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Global survey: U.S. homes are most affordable

Posted on February 3, 2011 by tim in Market Update

United States real estate offers a lot of bang for your buck, according to a new survey that shows U.S. homes are the cheapest relative to incomes among English-speaking nations.

Australian homes–which have a median price of $454,000–were found to be the most unaffordable among English-speaking nations, according to the report by consulting firm Demographia, which examined affordability in the third quarter of 2010. The median home in Australia costs 6.1 times the gross annual median household income. What’s more, 85% of the homes in Australia’s major cities were more than 5.1 times average income, according to the survey.

On the other hand, U.S. homes have a median home price of $168,000 and homes cost only three times yearly income or less.

The priciest city for real estate, in general is Hong Kong, with homes costing 11.4 times income. (The report considers any markets where home prices are 5.1 times household income or more very unaffordable.) Prices in Hong Kong have increased by more than 50% in the past two years, due to low interest rates, an expanding economy and buyers flooding in from China.

The U.S. boasted the most affordable major markets. Atlanta was the most affordable big city, in which the median home price is $129,000.

Meanwhile, the most unaffordable U.S. markets were mostly found in California: San Francisco (homes cost 7.2 times income), San Jose (6.7 times), San Diego (6.2 times), New York (6.1 times) and Los Angeles (5.9 times).

Source: Bloomberg News

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