The 11th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey covers 378 metropolitan markets – including 86 major metropolitan markets with a population of more than 1 million – in nine countries (Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States).
According to the survey, which assesses housing affordability by dividing median house prices by gross annual median household income (known as the 'Median Multiple'), the most affordable major metropolitan markets in 2014 were in the United States, which had a moderately unaffordable rating of 3.6.
Using the Median Multiple measure, housing markets are considered 'affordable' at or below 3 times gross annual household income, 'moderately unaffordable' at or below 4 times income, 'seriously unaffordable' at or below 5 times income and 'severely unaffordable' when above 5.
Canada and Ireland were rated seriously unaffordable, with a Median Multiple of 4.3, along with Japan (4.4), the United Kingdom (4.7) and Singapore (5.0). Australia (6.4), New Zealand (8.2) and Hong Kong (17.0) were severely unaffordable.
The most affordable major metropolitan markets were in the United States, with 14 markets rated as affordable. Hong Kong's Median Multiple of 17.0 was the highest recorded (least affordable) in the 11 years of the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.
Vancouver was second only to Hong Kong, with a Median Multiple of 10.6. Housing affordability in Sydney deteriorated to a Median Multiple of 9.8, which was followed by San Francisco and San Jose (each 9.2). Melbourne had a Median Multiple of 8.7 and London (Greater London Authority) 8.5. Three other markets had Median Multiples of 8.0 or above, including San Diego (8.3), Auckland (8.2) and Los Angeles (8.0).
Among all 378 markets in the principal analysis, there were 98 affordable markets, 88 in the United States, five in Canada, three in Ireland and, for the first time, there were affordable markets in Australia (Karratha and Kalgoorlie). There were 119 moderately unaffordable markets, 97 in the United States, 16 in Canada, three in the United Kingdom and one each in Japan, Ireland and Australia.
There were 76 seriously unaffordable markets and 85 severely unaffordable markets. Australia had 33 severely unaffordable markets, followed by the United States with 25 and the United Kingdom with 16. New Zealand and Canada each had five severely unaffordable markets, while China's one market (Hong Kong) was also severely unaffordable.
Title: 11th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey
Published by: Demographia
Date: January 2015
Note from Urbanalyst: The above summary is sourced directly from the document and/or accompanying documentation. Aside from minor editorial modifications, the information is presented as-is.