The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Alabama For 2022


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 2022. This is our ninth 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 2022.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Alabama? That would be Gulf Shores.
the 2016-2020 American Community Survey for the 103 places in Alabama with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Alabama for 2022:

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

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 2022

1. Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,550
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.3x (10th most expensive)
More on Gulf Shores: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Gulf Shores comes in at $53,209 and the median home value is $254,500 for 2022.

2. Auburn

Auburn, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 65,508
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.5x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.3x (24th most expensive)
More on Auburn: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Auburn comes in at $49,028 and the median home value is $270,400 for 2022.

3. Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa, AL

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 100,633
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.9x (15th most expensive)
More on Tuscaloosa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Tuscaloosa comes in at $44,507 and the median home value is $190,100 for 2022.

4. Troy

Troy, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 18,995
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.8x (8th most expensive)
More on Troy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Troy comes in at $34,603 and the median home value is $160,800 for 2022.

5. Montevallo

Montevallo, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,829
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 19)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.1x (16th most expensive)
More on Montevallo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Montevallo comes in at $38,066 and the median home value is $158,200 for 2022.

6. Fairhope

Fairhope, AL

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 22,035
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.1x (46th most expensive)
More on Fairhope: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Fairhope comes in at $80,106 and the median home value is $321,900 for 2022.

7. Orange Beach

Orange Beach, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,130
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.1x (53rd most expensive)
More on Orange Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Orange Beach comes in at $81,295 and the median home value is $325,700 for 2022.

8. Homewood

Homewood, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 25,170
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 70.0x (66th most expensive)
More on Homewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Homewood comes in at $84,418 and the median home value is $379,800 for 2022.

9. Foley

Foley, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 19,337
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.6x (48th most expensive)
More on Foley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Foley comes in at $48,373 and the median home value is $194,900 for 2022.

10. Oneonta

Oneonta, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,550
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.4x (39th most expensive)
More on Oneonta: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Oneonta comes in at $38,922 and the median home value is $161,900 for 2022.

Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Heart of Dixie For 2022

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 2016-2020 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 103 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 2022

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. Russellville
  3. Brewton

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 7.67 12,550 4.8x 48.3x
2 Auburn 11.33 65,508 5.5x 55.3x
3 Tuscaloosa 14.0 100,633 4.3x 51.9x
4 Troy 14.67 18,995 4.6x 46.8x
5 Montevallo 20.83 6,829 4.2x 52.1x
6 Fairhope 21.0 22,035 4.0x 61.1x
7 Orange Beach 23.33 6,130 4.0x 65.1x
8 Homewood 24.33 25,170 4.5x 70.0x
9 Foley 25.67 19,337 4.0x 61.6x
10 Oneonta 26.67 6,550 4.2x 59.4x
11 Rainbow City 28.0 9,601 3.4x 57.5x
12 Huntsville 33.67 199,845 3.3x 65.4x
13 Daphne 33.67 26,578 3.1x 63.1x
14 Pell City 34.33 14,081 3.2x 64.0x
15 Smiths Station 34.33 5,821 3.2x 57.5x
16 Sylacauga 35.0 12,132 3.6x 56.3x
17 Demopolis 35.33 6,724 4.4x 59.8x
18 Mountain Brook 36.0 20,178 4.4x 93.8x
19 Mobile 36.67 189,994 3.1x 49.8x
20 Phenix City 37.0 36,461 3.1x 50.9x
21 Bessemer 37.67 26,063 3.3x 39.6x
22 Atmore 37.67 9,269 3.8x 46.2x
23 Guntersville 38.0 8,531 4.3x 79.6x
24 Wetumpka 38.83 8,282 3.2x 57.6x
25 Monroeville 39.67 5,812 3.6x 54.7x
26 Vestavia Hills 40.33 34,482 3.4x 84.1x
27 Selma 40.67 17,762 3.4x 41.2x
28 Florence 40.67 40,652 3.6x 60.7x
29 Eufaula 41.17 11,878 3.6x 58.1x
30 Jacksonville 42.0 12,796 3.6x 65.5x
31 Hoover 42.5 85,386 3.2x 80.5x
32 Rainsville 42.67 5,038 4.0x 69.6x
33 Pike Road 43.17 9,745 3.0x 75.4x
34 Dothan 43.33 68,608 3.2x 63.1x
35 Prattville 45.0 36,599 2.6x 59.6x
36 Bay Minette 47.33 9,297 3.1x 59.4x
37 Millbrook 47.67 16,037 2.8x 61.0x
38 Opelika 48.33 30,589 3.0x 67.0x
39 Athens 49.33 26,686 3.2x 80.9x
40 Anniston 50.0 21,518 2.8x 56.4x
41 Northport 50.33 25,970 2.9x 77.3x
42 Enterprise 50.67 28,170 2.8x 72.7x
43 Spanish Fort 51.0 8,991 2.6x 72.1x
44 Ozark 51.17 14,350 3.0x 59.6x
45 Irondale 51.83 13,068 2.6x 59.2x
46 Pleasant Grove 52.0 9,625 2.5x 58.3x
47 Pelham 52.67 23,707 2.5x 68.4x
48 Tuskegee 52.67 8,443 2.8x 47.9x
49 Leeds 52.67 12,555 2.7x 70.2x
50 Talladega 53.33 15,405 2.9x 53.3x
51 Jasper 54.0 13,584 3.0x 77.7x
52 Sheffield 54.0 8,925 2.7x 52.9x
53 Robertsdale 54.33 6,776 2.6x 56.9x
54 Cullman 54.33 16,072 2.9x 69.7x
55 Calera 54.67 14,327 2.3x 56.3x
56 Madison 55.0 50,717 2.8x 95.6x
57 Daleville 55.33 5,125 2.8x 53.3x
58 Muscle Shoals 55.67 14,379 2.8x 67.5x
59 Chelsea 55.67 13,599 2.6x 75.5x
60 Tuscumbia 55.67 8,445 2.8x 58.8x
61 Clay 55.83 9,936 2.3x 59.3x
62 Clanton 56.0 8,719 2.9x 65.9x
63 Moody 56.0 13,004 2.6x 70.5x
64 Fort Payne 57.0 14,063 3.1x 71.3x
65 Arab 57.33 8,405 3.2x 81.6x
66 Semmes 57.67 5,780 3.0x 80.5x
67 Birmingham 57.67 210,928 2.5x 44.6x
68 Trussville 59.33 22,590 2.6x 89.0x
69 Opp 59.33 6,405 2.7x 55.7x
70 Greenville 59.33 7,478 2.8x 64.0x
71 Montgomery 59.67 199,054 2.4x 54.8x
72 Decatur 59.67 54,344 2.9x 71.2x
73 Tarrant 61.33 6,216 2.5x 41.9x
74 Andalusia 61.33 8,719 2.8x 66.5x
75 Gardendale 62.33 14,021 2.5x 75.3x
76 Saraland 62.67 14,561 2.6x 77.2x
77 Helena 62.67 18,631 2.3x 74.9x
78 Alabaster 63.0 33,373 2.2x 70.9x
79 Hueytown 63.0 15,446 2.3x 55.2x
80 Fultondale 63.33 9,247 2.3x 65.9x
81 Fairfield 64.0 10,749 2.3x 51.4x
82 Chickasaw 64.33 5,757 2.3x 38.8x
83 Glencoe 65.33 5,125 2.7x 99.7x
84 Center Point 66.0 15,971 2.2x 51.5x
85 Alexander City 67.0 14,515 2.7x 68.2x
86 Gadsden 67.67 35,224 2.4x 52.8x
87 Prichard 68.0 21,618 2.2x 37.8x
88 Scottsboro 68.67 14,452 2.8x 74.9x
89 Southside 69.33 8,801 2.2x 73.9x
90 Lanett 69.67 6,220 2.5x 59.1x
91 Hartselle 70.33 14,421 2.6x 80.2x
92 Roanoke 72.33 5,931 2.6x 69.3x
93 Pinson 74.5 7,108 2.2x 71.1x
94 Lincoln 75.67 6,805 2.3x 74.1x
95 Albertville 75.67 21,620 2.5x 74.7x
96 Boaz 78.67 9,587 2.6x 75.8x
97 Satsuma 79.17 6,163 1.9x 86.8x
98 Hamilton 79.33 6,662 2.6x 77.8x
99 Oxford 81.33 21,282 2.2x 78.3x
100 Valley 81.67 9,195 1.8x 61.4x

How Is The Area In ?

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.