.6x
19 Huntsville 37.83 210,081 3.2x 66.8x
20 Bay Minette 38.33 7,824 3.3x 50.5x
21 Guntersville 38.33 8,559 4.2x 80.0x
22 Hoover 39.0 91,371 3.3x 78.9x
23 Monroeville 39.33 5,953 3.8x 53.0x
24 Eufaula 40.0 12,753 3.5x 56.7x
25 Dothan 40.67 70,318 3.2x 61.0x
26 Bessemer 40.67 26,171 3.2x 41.2x
27 Atmore 41.0 8,734 3.4x 48.3x
28 Vestavia Hills 41.33 38,504 3.4x 91.1x
29 Athens 41.33 25,213 3.5x 72.5x
30 Jacksonville 42.0 13,076 3.5x 62.8x
31 Irondale 42.67 13,457 2.7x 58.7x
32 Demopolis 43.67 7,134 3.7x 67.3x
33 Prattville 44.0 37,977 2.6x 57.8x
34 Clanton 44.5 8,715 3.1x 59.0x
35 Chelsea 46.67 14,710 2.7x 70.5x
36 Cullman 46.67 17,892 3.1x 69.2x
37 Enterprise 46.67 28,242 2.9x 70.2x
38 Anniston 47.0 21,455 3.0x 52.5x
39 Andalusia 47.67 8,764 3.2x 61.9x
40 Opelika 48.0 30,810 3.0x 63.5x
41 Pelham 49.0 24,134 2.6x 68.3x
42 Sylacauga 49.0 12,512 3.3x 66.8x
43 Smiths Station 49.33 5,420 2.9x 64.0x
44 Pike Road 50.0 9,193 2.8x 80.1x
45 Sheffield 50.33 9,305 2.9x 50.5x
46 Calera 50.5 16,126 2.3x 52.7x
47 Moody 50.67 13,100 2.5x 63.0x
48 Selma 50.67 18,429 2.9x 46.0x
49 Talladega 51.33 15,782 3.0x 52.6x
50 Tuscumbia 51.83 8,977 2.8x 58.5x
51 Trussville 52.0 25,027 2.7x 75.7x
52 Millbrook 52.33 16,675 2.7x 65.1x
53 Saraland 53.33 15,942 2.7x 66.8x
54 Spanish Fort 53.33 9,720 2.7x 73.7x
55 Birmingham 53.33 202,234 2.6x 43.5x
56 Jasper 53.67 14,370 3.1x 87.2x
57 Ozark 54.5 14,396 2.8x 58.5x
58 Northport 55.33 30,334 2.8x 80.4x
59 Rainsville 55.5 5,466 3.3x 88.8x
60 Montgomery 56.67 201,022 2.5x 53.2x
61 Arab 57.33 8,462 3.1x 79.6x
62 Greenville 58.0 7,395 2.8x 59.1x
63 Robertsdale 58.67 6,603 2.4x 57.4x
64 Tarrant 59.0 6,137 2.5x 42.9x
65 Roanoke 59.33 5,368 3.0x 64.8x
66 Pleasant Grove 59.33 9,638 2.4x 62.3x
67 Leeds 59.33 12,385 2.7x 79.0x
68 Madison 59.33 55,551 2.7x 97.5x
69 Center Point 60.0 16,422 2.4x 47.9x
70 Southside 60.67 9,253 2.4x 66.8x
71 Fort Payne 61.0 14,730 3.0x 70.8x
72 Tuskegee 61.67 9,125 2.6x 50.4x
73 Scottsboro 62.0 15,446 2.8x 66.8x
74 Decatur 63.5 57,303 2.8x 72.5x
75 Alabaster 63.67 33,133 2.3x 71.0x
76 Fairfield 63.67 10,108 2.3x 50.4x
77 Gardendale 64.0 15,920 2.6x 82.2x
78 Lincoln 64.67 6,836 2.4x 66.7x
79 Glencoe 65.33 5,360 2.7x 88.8x
80 Helena 65.67 20,680 2.4x 87.4x
81 Albertville 66.0 22,268 2.6x 69.0x
82 Chickasaw 66.33 6,421 2.2x 43.4x
83 Muscle Shoals 66.33 15,969 2.5x 70.0x
84 Pinson 66.33 7,242 2.1x 61.9x
85 Prichard 67.67 19,645 2.1x 39.5x
86 Hueytown 67.67 16,694 2.0x 54.2x
87 Clay 67.67 10,320 2.2x 70.8x
88 Boaz 69.0 10,091 2.8x 71.1x
89 Gadsden 69.67 34,317 2.3x 52.1x
90 Fultondale 72.33 9,707 2.2x 70.8x
91 Valley 74.0 10,498 2.0x 57.7x
92 Alexander City 74.67 14,765 2.6x 69.9x
93 Opp 75.0 6,671 2.3x 61.6x
94 Brewton 78.33 5,288 2.6x 76.2x
95 Oxford 78.67 22,210 2.3x 74.3x
96 Satsuma 79.0 6,704 1.8x 79.0x
97 Hartselle 79.33 15,308 2.4x 89.7x
98 Lanett 86.0 6,821 2.1x 69.1x
99 Russellville 92.0 10,691 2.1x 74.7x
100 Hamilton 95.67 6,974 2.1x 80.8x

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.