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Guess Which Market is the World’s Least Affordable?

Phil Hall
Jan 26, 2016
While affordable housing has become a thorny sociopolitical issue in the U.S., it has become virtually extinct in Hong Kong

While affordable housing has become a thorny sociopolitical issue in the U.S., it has become virtually extinct in Hong Kong. For the sixth consecutive year, Hong Kong has been named the world’s least affordable housing market, where housing costs measure at 19 times the median annual household income, according to a survey by Belleville, Ill.-based public policy firm Demographia.

The Demographia study focused on nine countries–Australia, Canada, China (including Hong Kong), Ireland, Japan, New Zealand , Singapore, the United Kingdom and the U.S.–and covered 367 metropolitan markets. Following Hong Kong on the list of least affordable housing markets was Sydney, followed by Vancouver and a tie for fourth place between Melbourne, Auckland and San Jose. Other U.S. cities in the top 10 list of least affordable housing markets were San Francisco in seventh place and Los Angeles and San Diego tied for ninth.

But at the other end of the spectrum, U.S. metro areas made up 10 of the 12 metropolitan areas ranked as being among the most affordable housing markets in the world (three were tied for tenth place.) Limerick, Ireland, took the top spot on that list, with seven U.S. markets–Cumberland, Md.; Decatur, Ill., Elmira, N.Y.; Kankakee, Ill., Rockford, Ill.; Topeka, Kan.; and Youngstown, Pa.–tied with Waterford, Ireland, for second place.

Published
Jan 26, 2016
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