Cities are very good places to live if you are very rich, and you might need to live there for certain work (commuting has a time cost, and doing it with a cushion for a job with long hours and strict on-time requirements can be prohibitive, for instance.) So, there are reasons why cities are desirable for some portion of the population
But price isn't just demand, it's the intersection of supply and demand, and the available land in a given radius of a point (say, a city center) goes up with the square of distance. So even if desirability increased with distance, it'd still be possible for price to go down.
This is also why there aren't "cheap" skyscrapers in suburban/rural areas. Because even when it's easy and 100% legal to build by-right, any density above 2-3 stories is still inherently really expensive.
Plus jobs and traffic. If I could live in a middle rung suburb and have a 30 min commute, I'd do it.
Aka "it's what the market will bear" or "supply and demand"
The area grows in proportion to radius squared.
If one of us finds a job in New York, Boston, or Chicago, there's probably something nearby for the other too.
GE had some interesting R&D jobs in Schenectady, but unless they hired both of us, it would be a lot tricker for the other spouse to find something relevant. US universities, which are often located in small towns, sometimes offer "spousal hires", where they either create a new position for one person, or at least give them some preference when hiring. I've never heard of a company doing that, but it would certainly pique our interest (anybody need a neuro/ML guy?)