Culture

Guess What, A New Study Confirms That Australian Housing Is Still Boned

Just in case you forgot.

In case you had a momentary lapse and totally forgot the grim housing dystopia we’re all living in, someone has run the numbers to confirm that yeah, it’s still bad. Real bad.

The latest annual International Housing Affordability Survey by think tank Demographia surveyed house prices in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and the US, and concluded that houses in all major Australian cities remain “severely unaffordable”.

The study arrived at those rankings by dividing the median house price by the median household income, which leaves you with a number known as the median multiple. Housing markets considered “affordable” have a median multiple of 3.0 or less, while “severely unaffordable” here means a score of 5.1 or more.

Sydney, which earned the dubious title of second-least-affordable city in the survey, scored 12.9. That is, the median house price in Sydney is 12.9 times the median annual salary. Sydney was beaten out only by Hong Kong, on a whopping 19.4.

It’s not just Sydney, either. Houses in both Sydney and Melbourne were actually less affordable than those in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and London, though all of these also ranked pretty poorly. Overall, Australia’s major housing markets scored 6.6, well above the “severely unaffordable” threshold.

And sure, some experts have quibbled with the Demographia survey’s results — competing figures from a group called CoreLogic, for example, put Sydney’s median multiple at 9.1 instead by taking into account apartment prices. 9.1 is still astronomical, though, and the overall takeaway is the same: housing markets are cooked, good luck trying to afford a house ever.