Healthy housing market in Monroe County

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A new study from SmartAsset.com ranks the healthiest housing markets in Illinois,  with both Columbia and Waterloo at or near the top of the list.

To assess market health, the sixth annual study weighed factors including stability, risk, ease of selling a home and home costs as a percentage of local median income. 

The places that scored the best across these indices were deemed the healthiest housing markets in Illinois. 

Columbia ranked first in the entire state with a healthiest markets index of 83.43. The average years of living in a home in Columbia is 14.4, and the average amount of homes with negative equity is 6.2 percent. There are only 10 percent of homes in Columbia with decreasing value, according to the study, and the average days of a home on the market is 116.1. Columbia home costs as percent of income is 17.6 percent.

Waterloo ranked sixth on the list with a healthiest markets index of 69.40. The average years of living in a home in Waterloo is 13.4, and the average amount of homes with negative equity is 6.3 percent. There are only 13.5 percent of homes in Waterloo with decreasing value, according to the study, and the average days of a home on the market is 86.4. Waterloo home costs as percent of income is 19.4 percent.

Other metro-east communities in the top 10 of this list are Troy at third, Highland at fifth and Glen Carbon at eighth.

SmartAsset.com measured stability with two equally weighted indicators: the number of years people remain in their homes and the percentage of homeowners with negative equity. To measure risk, it used the percentage of homes that decreased in value. To determine housing market fluidity, it looked at data on the average time a for-sale home in each area spent on the market – the longer homes take to sell, the less fluid the market. 

Finally, SmartAsset.com calculated affordability by determining the monthly cost of owning a home as a percentage of household income in each city.

Affordability accounted for 40 percent of the healthiest markets index, while each of the other three factors accounted for 20 percent. 

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