U.S. Ranked One of Most Affordable Worldwide Housing Markets

January 22, 2013

Detroit topped the list for the most affordable housing market in the world, according to the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which analyzed housing prices in 227 metro markets worldwide. 

Detroit has faced economic hardship with a big population loss from 1.8 million to 714,000 in the last 60 years. However, it is faring better: Suburban and exurban areas added 2.2 million, according to the survey. 

The U.S. had many of the most affordable markets that topped the housing affordability list. Other affordable markets included Atlanta, Cincinnati, Rochester, and St. Louis. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Hong Kong remained the priciest housing market in the world. Other least affordable markets with a population over 1 million included: Vancouver; Sydney; San Jose, Calif.; San Francisco and London. In all, six major markets in the U.S. were rated as “severely unaffordable”: San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and New York. 

Overall, “the principal driver of unaffordable housing relative to median incomes is failure to maintain a ‘competitive land supply,’” according to the survey. 

Source: “Demographic and Economic Challenges: The 9th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey,” New Geography (Jan. 21, 2013)

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