Around the world, people are streaming into big cities. But owning a home in these places is out of reach for many Americans — and where most end up renting, the idea of a quick zip to work is a cruel joke.
By the numbers: This is a global issue. A recent survey by Demographia, a firm that researches cities, looked at 309 metros in 8 countries. Of these, just 9 housing markets (all in the U.S.) were judged to be "affordable" — meaning that the ratio of average housing prices to income was 3 to 1 or less. The most affordable were Pittsburgh, Rochester, and Oklahoma City.