10 least affordable cities to buy a home

Looking to buy a home? You may want to skip these places. Prices are either so high or incomes so low that many families can't afford to buy homes here, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

New York
gallery least affordable housing new york
Median home price: $455,000
Median income: $68,300
% of homes that are affordable: 28.5%

New York is a hell of a town, but not for homebuyers. Family income levels are barely higher than the national median of $65,000, but home prices are nearly two and a half times as much, according to the National Association of Home Builder/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

That puts nearly two-thirds of the New York metro-area's housing inventory out of reach for the average homebuyer. In Manhattan, home prices are even more stratospheric, averaging a brutal $1,100 a square foot, according to appraiser Miller Samuel. That means this $1.3 million listing for a 1,200-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side is pretty much the norm.

And, despite substantial unemployment, 8.5% in October, people continue to move to Gotham and its surrounding boroughs. The metro area gained nearly 100,000 newcomers last year -- nearly the entire population of a small city. All of those new residents make it that much harder to find an affordable place.


Source: National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index
*The percentage of new and existing homes sold in that metro area that families earning the area's median income can afford based on standard mortgage underwriting criteria.
- Last updated November 29 2012 02:02 PM ET
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