Demographia International recently posted their 6th annual housing affordability survey which compares the median household income to the median housing prices in various metropolitan areas throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The survey splits the cities into three different categories (the numbers represent the ratio between the median housing price and the median household income):
- Affordable (< 3.0)
- Moderately Unaffordable (3.1 – 4.0)
- Seriously Unaffordable (4.1 – 5.0)
- Severely Unaffordable (> 5.0)
The most affordable cities were generally those that have high crime rates and a high degree of vacancies. These include such places as Detroit (1.6), Indianapolis (2.2), and Cleveland (2.4). However, some less devastated regions throughout United States and Canada still fit into the affordable category including Atlanta (2.1), Houston (2.9) and Dallas (2.7).
On the opposite side of the scale, Vancouver ranked as the most unaffordable metropolitan area at a whopping 9.3 ratio. Sydney was second at a 9.1 and the Sunshine Coast down in Australia rounded out the top 3 at a 9.0. Interestingly, while New York City and San Francisco may have the highest cost of living, their higher income levels somewhat make up for this giving them a ratio of 7.0.
A lot of this isn’t anything new, however it does provide an exceptional and entertaining reference for anyone looking to move sometime in the near future. You can find the full pdf on the Demographia International site.