Skip To Main Content
Reinvention edition banner 1180x90
Reinvention edition banner 778x150
Feature image

20 Least Affordable Housing Markets in the World

Sydney and Melbourne have been named amongst the top five least affordable housing markets in the world, according to a Demographia International Report. Coming in at number one was Hong Kong with a whopping 23.20 median multiple (23.2 times the average income). 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.

Least Affordable Housing Markets in the World

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.

1ChinaHong Kong23.2
2AustraliaSydney NSW15.3
3CanadaVancouver BC13.3
4USASan Jose CA12.6
5AustraliaMelbourne Vic12.1
6USAHonolulu HI12
7USASan Francisco CA11.8
8New ZealandAuckland11.2
9USALos Angeles CA10.7
10CanadaToronto ON10.5
11USASan Diego CA10.1
12USAMiami FL8.1
14AustraliaAdelaide SA8
15USASeattle WA7.5
16USARiverside (San Bernardino, CA)7.4
17AustraliaBrisbane QLD7.4
18USADenver CO7.2
19USANew York NY-NJ-PA7.1
20AustraliaPerth WA7.1

Least Affordable City in Australia

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%).

CityMedian house priceAnnual growth

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.

Cash rate rba march 2022

Least Affordable Housing Markets

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.

Chris Hemsworth Sutherland Shire Houses
Image: Highland Property Group

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