The most expensive places to buy property across the globe

Have you ever taken a holiday and dreamed of living in the place that you visit? Whether it is a trip to the beach or a trip overseas, if you find a dream holiday location, then chances are that you or your partner have probably thought about what is like to live there.

In a January blog I discussed the 500 suburbs in Australia where it was cheaper to get a mortgage on a house than it was to pay rent. Now it is time to look at the first-world locations where houses are the most expensive, and the most affordable.

Fortunately the 9th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2013, has done the number crunching for us.

The survey covers 337 metropolitan housing markets across  Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. It rates major cities on a scale of affordable to severely unaffordable – and there are a lot of the latter. Two Australian cities feature in the most-expensive list. The test is simple: how many times the gross salary paid in the area does a house cost?

Believe it or not, the cheapest homes are in the US, Canada and Ireland. And the most expensive are in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. So without further ado, here is a list of the most expensive places in the world to buy a house.

1. Hong Kong – a home will cost you 13.5 times your gross income here.
2. Vancouver – 9.5 times your salary, plus heating costs.
3. Sydney – at 8.3 times your gross salary I can hear everyone in Sydney saying, ‘I told you so’.
4. San Jose –7.9 times salary, it seems that everyone knows their way to San Jose.
5. San Francisco  and London – at 7.8 times the salary, I thought they would rank higher by reputation alone.
6. Melbourne – 7.5 times

But what about the cheaper locations? The winner is Detroit in the US, with a home just 1.5 times salary. But that price tag could come with a depressed economy, a high unemployment rate, and serious crime. It seems that you cannot beat America for the most affordable homes. The US scoops the pool for the rest of the locations as well
The next most affordable is Atlanta (twice the salary), followed by Cincinnati, Rochester, St Louis, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston.

So there it is. The next time you visit an area you really like, take a moment to check out the window of the local real estate office and get a feel for the real cost of being a local.

It if it really expensive you might consider defining what you like about it and whether similar qualities are in your local area. It could end up saving you thousands on your home loan.

By Marie Mortimer. You can follow Marie on Google+

Image credit: kidultchia

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