housing affordability 2 Photo: Kyle Pearce/Flickr

Vancouver is home to the third most unaffordable housing market in the world — in front of London and New York — according to Demographia International’s annual Housing Affordability Survey.

To rank global housing markets, Demographia uses the median multiple, a house price-to-income ratio. According to the survey, any region with a median multiple above 5.1 is considered “severely unaffordable.” Vancouver’s rating was 10.8. Of the 87 major metropolitan regions (population over 1 million) studied in the report, Hong Kong was found to be the least affordable with the median home price costing 19 times the median annual pretax household income. It is the highest median multiple Demographia has ever measured.

Coming it at number two was Sydney, Australia, with a median multiple of 12.2. Behind Vancouver there was a three-way tie for fourth place — Melbourne, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; and San Jose, California all posted scores of 9.7. San Francisco ranked as the seventh most unaffordable market with a score of 9.4 and London came in at number eight with a score of 8.5.

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Overall, the survey ranked 367 markets worldwide. Of those, 89 are considered affordable: 75 in the United States, nine in Canada, three in Ireland and two in Australia. There were were 74 seriously unaffordable markets and 92 severely unaffordable markets. Australia had 33 severely unaffordable markets, followed by the United States with 29 and the United Kingdom with 17. Canada had six severely unaffordable markets, Toronto included with a score of 6.7.

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