THE 12th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey covers 367 metropolitan markets in nine countries (Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States).
A total of 87 major metropolitan markets - with more than 1,000,000 population - are included, including five megacities (Tokyo-Yokohama, New York, Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Los Angeles, and London). The Demographia Survey may be the most comprehensive international comparison of housing affordability at the metropolitan area level.
The Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey rates middle-income housing affordability using the "Median Multiple." The Median Multiple is widely used for evaluating urban markets, and has been recommended by the World Bank and the United Nations and is used by the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University. The Median Multiple and other similar price-to-income multiples (housing affordability multiples) are used to compare housing affordability between markets by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Monetary Fund, The Economist, and other organizations.
The most affordable major metropolitan markets in 2015 were in the United States, which had a moderately unaffordable rating of 3.7.followed by Japan, with a Median Multiple of 3.9. Major metropolitan markets were rated "seriously unaffordable," in Canada (4.2), Ireland (4.5), the United Kingdom (4.6) and Singapore (5.0). The major markets of Australia (6.4), New Zealand (9.7) and Hong Kong (19.0) were severely unaffordable.
The most affordable major metropolitan markets were in the United States, with 13 markets rated as "affordable." The 10 most affordable markets were (#1-tie) Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Rochester, (#5) Pittsburgh, (#6-tie) Detroit, Grand Rapids, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, (#10-tie) Columbus, Indianapolis and Kansas City, all with Median Multiples under 3.0, and rated as affordable.
Hong Kong's Median Multiple of 19.0 was the highest recorded (least affordable) in the 12 years of the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. Sydney was the second least affordable major market, with a Median Multiple of 12.2. Sydney's increase of 2.4 points from its 9.8 Median Multiple in 2014 is the largest year-to-year deterioration ever indicated in the 12 years of the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. It is also highest Median Multiple outside Hong Kong in the history of the Survey. Vancouver was the third least affordable major market, with a Median Multiple of 10.8. Auckland, Melbourne and San Jose all had Median Multiples of 9.7. They were followed by San Francisco at 9.4, and London (Greater London Authority), at 8.5. Two other markets had Median Multiples of 8.0 or above, including San Diego and Los Angeles, both at 8.1.
Title: The 12th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey
Date: January 2016
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