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Header image of Hong Kong financial center courtesy of hleung on flickr.

Housing as both consumption and investment. provides an interactive graph on "Rent vs. Buy" in America's 50 largest cities by population. The "Rent:Buy Ratio" is calculated by comparing median home price with median annual rent -- which I would rather call a "Buy-Rent Ratio" to be in consistent with its calculation.

The city with a highest ratio in 2011 is New York, where the median housing price is about 31 times the annual rent. It clearly shows that housing there is not only a consumption but also an investment.

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Even with the house prices going down because of the financial situation the prices in New York still remain up because there is the financial center of US. There are, still a lot of people who earn more than 7 figure and can afford to pay for houses. I must say that I tough Chicago will be more expensive but now I see I can get a house with the money I will pay for rent in 11-15 years. I must say this is a great post.


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Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs