Is housing the answer to the riddle of inequality?

There's something special about housing — or, more specifically, the land it's sitting on

Row of houses
(Image credit: (Christie's Images/Corbis))

Here’s a striking figure: From 2012 to 2014, housing prices rose 13 times faster than wages.

That's the word from a new study by RealtyTrac, which looked at 184 metro areas around the country. One hundred and forty of those metro areas — with a combined population of 176 million — saw housing outpace wages. And 45 of them — for a combined population of 63 million — saw median home prices spike past 28 percent of median income for monthly mortgage payments. That's the threshold beyond which housing is traditionally considered unaffordable.

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