...or so it seems - here's Randal O'Tolle in The Antiplanner:
With few exceptions, prices rise above three times incomes only when government policies make it difficult for homebuilders to meet demand.O'Toole points out that US millennials have low ownership rates (below 30%) in California and New York where there are strict controls on rural housing whereas a swathe of Southern and Mid-west states have millennial ownership above 45% because there aren't significant controls on rural housing development. It's true some millennials want to live all hugger-mugger in pokey city flats but most of them want what their mom and dad had - a family home.
For example, in 1969 the only places in America where housing cost more than three times incomes were Hawaii and Stamford, Connecticut. I don’t know why Stamford was on the list, but Hawaii had passed legislation strictly regulating where people could build homes in 1961. Other states and urban areas didn’t do so until the 1970s, and as they did so their housing prices rose faster than incomes as well.
Thanks to the urban planning prescriptions, housing is prohibitively expensive in too many areas. While median home prices are more than three times median family incomes in 45 percent of housing, it is more than four times in 24 percent of housing and more than five times in 14 percent of housing.