World’s most unaffordable housing markets revealed

Hong Kong is home to the world’s most unaffordable housing market, the latest Demographia annual survey of property market reveals.

The survey, which looks at the at the median cost of a home divided by the median income in 367 different cities worldwide, found that average property prices in Hong Kong are 19 times more expensive than average incomes. Any market with a multiple of more than 5.1 is deemed to be ‘severely unaffordable’.

Australia’s largest city, Sydney, is home to the world’s next most unaffordable market, with property prices there on average 12.2 times higher than income, while Vancouver, Canada, was third (10.8).

London was the highest ranked European market, with prices in the UK’s capital outstripping income by 8.5 times, making it the world’s eighth most unaffordable city.

However, the Irish city of Limerick was found to be the world’s most affordable city. The survey found that buyers in the city can secure their home for 1.8 times their income.

What’s more, Waterford (also in Ireland) was found to be the joint second most affordable market, with a median multiple of 2.1.

Limerick and Waterford were the only destinations included in the top ten most affordable housing markets not to be located in the United States of America. By the survey’s reckoning, any housing market with a multiple of less than 3 is considered affordable.

Top five most unaffordable housing markets (median multiple)

  1. Hong Kong, China (19)
  2. Sydney, Australia (12.2)
  3. Vancouver, Canada (10.8)
  4. Melbourne, Australia (9.7)

=4. Auckland, New Zealand (9.7)

Top five most affordable housing markets (median multiple)

  1. Limerick, Ireland (1.8)
  2. Waterford, Ireland (2.1)

=2. Cumberland, USA (2.1)

=2. Decatur, USA (2.1)

=2. Elmira, USA (2.1)