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Nailed it! Boston wins neck-and-neck contest with NYC over who's overpriced

Overpriced Boston is third on Forbes' lis5t; NYC is fouth.

File, Metro.

Boston beats New York -- and Hawaii’s Honolulu tramples all comers.And we’re not talking sports.

The folks at list-crazy Forbes mag are out with their ranking of “America’s Most Overpriced Cities,” and three Massachusetts metro areas are in the top 10.

THE FORBES 10
1. Honolulu
2. Southern Connecticut
3. Boston1
4. New York
5. Cambridge
6. San Francisco
7. Oakland
8. San Jose
9. Essex County, Mass.
10. Bergen County, New Jersey

Boston-Quincy took No. 3, one step past NYC. At the center of its ranking on the list is the cost of housing.

Writes Forbes:
“Thanks to its plethora of universities, arts organizations, top-notch health care institutions, and strong start-up culture, Boston is a great place to build a career and life. Salaries in the metro area are relatively high, with a median family income of $87,317, 12th among the largest metros in the nation. In Boston, that high income level matters–because the one thing the area doesn’t offer residents is a cheap cost of living.

“....The median sales price for a single-family home in the Boston-Quincy metro area was $350,000 during the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Homebuilders. While that’s certainly not the highest in the nation—the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif., metro tops the country with a median Q4 2014 sales price of $920,000—only 53.6% of homes sold in Boston in Q4 2014 were affordable to people making the area’s median family income.”

“I believe Boston is not overpriced,” Boston College economics professor Can Erbil insists, noting its great hospitals, culture and history. (We here at Metro would tack on the Red Sox and Pats.) “It’s priced exactly right.”

The Cambridge area came in at No. 5 (NYC was in the middle at No. 4) and in ninth is Essex County, Mass., including Peabody. There, the median income is just under $83,000, and about 59 percent of housing is affordable for those making that much, according to Forbes.

Head to head
New York, N.Y.
Median Income: $65,488
Q4 2014 median sales price: $450,000
Housing affordable at median family income: 24.7%
Cost Above National Average: Groceries: 18%; Utilities: 30.2%; Transportation: 11.2%; Health: 10.4%; Misc.: 19.9%

Boston-Quincy, MA
Median Income: $87,317
Q4 2014 median sales price: $350,000
Housing affordable at median family income: 53.6%
Cost Above National Average: Groceries: 14.5%; Utilities: 23.4%; Transportation: 8.8%; Health: 21.5%; Misc.: 28.3%

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