The New York Times is reporting that the median cost of housing ownership in America is about 22% of pre-tax income . That's apparently down about 10% from twenty years ago, which means that for most of the country, owning a house is actually cheaper now than it was then. Big catch: this doesn't apply to you, your friends, or anyone else in New York City, where the median percentage is 37%, which is actually up 12.2% from five years ago (and about 7% from twenty years ago). Way to go, Big Apple! Remember, this is the median percentage-- if you want to live in a neighborhood with a supermarket or subway access, expect to pay about 62.5% more!

The article goes on to say that since the cost of home ownership nationwide is lower now than it's been before, a widespread housing crash isn't expected in 2006. Of course, that doesn't rule out a gigantic implosion here in New York City. We're keeping our fingers crossed-- it's our only prayer of getting a two-bedroom apartment for less than two gabillion dollars. [Related: Curbed's housing bubble-coverage.]