Auckland vs Canterbury and house affordability

Earlier this year the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey was published covering 309 metropolitan housing markets in eight countries including New Zealand. The survey rates middle-income housing affordability using the “Median Multiple,” which is the median house price divided by the median household income. The Median Multiple is widely used for evaluating housing markets.

Source: ASB Bank

Although houses are more affordable in Canterbury than in Auckland they are still in the classification of severely unaffordable according to Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. The 5.1 still compares favourably to the national average of 7.5 and Auckland’s 9.5. According to the ASB house price forecasts Auckland house prices exceed ten times median incomes (chart below).

Some other points to note internationally are that among all markets:

  • 54 are affordable (Median Multiple of 3.0 or less) they are in Australia (1), Canada (8), Ireland (1), and the United States (44).
  • No affordable markets in China (Hong Kong), New Zealand, Singapore or the United Kingdom.
Source: 16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2020 Rating Middle-Income Housing Affordability

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