Where does Sydney rank in terms of housing affordability around the world?

Hint: it's not good – and the same can be said for Melbourne

Where does Sydney rank in terms of housing affordability around the world?

The Demographia International Housing Affordability survey for 2022 has just been released, revealing Sydney to be the second-least affordable place to buy a home, ranking 91st in affordability out of 92 markets surveyed across eight nations.

No market except for Hong Kong had ever previously reached Sydney’s 15.3 level of unaffordability in the 18 years of Demographia reports.

Melbourne, meanwhile, was the fifth-least affordable, coming in 88th. Out of Australia’s mainland capitals, Adelaide ranked the next costliest place to buy a home, in 79th overall, then Brisbane (76th) and Perth (73rd).

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The findings follow a report released by ANZ CoreLogic last November revealing that the typical Australian household now needs a record high 10.2 years to save a 20% home deposit, underscoring the nation’s plunging housing affordability.

Australian markets have a median multiple of eight, figures show, meaning it costs eight times the median household income before tax to buy a median-priced house - up from 6.9 in 2019. Additionally, all five of Australia’s major housing markets have been deemed severely unaffordable since the early 2000s.

The Demographia report is prepared by the Urban Reform Institute and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, an independent Canadian policy think tank. It rated middle-income housing affordability in 92 major housing markets in eight nations: Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, and US during the September quarter of 2021.

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The report stated that housing affordability around the world, not just in Australia, experienced ‘unprecedented deterioration’ during the pandemic, with the number of severely unaffordable markets rising 60% in 2021 compared to 2019.

Four of the five cheapest cities to buy property in are in the US.