CityLab editor-at-large Richard Florida digs into the latest take on the housing affordability problems of some of the nation's top cities and knowledge hubs.

Land-use regulations often get the blame, but there's more to the issue. Florida explains:

According to a recent study by Issi Romem, chief economist at BuildZoom, part of the explanation lies in the geographic characteristics of cities and metros—mountains, lakes, coastlines, etc.—that make it all but impossible to expand and add more housing.

Geography is a major factor in expensive cities. Cities such as L.A., Seattle, and San Francisco face hard physical boundaries like coastlines and mountains, which in addition to policy decisions that may limit height or density, can also serve to limit capacity for expansion.

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