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Detroit Tops List of World’s Most Affordable Housing Markets

Phil Hall
Jan 21, 2015

The Detroit metropolitan area was named as the year’s most affordable housing market, according to the 11th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

The survey, conducted by the St. Louis-based public policy and demographics consulting firm Demographia, surveyed 378 metropolitan markets across nine countries (Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and United States). Affordability was determined with the Median Multiple approach which measures the ratio of the median house price to the median annual household income.

The U.S. had the most number of cities among the most affordable markets, including Detroit in first place, Rochester, N.Y. in second, a tie between Buffalo and Cleveland for third and a four-way tie between Cincinnati, Grand Rapids, Pittsburgh and St. Louis for fifth. At the other end of the spectrum, Hong Kong was viewed as the least affordable city, with a quartet of California markets–San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego and Los Angeles–also among the priciest.

“Among all 378 markets, 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 (two),” the survey stated. “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.”

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