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Least affordable: New York City
Least affordable: New York City
Prepare to spend $879,000 for a 5-bed, 4-bath across the bay from Manhattan.
Median home price: $425,000
Median income: $64,800
Affordability score: 19.7%

Home prices can be staggeringly high in the New York City metro area, but median income is not commensurately high; it's under $65,000. That combo makes this the country's least affordable major metro area.

Although, affordability has improved: The median home price has fallen from about $500,000 at the market peak, and more places are within reach now that mortgage rates are near historic lows.

After holding up better and longer than most housing markets, sales and prices around New York City have started to experience greater declines. The market there is highly influenced by what's happening on Wall Street; when financial markets sneeze, the real estate industry says "God bless you" with feeling.

Financial markets have stabilized a bit lately and investment banks are paying out bonuses. That could lead to a housing market recovery in the metro area.

NEXT: Runner up: San Francisco
Last updated February 19 2010: 7:45 AM ET
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