Matthew Yglesias points us to an interesting map at Gene Expression that shows housing values in relation to median income (though the data is a couple of years old). For creative class aficionados who won't consider living in flyover country, the most striking thing about the map is how expensive the entire West Coast is. Yglesias speculates:
There’s a fascinating difference here between the west coast and the northeast. The areas right around New York and Boston got very pricey, but pretty quickly the counties turn red [i.e., relatively affordable] again. On the west coast, by contrast, the blue extends quite far into the hinterlands.
That said, the weather is clearly much better on the west coast than on the east coast, so arguably it makes sense that west coast housing should be more expensive relative to economic opportunities.
For quite a long time, one of the most frustrating things about Massachusetts is how expensive it is to live here despite a climate that makes backyards and decks unusable for much of the year. Maybe we've reached a tipping point, and our friends on the West Coast will have to pay a penalty for their damned beautiful days.