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Posted at 06:20 AM ET, 10/23/2012

D.C. named ‘most affordable’ city in America... Really?


Historic Victorian houses and newer row houses in LeDroit Park. (Amy Reinink - The Washington Post)
The latest superlative bestowed on the capital is arguably the most unbelievable we’ve heard. D.C. has been named the ‘most affordable’ city in the U.S.

Umm... really?

According to a new report by the Center for Housing Police and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the Washington area places the lowest financial burden on its moderate-income residents.

The study defines financial burden in terms of housing and transportation only.

The most affordable metro areas for moderate income renters are D.C., Minneapolis, Boston, San Francisco and Philadelphia, the study found.

For homeowners, the most affordable areas are D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh.

Miami topped the “most burdened” cities lists, which also included Riverside, Calif., Los Angeles, San Diego, Tampa and Atlanta.

Earlier this year, another list ranked the Washington area as the ninth most expensive place to live in the U.S. Why the discrepancy?

D.C. Streetsblog points out that the new report defines “moderate income” differently for each metro area.

“In expensive cities like D.C., Boston, and San Francisco, higher incomes helped cushion the shock. In all three cities, housing costs were higher than average — in D.C., transportation prices were also notably higher — yet those costs consumed a lower fraction of total income.”

So the D.C. area is the most affordable region — if you’re wealthy enough to afford it.

See more accurate, overblown and absurd D.C. superlatives.

By  |  06:20 AM ET, 10/23/2012

 
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