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8 cities that are more affordable than Sydney


Alex Ritchie

By Alex Ritchie

3 min read

When you examine the average Australian house prices in December 2016 (according to the Domain Rental & House Pricing Report) the average price of a house in Sydney is $1,123,991. So it’s no surprise Sydney was ranked the second most expensive city in the world in a recent survey.

According to the International Housing Affordability Survey, this rating is determined by a ‘Median Multiple’ score, which is the median house price divided by median household income. According to these ratings, any city with a score of 5.1 and over is considered ‘Severely Unaffordable’ and Sydney scored a Median Multiple of 12.2. Melbourne also featured on the top 10 list, scoring a 9.5.

Instead of calculating how much we’d have to save to have 20 per cent deposit, we’ve decided to extend our gazes elsewhere and explore 10 cities that are cheaper to live in than Sydney:

  1. London, U.K.

The U.K.’s largest market, London, has a severely unaffordable Median Multiple of 8.5. If you’re willing to put up with the very un-Sydney-like weather, at least it’s more likely you’ll be more able to afford a house!

  1. New York, U.S.A.

Yes, even the city that never sleeps is more affordable than Sydney and Melbourne, with a Median Multiple of 5.7.

  1. Vancouver, Canada.

The most expensive city in Canada is still more affordable than Sydney, with a Median Multiple of 11.7.

  1. Dublin, Ireland

Ireland ranks as the most affordable geography in the survey, with the country’s capital of Dublin scoring a Median Multiple of 4.7.

  1. Tokyo-Yokohama, Japan

The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world and still more affordable than Sydney, with a Median Multiple of 4.7.

  1. Honolulu, U.S.A 

The five housing markets with the poorest housing affordability are in California and Hawaii. Honolulu is the second least affordable American city, with a Median Multiple of 9.4.

  1. Los Angeles, U.S.A

Speaking of California, the centre of America’s iconic film and television industry, Los Angeles, is also more affordable than Sydney. It has a Median Multiple of 9.3. 

  1. San Francisco, U.S.A 

The commercial and financial centre of Northern California is currently facing the world’s seventh worst housing bubble risk, and has a Median Multiple of 9.2.

If you think this is just a Sydney and Melbourne issue, it’s worth noting that out of Australia’s 54 measurable housing markets, 14 are Seriously Unaffordable, 33 are Severely Unaffordable, 3 are Moderately Unaffordable and only 4 are considered Affordable.

While Adelaide may be cheaper to live in than Sydney and Melbourne, it has with a Median Multiple of 6.6 and is the 16th least affordable city globally. Brisbane also only has a population of 2 million and is ranked 18th least affordable city, with a Median Multiple of 6.2.

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