Photo by Rebecca Kennison/CC BY 2.5

Earlier this month Forbes published its 2015 list of “Most Overpriced Cities” in the United States, and Boston ranks right up near the top, along with Cambridge and Peabody.

The Boston-Quincy metro area took the number the 3 spot, just behind Honolulu (1) and Southern Connecticut (2) markets.

Forbes staffer Erin Carlyle writes:

Thanks to its plethora of universities, arts organizations, top-notch health care institutions, and strong start-up culture, Boston is a great place to build a career and life. Salaries in the metro area are relatively high, with a median family income of $87,317, 12th among the largest metros in the nation. In Boston, that high income level matters–because the one thing the area doesn’t offer residents is a cheap cost of living.

Simply put, though Boston-area dwellers benefit from above-average salaries, only about half of the homes sold in Q4 2014 were purchased by people making the area’s median family income – just a tad over $87,000. Specifically, Forbes reports only 53.6 percent of Boston-Quincy homes sold during last year’s Q4 were affordable to people making the area’s median family income. “In terms of affordability,” Carlyle continues, “Boston ranks 75th among America’s 92 largest metros.”

It gets worse. Across the board, Boston’s non-housing expenses – groceries, utilities, transportation, health care, etc. – all cost more than the national average. Here’s Forbes’ full breakdown of the Boston-Quincy price landscape:

  • Median income: $87,317
  • Q4 median home sales price: $350,000
  • Housing affordable at median family income: 53.6 percent
  • Groceries cost: 14.5 percent above national average
  • Utilities cost: 23.4 percent above national average
  • Transportation cost: 8.8 percent above national average
  • Health cost: 21.5 percent above national average
  • Miscellaneous cost: 28.3 percent above national average.

By the way: New York (New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ) earned the number 4 spot on Forbes’ list, sandwiched between Boston (3) and neighboring Cambridge (5).

Yes, of course, the Cambridge-Newton-Framingham market cracked the top five. The breakdown:

  • Median Income: $100,216
  • Q4 2014 median sales price: $400,000
  • Housing affordable at median family income: 54 percent
  • Groceries cost: 15.2 percent above national average
  • Utilities cost: 23.4 percent above national average
  • Transportation cost: 9.3 percent above national average
  • Health cost: 21.4 percent above national average
  • Miscellaneous cost: 27.4 percent above national average

Oh, and Peabody (Essex County) also got some run, locking down the number 9 spot.

  • Median Income: $82,852
  • Q4 2014 median sales price: $306,000
  • Housing affordable at median family income: 58.8 percent
  • Groceries cost: 13.9 percent above national average
  • Utilities cost: 21.9 percent above national average
  • Transportation cost: 8.2 percent above national average
  • Health cost: 21.8 percent above national average
  • Miscellaneous cost: 26 percent above national average

To see Forbes’ full 25-city ranking, click here.

Closing fun fact: Providence (Providence-New Bedford-Fall River) also made the list, securing the number 20 spot.