Forbes has just announced the results of their fourth “Most Overpriced Places” study – and the Twin Cities are not listed. The closest area to Minneapolis/St. Paul is Milwaukee, which came in just outside the top 10.
Forbes based judgment several criteria. They started with the 150 cities named in Forbes’ 2005 list of the Best Places for Business and Careers. (Twin Cities ranked 18 for large metro areas; Rochester ranked 2 for small metro areas.) They extracted the rankings for job growth, income growth and cost of living and then added a housing affordability index from Economy.com. The index measures how much of a local median-priced home you can buy if you earn the local median income, given current interest rates.
For an experiment, you can try out their “Where can you afford to live well?” calculator. It doesn’t seem to be very scientific – but it’s kind of fun.