3 of 10
Third place: Syracuse, N.Y.
Third place: Syracuse, N.Y.
This nice three-bed, two-bath in suburban Lysander costs $149,900.
Median home price: $95,000
Median income: $64,300
Affordability score: 94.5%

A newcomer to the list, Syracuse is one of the many Upstate New York cities that grew up along the route of the Erie Canal, which made them wealthy. Syracuse's importance as a transportation hub continues to this day, with two major interstates crossing here.

Much of the area's economic base depended on manufacturing, and many of those industries have declined. While the metro area's population has expanded modestly, the core city has shrunk to fewer than 140,000 from a post-war high of 220,000. That shrinkage means there's much housing stock, keeping home prices very low.

The economy slowed during the recession and unemployment grew, but the rate -- 8.5% during March -- is still lower than the national average.

NEXT: Fourth place: Dayton, Ohio
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Last updated May 24 2010: 1:00 PM ET
Source: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo
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