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Be Wealthy & Smart

Feb 15, 2017

Learn the least affordable housing markets in the world.

Investor’s Business Daily report, week of 2/6/17.

“The survey used Q3 2016 data to gauge the ’median multiple’, the ratio of median home price to median pretax income.”

Source: 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

Ratio of median home price to median pretax income, with 3.0 or below being “affordable.”

Ratio of median home price to median pretax income, with 3.0 or below being “affordable.” For example, if median pretax income is $100,000, you can afford a $300,000 home pretty easily so it’s deemed “affordable”.

The 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey covers 406 metropolitan housing markets (metropolitan areas) in nine countries (Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States) for the third quarter of 2016. A total of 92 major metropolitan markets (housing markets) --- with more than 1,000,000 population --- are included, including five megacities (Tokyo-Yokohama, New York, Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Los Angeles, and London).

“Overall, there are 29 severely unaffordable major housing markets, including all in Australia (5), New Zealand (1) and China (1). There are 13 severely unaffordable major markets in the United States, out of 54. Seven of the United Kingdom’s 21 major markets are severely unaffordable and two in Canada.” -

Hong Kong, Sidney and Vancouver are the 3 most unaffordable housing markets in the world.

1. Hong Kong 18.1
2. Sydney, AU 12.2
3. Vancouver, Canada 11.8
4. Auckland, NZ 10.0
5. San Jose, CA 9.6
6. Melbourne, AU 9.5
7. Honolulu, HI 9.4
8. Los Angeles, CA 9.3
9. San Francisco, CA 9.2
10. Dorset, UK 8.9

Interesting to note, Vancouver BC put a 15% foreign buyer tax on housing which reduced foreign purchases dramatically. The city of Vancouver also instituted a 1% vacancy tax on the assessed value of an empty property, as many foreign buyers let houses sit empty.

In response, many Chinese buyers have moved to the Seattle market. China spent a record $33 billion on foreign real estate in 2016, according to global real estate group JLL.

Hong Kong median home price $5,422,000 and income $300,000 vs. San Jose, CA $1,000,000 and $104,100. Prices in Australia, Vancouver, Seattle seem to be inflated from Chinese buyers - are they dependent on the Chinese economy?

On my website, I will post a link to the entire report. It’s quite interesting and I think it’s worth your time if you’re interested in real estate. Go to

Here is the link to the full housing report:

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