The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Alabama For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh 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 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Alabama? That would be Gulf Shores.
the 2015-2019 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 2021:

  1. Gulf Shores
  2. Auburn
  3. Foley
  4. Troy
  5. Tuscaloosa
  6. Fairhope
  7. Oneonta
  8. Pell City
  9. Demopolis
  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 2021

1. Gulf ShoresGulf Shores, AL

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 12,267
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.2x (12th most expensive)
More on Gulf Shores: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Gulf Shores comes in at $53,476 and the median home value is $243,100 for 2021.

2. AuburnAuburn, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 64,054
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.6x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.5x (2most expensive)
More on Auburn: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Auburn comes in at $47,318 and the median home value is $266,200 for 2021.

3. FoleyFoley, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 18,533
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.0x (19th most expensive)
More on Foley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Foley comes in at $43,614 and the median home value is $177,600 for 2021.

4. TroyTroy, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 19,112
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.9x (9th most expensive)
More on Troy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Troy comes in at $31,515 and the median home value is $154,000 for 2021.

5. TuscaloosaTuscaloosa, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 99,390
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.6x (22nd most expensive)
More on Tuscaloosa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Tuscaloosa comes in at $45,268 and the median home value is $178,900 for 2021.

6. FairhopeFairhope, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 21,083
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.9x (47th most expensive)
More on Fairhope: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Fairhope comes in at $75,197 and the median home value is $299,200 for 2021.

7. OneontaOneonta, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,568
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.6x (38th most expensive)
More on Oneonta: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Oneonta comes in at $39,669 and the median home value is $156,300 for 2021.

8. Pell CityPell City, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,781
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (20th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.7x (52nd most expensive)
More on Pell City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Pell City comes in at $54,674 and the median home value is $183,800 for 2021.

9. DemopolisDemopolis, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,807
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.8x (18th most expensive)
More on Demopolis: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Demopolis comes in at $27,279 and the median home value is $117,400 for 2021.

10. HomewoodHomewood, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,534
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 75.7x (87th most expensive)
More on Homewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Homewood comes in at $84,157 and the median home value is $347,800 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Heart of Dixie For 2021

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 2015-2019 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.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Alabama For 2021

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. Roanoke

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 12,267 4.5x 49.2x
2 Auburn 10.0 64,054 5.6x 53.5x
3 Foley 16.0 18,533 4.1x 51.0x
4 Troy 16.33 19,112 4.9x 45.9x
5 Tuscaloosa 17.67 99,390 4.0x 53.6x
6 Fairhope 20.67 21,083 4.0x 62.9x
7 Oneonta 27.67 6,568 3.9x 59.6x
8 Pell City 30.0 13,781 3.4x 63.7x
9 Demopolis 31.33 6,807 4.3x 50.8x
10 Homewood 32.0 25,534 4.1x 75.7x
11 Rainbow City 32.67 9,589 3.3x 63.4x
12 Guntersville 34.0 8,468 4.2x 73.3x
13 Huntsville 34.0 196,219 3.3x 66.9x
14 Orange Beach 34.33 6,019 3.6x 73.3x
15 Daphne 35.0 25,901 2.8x 59.9x
16 Eufaula 35.67 12,065 3.9x 57.2x
17 Wetumpka 36.67 8,243 3.2x 54.1x
18 Mountain Brook 36.67 20,436 4.1x 97.6x
19 Atmore 37.0 9,495 3.6x 44.8x
20 Sylacauga 37.33 12,226 3.6x 59.2x
21 Phenix City 37.67 36,516 3.1x 50.5x
22 Smiths Station 37.67 5,364 3.0x 57.0x
23 Monroeville 38.67 5,898 4.0x 60.2x
24 Dothan 39.0 67,894 3.2x 62.7x
25 Montevallo 39.0 6,693 3.2x 66.8x
26 Jacksonville 39.67 12,651 3.6x 64.1x
27 Prattville 39.67 35,925 2.7x 58.4x
28 Florence 40.33 40,309 3.5x 63.0x
29 Vestavia Hills 40.67 34,307 3.4x 89.9x
30 Lanett 40.67 6,271 3.1x 47.3x
31 Robertsdale 41.33 6,473 3.1x 55.0x
32 Selma 41.67 18,276 3.2x 44.2x
33 Hoover 42.0 85,175 3.3x 79.7x
34 Opelika 42.33 30,232 3.1x 64.4x
35 Mobile 42.33 190,432 2.9x 49.4x
36 Spanish Fort 44.67 8,601 2.9x 71.6x
37 Rainsville 45.67 5,041 3.3x 58.5x
38 Trussville 46.33 21,876 2.6x 68.8x
39 Northport 47.33 25,874 3.0x 72.6x
40 Talladega 47.67 15,522 3.1x 50.6x
41 Greenville 49.0 7,589 3.1x 59.8x
42 Pike Road 49.67 9,320 2.9x 82.9x
43 Andalusia 50.0 8,772 3.0x 58.3x
44 Irondale 50.33 12,637 2.5x 54.2x
45 Enterprise 50.33 27,947 2.7x 71.1x
46 Bay Minette 51.33 9,169 3.2x 66.8x
47 Bessemer 52.67 26,680 2.7x 43.5x
48 Clanton 53.33 8,700 2.9x 65.4x
49 Chickasaw 53.67 5,817 2.6x 35.1x
50 Chelsea 53.67 13,098 2.4x 67.5x
51 Leeds 53.67 12,600 2.6x 69.4x
52 Tuskegee 54.0 8,486 2.7x 46.1x
53 Calera 54.33 13,856 2.4x 57.7x
54 Athens 55.0 25,922 3.0x 80.1x
55 Anniston 55.0 21,688 2.7x 53.6x
56 Helena 55.33 18,463 2.2x 65.5x
57 Fort Payne 55.33 14,115 3.1x 67.7x
58 Tarrant 56.0 6,174 2.6x 41.0x
59 Montgomery 56.0 199,783 2.5x 54.5x
60 Pleasant Grove 56.33 9,651 2.2x 62.2x
61 Millbrook 57.67 15,645 2.5x 66.1x
62 Jasper 57.67 13,649 3.1x 78.7x
63 Alexander City 57.67 14,508 2.7x 57.5x
64 Sheffield 57.67 8,986 2.6x 53.0x
65 Arab 58.0 8,293 3.2x 81.3x
66 Cullman 58.33 15,729 2.9x 72.6x
67 Birmingham 58.67 212,297 2.4x 44.7x
68 Ozark 59.67 14,413 2.8x 64.6x
69 Pelham 59.67 23,428 2.3x 71.9x
70 Madison 60.67 49,327 2.6x 104.8x
71 Moody 61.33 12,840 2.6x 74.8x
72 Fultondale 61.67 9,179 2.4x 63.3x
73 Fairfield 62.0 10,720 2.4x 53.9x
74 Saraland 63.33 14,391 2.5x 69.4x
75 Center Point 63.67 16,353 2.2x 50.5x
76 Oxford 64.33 21,323 2.5x 69.0x
77 Decatur 64.33 54,478 2.8x 73.9x
78 Satsuma 64.67 6,159 2.4x 72.7x
79 Prichard 64.67 21,773 2.3x 40.5x
80 Scottsboro 65.33 14,526 2.8x 71.2x
81 Hueytown 66.33 15,540 2.3x 58.9x
82 Albertville 66.67 21,541 2.6x 68.4x
83 Alabaster 67.0 33,176 2.2x 73.6x
84 Gardendale 67.67 14,016 2.4x 79.6x
85 Tuscumbia 67.67 8,444 2.5x 63.5x
86 Brewton 68.33 5,240 2.6x 67.2x
87 Boaz 68.67 9,277 2.6x 65.6x
88 Midfield 69.17 5,085 1.9x 42.5x
89 Glencoe 69.33 5,077 2.6x 108.4x
90 Gadsden 69.5 35,486 2.3x 50.6x
91 Muscle Shoals 70.33 14,103 2.4x 73.0x
92 Opp 72.67 6,455 2.4x 60.6x
93 Hartselle 73.33 14,428 2.5x 87.7x
94 Hamilton 75.0 6,682 2.7x 76.4x
95 Daleville 75.33 5,123 2.2x 62.7x
96 Southside 75.33 8,811 2.1x 77.2x
97 Clay 77.67 9,888 2.1x 87.7x
98 Valley 78.33 9,286 1.9x 59.8x
99 Pinson 83.33 7,109 2.0x 78.9x
100 Lincoln 83.33 6,681 2.0x 75.8x

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.