Median home price: $426,000
A big beautiful house in a Westchester suburb of New York City costs $1.849 million.
Median income: $65,600
Affordability score: 20.9%
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.
Affordability has improved lately: The median home price has fallen from about $500,000 at the market peak, and more properties 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 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 hasten a housing market recovery in the metro area.
NEXT: Runner up: San Francisco
Last updated May 24 2010: 1:00 PM ET
Source: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo