Sydney slammed as ‘severely unaffordable’

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A recent housing affordability measure has labelled Sydney house prices as being among the least affordable in the world, ranking the city third in its list of costliest cities.

The 2012 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey saw Sydney overtaken by Vancouver as the second least affordable housing market globally, with Hong Kong maintaining its top spot.

The survey ranks markets based upon the multiple of the median house price divided by gross annual median household income. Median house prices in Sydney are 9.2 times median household income, while prices in Vancouver are 10.6 times median income.

Hong Kong outpaced other world markets with median proces 12.6 times household income, the highest in the survey's history.

Though Sydney no longer holds the second spot in the survey, the city is still termed "severely unaffordable" by Demographia's measures. Australia also performed poorly nationwide, ranking as the second least affordable national housing market. While Hong Kong outstripped Australia in terms of median house prices compared to household incomes, Demographia claimed Australia had the "most pervasive housing affordability problem" given its abundant land supply.

Ironically, the survey comes as new figures from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria show housing affordability in the state improved over the December quarter. Median house prices remained relatively stable for the quarter, and affordability received a boost from successive interest rate cuts.

"REIV data confirmed that, overall, the median house price has not changed over the last six months; the key factors driving the current market are a combination of lower consumer confidence, a slowing state economy and an increase in supply," REIV chief executive Enzo Raimondo said.

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  • J Kilpatrick says on 24/01/2012 12:39:38 PM

    Sydney is extremely unaffordable not only sales but rental as well. An average wage is $685 net per week, an average rental place is $400 plus. Begs the question how the hell do you live????? God help those with kids. Where is the 'increase in supply' certainly not in Sydney!

  • Katie Ryan-Brookhouse says on 24/01/2012 10:22:05 PM

    Darwin is the most unaffordable city in Australia. We've lived here for the past 5 1/2 years and whilst we have a very low unemployment rate and some can earn good money, the cost of living is unreal. The cost of housing is very high as is the rental market. The recent signing of the Inpex $32 billion gas deal with Japan will bring riches to the area no double but at what cost. Cost of living and the cost of our environment, cost of a beautiful lifestyle!

  • Kilburn says on 27/01/2012 02:28:18 PM

    At the end of the day, Sydney is way too unaffordable! Prices are ridiculous!

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