Every year, for the past 14 years, the consultancy firm Demographia has released an international housing affordability survey studying the markets in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the U.S., and the U.K. In their latest survey, released this month, they found that U.S. cities are among the most and least expensive places to live of 92 major urban markets. How is this possible? Well, prices vary greatly state by state, of course. So, certain metro areas in California top the list, while certain metro areas in New York state clock in as uber-affordable compared to the other nations studied.
Demographia determines middle-income housing affordability by dividing the median house price by the median household income. Curious to learn more about Demographia's reflections on 2017 for the major housing markets (cities and their suburbs with populations of 1 million or more) in these countries? Let us break it down for you below.
The 10 Most Affordable Major Housing Markets Are All in the U.S.
These are as follows, in order:
- Rochester, New York
- Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, New York
- St. Louis, Missouri and Detroit, Michigan
- Indianapolis, Indiana and Grand Rapids, Michigan
The 10 Least Affordable Major Housing Markets Are an International Affair
Here they are, in numerical order:
- Hong Kong
- Sydney, Australia
- Vancouver, Canada
- San Jose, California — U.S.
- Melbourne, Australia
- Los Angeles, California — U.S.
- Honolulu, Hawaii — U.S.
- San Francisco, California — U.S.
- Auckland, New Zealand
- London, England
So there we have it. The Northeast and Midwest of the U.S. are more budget friendly than you may have thought, while California and Hawaii are some of the least affordable in the world. Why is that? Restrictive land use regulation to protect the environment is one of the major factors leading to skyrocketing prices in California. Everyone at the Hunker office, located in Santa Monica, is shedding a collective tear that we've made number six on the least affordable list.
Carolin Lehmann is an Associate Editor at Hunker. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and has previously written for HuffPost, Seventeen magazine, and a variety of local news outlets. As a studio apartment dweller, she's always on the lookout for new ways to decorate a rental on a budget.