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    Sydney and Melbourne rank in top 10 most unaffordable cities for housing in world

    Sydney is once again the second most unaffordable city in the world for housing.

    Australia’s largest city fared better than Hong Kong in 13th Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey for the second year in a row but was ranked more expensive for housing than every other major city including the likes of Los Angeles, New York, London and Tokyo.

    The survey rates middle-income housing affordability using the “Median Multiple” calculation, which is the median house price divided by the median household income. It is used to compare housing affordability between markets by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Monetary Fund, The Economist, and other organisations.

    Sydney scored a Median Multiple of 12.2 (the same as last year), well below Hong Kong’s score of 18.1 but also well above third placed Vancouver’s score of 11.8.

    Melbourne didn’t do much better either, coming in at 6th on the list and combining with other Australian cities to make the nation the third most unaffordable housing market in the world. Only New Zealand and China have a higher Median Multiple than Australia.

    The news comes as both Melbourne and Sydney are putting policy in place to address the growing housing affordability issue. In December 2016, The Greater Sydney Commission released draft plans that would mandate five to 10 per cent of new developments on rezoned lands be allocated to affordable housing. This is well below the target proposed by academics but is considered a step in the right direction.

    The state government is also selling off public housing assets around the CBD like the Sirius apartment block and houses in the Millars Point precinct. 

    In Melbourne, a similar clause is being put in place for all developments at the rezoned area of Fishermans Bend.

    Read more: Solutions beyond supply to the housing affordability problem

    The Top 10:

    10. Bournemouth, UK

    9. San Francisco, USA

    8. Los Angeles, USA

    7. Honolulu, USA

    6. Melbourne, Australia

    5. San Jose, USA

    4. Auckland, New Zealand

    3. Vancouver, Canada

    2. Sydney, Australia

    1. Hong Kong, China

    Read the full Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

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