Big cities like London or San Francisco are well-known for their competitive real estate markets. But there are also a lot of housing markets you wouldn’t necessarily expect among the least affordable – that includes many places in Australia and New Zealand.
According to the 2019 International Housing Affordability Survey by Demographia, six out of the 15 least affordable housing markets are in Australia and New Zealand, five are in the United States. The least affordable housing market is Hong Kong. Here, the median house price is almost 21 times as high as the median annual gross household income. Overall, New Zealand was the least affordable country in the study, which looked at the U.S., Canada, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, followed by Australia.
The makers of the study note that, however, Australian major markets (including Sydney and Melbourne) have all seen reduction or stagnation in house prices recently. They credit the severe unaffordability in Australia and New Zealand to the countries’ urban consolidation laws, that mostly prohibit real estate development outside of pre-existing urban areas.