The Least Affordable Cities Worldwide Are ...

January 22, 2014

Hong Kong is the most unaffordable city in the world to buy property, according to the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. Hong Kong was followed by Vancouver, B.C., and a U.S. city, San Francisco, at No. 3. 

The survey analyzed 360 cities in nine countries. 

In Hong Kong, average home prices have increased to 14.9 times gross annual median household income. Home prices have more than doubled since 2009. 

Meanwhile, Canadian home prices are up nearly 100 percent since 2000, according to the report. Homes in Vancouver rose 10.3 times income. 

In San Francisco, home prices have increased 9.2 times median household income. The survey noted that California has 11 of the most unaffordable markets in the United States, including San Jose, San Diego, and Los Angeles. 

According to the report: "There are indications of a substantial worsening housing affordability situation in California, which was the core of the U.S. housing bust of the last decade that precipitated the great financial crisis. House prices in the six major markets of California have risen nearly 40 percent relative to incomes since bottoming out in 2009," according to the survey.

The top five most unaffordable cities, according to the survey, are: 

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Vancouver, B.C.
  3. San Francisco
  4. Sydney, Australia
  5. Melbourne, Australia

Source: “Hong Kong’s Housing Market Is ‘Least Affordable’: Survey,” CNBC (Jan. 20, 2014)

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