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Houston Tops Lists for Housing Affordability

Affordability

By Urban Reform Staff | Feb 6, 2020

This week, Demographia released its 16thannual International Housing Affordability Survey which analyzed 309 housing markets across the globe.

The study considered markets in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. To produce the ranking, Demographia looked at the median house price in a given market and divided it by the median household income, also known as the “mean multiple” approach. The higher score a market received, the more unaffordable housing is.

Houston came in at number 23, after Virginia Beach but before Memphis, Tennessee. The next Texas market was Dallas-Fort Worth at 25, followed by Austin and San Antonio tied at 35. The study found that, overall, the most affordable city was Rochester, NY and the least was Hong Kong.

Most of the “severely unaffordable major housing markets” were found in Australia, Canada, China, and New Zealand, according to the report. And they found that the United States had the most affordable major housing markets, which is the sixth year it has topped the list.

Despite a relatively high affordability ranking, a recent poll found that four of five U.S. households believe there is a housing affordability crisis, according to the study. “Policymakers must roll back inefficient zoning rules, costly impact fees and outmoded land development regulations that are driving up housing costs, contributing to the mounting lack of affordable housing and hurting middle- and low-income households,” said Greg Ugalde, Chair of the National Association of Home Builders.

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