Feature image

Sydney and Melbourne Top 5 Least Affordable Housing Markets

Sydney and Melbourne have been named amongst the top five least affordable housing markets in the world, according to a Demographia International Report. The report compared average income vs. median house pricing to assess a housing affordability index across 92 different countries including China, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Singapore, and the US.

So who came in at number one? Coming in at number one was Hong Kong with a whopping 23.20 median multiple (23.2 times the average income). Even more shocking is how many Australian cities landed inside the top 20, let’s check it out.

Related: Inside the $50 Million Sydney Mansion Chris Hemsworth is Reportedly Eyeing.

Chris Hemsworth Sutherland Shire Houses

Image: Highland Property Group

Sydney Now the Second Least Affordable City to Live

Sydney (#2) and Melbourne (#5) landed within the top 5 alongside Hong Kong (#1), Vancouver (#3), and San Jose (#4) with a number of cities in New Zealand, the United States and Canada landing inside the top 20 below. The news comes as no real surprise to Sydney house buyers after a Domain report in January 2022 indicated the accelerated growth resulted in median house pricing in Sydney soaring above $1.6 Million. House pricing across the country has received strong annual growth percentages with the same report showing Sydney’s annual growth at (33.1%) beaten only by Canberra (36.6% ) and Hobart (34.6%).

City Median house price Annual growth
Sydney $1,601,467 33.1%
Melbourne $1,101,612 18.6%
Brisbane $792,065 25.7%
Adelaide $731,547 27.5%
Canberra $1,178,364 36.6%
Perth $752,110 7.5%
Hobart $752,110 34.6%
Darwin $645,487 25.2%

If there’s a silver lining in any of this, the month to month house pricing data provided by CoreLogic continues to show a steadying of pricing across the major cities. Pricing across the regions, however, continues in the opposite direction with median house pricing in Byron Bay now eclipsing that of Sydney at $1.7 Million (50% annual growth). One look at Chris Hemsworth’s Byron mega-mansion and you can figure that one out though… don’t even get us started on $12 green juices.

Related: Inside the $44 Million Toorak Mansion, that smashed Australian Auction Record.

Cash rate rba march 2022

List of the Least Affordable Housing Markets in the World

To collate the data, Demographia International compared average incomes to median house pricing and the result reiterates what many middle-income earners in Australia are already feeling.

Back in 2019, an OECD report highlighted the presence of a “Squeezed Middle Class” where the “costs of some goods and services such as housing, which are essential for a middle-class lifestyle, have risen faster than earnings and overall inflation. Faced with this, middle classes have reduced their ability to save and in some cases have fallen into debt,” said the author. A global pandemic has only increased the effect.

Since the 4th of November 2020, the Reserve Bank of Australia has held the cash rate at an extraordinarily low 0.10%.

Here is a list of the least affordable housing markets in the world according to Demographia International 2022 report with an average wage multiplier on the right.

1 China Hong Kong 23.2
2 Australia Sydney NSW 15.3
3 Canada Vancouver BC 13.3
4 USA San Jose CA 12.6
5 Australia Melbourne Vic 12.1
6 USA Honolulu HI 12
7 USA San Francisco CA 11.8
8 New Zealand Auckland 11.2
9 USA Los Angeles CA 10.7
10 Canada Toronto ON 10.5
11 USA San Diego CA 10.1
12 USA Miami FL 8.1
13 UK London 8
14 Australia Adelaide SA 8
15 USA Seattle WA 7.5
16 USA Riverside (San Bernardino, CA) 7.4
17 Australia Brisbane QLD 7.4
18 USA Denver CO 7.2
19 USA New York NY-NJ-PA 7.1
20 Australia Perth WA 7.1

You’ll also like:
$3.9 Million Toorak Apartment Puts Other Melbourne Mega Mansions to Shame
Inside Ben Simmons’ Baller New $23 Million LA Mansion
The $5.9 Million Concord Mansion with the World’s Most Impressive Garage


Ben McKimm

Ben lives in Sydney, Australia. He has a Bachelor's Degree (Media, Technology and the Law) from Macquarie University (2020). Outside of his studies, he has spent the last decade heavily involved in the automotive, technology and fashion world. Turning his passion and expertise into a Journalist position at Man of Many where he continues to write about everything that interests the modern man. Conducting car reviews on both the road and track, hands-on reviews of cutting-edge technology and employing a vast knowledge in the space of fashion and sneakers to his work. One day he hopes to own his own brand.