ROTHSCHILD — A new survey ranking the health and stability of housing markets in Wisconsin ranks Rothschild at number four, the highest ranking of all Marathon County communities.

The ranking was released Wednesday by SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company headquartered in New York that uses financial modeling to power advice on major financial decisions. The study measures market health by the average number of years residents spend in homes, home values, ease of sale and the costs associated with ownership.

According to the study, Little Chute ranked first in the state. An interactive map and list can be found on the SmartAsset website.

A healthy housing market is both stable and affordable, according to SmartAsset. Homeowners in a healthy market should be able to easily sell their homes, with a low risk of losing money over the long run. So, in order to find the healthiest housing markets in the country, the organization considered the following four factors: stability, affordability, fluidity and risk of loss.

Stability was measured with two equally weighted indicators: the number of years people remain in their homes and the percentage of homeowners with negative equity (as homeowners with negative equity are more likely to go into foreclosure).

To account for risk, the company used the percentage of homes that decreased in value. To determine housing market fluidity, company officials say they looked at data on the average time a for-sale home in each area spends on the market: the longer it takes to sell, the less fluid the market.

Finally, affordability was calculated as the monthly cost of owning a home as a percentage of household income in each county and city.

Affordability accounted for 40% of the housing health index, while each of the other three factors accounted for 20%. When data on the above four factors was unavailable for cities, they were excluded from the final rankings of healthiest markets.

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