Sydney’s housing market has been rated as the second most expensive in the world, according to the 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2017.
Sydney, which is only topped by Hong Kong, beats other cities including San Jose (fifth most expensive) and Los Angeles (eighth).
The survey rates housing markets based on the World Bank-recommended “median multiple” principle, which divides median house price with median household income. A score of 5.1 and above is categorised as “severely unaffordable”.
10 Least Affordable Housing Markets
1 Hong Kong 18.1
2 Sydney, NSW, Australia 12.2
3 Vancouver, Canada 11.8
4 Santa Cruz, CA, USA 11.6
5 Santa Barbara, CA, USA 11.3
6 Auckland, NZ 10
7 Wingcaribbee, NSW, Australia 9.8
8 Tweed Heads, NSW, Australia 9.7
9 San Jose, CA, USA 9.6
10 Melbourne, VIC, Australia 9.5
The report found that 47 of Australia’s 54 markets are categorised as “seriously unaffordable” or “severely unaffordable”. The report’s co-author, Hugh Pavletich said the contrast between Australia’s land size and its housing prices indicates a “decentralisation” issue.
“State and local governments have lost the control of their costs and their capacity to finance infrastructure properly,” said Pavletich.
“Sydney house prices are about 12.2 times annual household incomes which is grossly excessive… What housing should be in normal markets is at or below three times household earnings, so Sydney is four times what it should be.”
The newly-sworn in NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian said in her first press conference that housing affordability would be one of her policy priorities.
“I want to make sure that every average hard-working person in this state can aspire to own their own home,” said Berejiklian.