Real Estate News

Survey: 3 American cities among most expensive in world

Published: 12 Feb 2017

A new survey from Demographia revealed the rankings of cities around the world in terms of affordability. The source compiled its results from eight different countries, including not just the U.S. but also New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Japan, among others.

The results show the ten most expensive cities based on 406 different markets, and a trio of California cities made the list: San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The last of these was also listed as a "megacity," on the same order as London and Tokyo-Yokohama.

To determine how affordable all of these markets are, the survey used the median home price of each location divided by the median income to obtain the "median multiple" metric. This, in turn, helped the researchers rank housing prices on a scale from "affordable" to "severely unaffordable." The least affordable city overall, according to this measurement, is Hong Kong, although it actually decreased by nearly a full ranking point from its placement in a previous survey.

On a positive note, the survey also established that the U.S. has the only 11 "major housing markets" to qualify as affordable, including Rochester, N.Y., which counted as the single most affordable city in the entire scope of the survey.

Mortgage rates on the whole have maintained relatively the same position, as a Freddie Mac Press release recently stated. In a Feb. 9 statement, the organization's Chief Economist Sean Becketti described the conditions leading to this state and what it means for the business as a whole.

"The 30-year fixed mortgage fell two basis points to 4.17 percent this week," he said. "Rates are at about the same level at which they started the year and have stayed within a two basis point range over the past three weeks."

Becketti also added that some of the stagnancy could stem from "uncertainty about the Administration's fiscal policies," among other factors.