The world’s most (un)affordable places to live

The world’s most (un)affordable places to live

Where can you afford to buy?
People are paying more for their homes around the world, with average house prices up 6.5% in the last 12 months. In today’s global economy, the playing field in the international market isn’t exactly level, with house prices being one of the best reflections of the challenges people in some countries face.

Londoners, New Yorkers and Sydneysiders regularly moan about the soaring cost of living, which includes high property prices in some of the most sought after areas in cities, but regional suburbs vary considerably. For example, regional suburbs in Australia, which we know are popular for their resources and farming industries, are also popular for their housing affordability. Therefore the best way to measure the affordability of house prices is to compare house price to average income ratio. The ratio of house prices to earnings is a good measure of how affordable it is for a citizen to buy a property.

House prices have been laid bare with our new interactive map which reveals how the rise in wages has fallen significantly behind growth in property values in a number of countries across the world. We combined recent worldwide data on average annual salary, income tax and average house prices to offer a measure of house affordability in countries around the world.

The map highlights property markets in Barbados and China as overpriced – but the USA is a bargain! Whereas the UK and Australia come in at 44th and 58th in the world’s most affordable places to buy a house.

The least affordable place to buy a house is in Papua New Guinea, where property is even more expensive than Manhattan! This is because 97% of land in Papua New Guinea is held under customary title, leading to sky-high prices for the remaining 3 percent.

On the other hand, Suriname, located in South America, known for its pristine rainforest, exotic plants and animals, rivers and stunning mountainous areas – is  the most affordable place to live in the world.

So is it time to consider relocating? Find out how Australia compares to the rest of the world, and view the full interactive map here.

The top 10 most affordable places to buy a home are:

  1. Suriname
  2. Saudi Arabia
  3. Oman
  4. Bahamas
  5. USA
  6. Honduras
  7. Brunei Darussalam
  8. Jamaica
  9. Kuwait
  10. Qatar

The top 10 least affordable places to buy a house are:

  1. Papua New Guinea
  2. Barbados
  3. Solomon Islands
  4. Maldives
  5. Bhutan
  6. Vietnam
  7. China
  8. El Salvador
  9. Venezuela
  10. Tajikistan

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