13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2017

The full report is here. It looks at median house prices as a multiple of median incomes in 406 cities in nine countries.

The 11 most affordable cities are all in the US. They are:

  1. Rochester, NY 2.5
  2. Buffalo, NY 2.6
  3. Cincinnati 2.7
  4. Cleveland, OH 2.7
  5. Pittsburgh, PA 2.7
  6. Oklahoma City 2.9
  7. Saint Louis, 2.9
  8. Detroit 3.0
  9. Grand Rapids, MI 3.0
  10. Indianapolis 3.0
  11. Kansas City 3.0

And the ten least affordable are:

  1. Hong Kong 18.1
  2. Sydney 12.2
  3. Vancouver 11.8
  4. Auckland 10.0
  5. San Jose 9.6
  6. Melbourne 9.5
  7. Honolulu 9.4
  8. LA 9.3
  9. San Francisco 9.2
  10. Bournemouth & Dorset 8.9

So Auckland is pretty appalling for affordability, but so is Sydney, Melbourne and Vancouver. They all have various property or capital gains taxes, so this strongly suggests the real solutions lie more with supply side – freeing up land.

Christchurch has a median multiple of 5.9 and Wellington 5.7.

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