Study Shows US Housing More Affordable Than Other English Countries

Elizabeth Field

According to a recent study done by public policy firm Demographia, the United States is home to the most affordable housing compared to all other English-speaking countries.

The study  states that generally from the end of World War II through the late 1980’s, homes in English-speaking countries cost on average two to three times the median income. House prices in the United States currently fall around three times of the pre-tax household income, deemed by Demographia as “affordable.”

In major United States metropolitan cities, the ratio currently stands at 3:1, down from 4:6 in 2007, prior to the recession which ignited a slump in the housing market. “The bubble is over—prices have continued to decline. We have housing prices back to where they are supposed to be,” said Wendell Cox, principal of Demographia.

Detroit, with a ratio of 1:4, was the most affordable metropolitan city in any of the 325 areas surveyed in over six countries. Atlanta followed closely with a ratio of 1:9, and Phoenix with 2:2. The least affordable cities included major metropolitan and tourist centers such as San Francisco, Boston, New York, Honolulu, and San Jose.

Outside of the United States, the most affordable cities were Dublin with 3:4 and Alberta, Edmonton at 3:5. Hong Kong was deemed the most unaffordable city with 12:6, a record high.

“Housing affordability generally improved in the surveyed nations, though the most unaffordable markets, Hong Kong and Vancouver, became even more unaffordable,” said Cox. “The causes of massively deteriorating housing affordability are not a mystery. They inevitably result from more restrictive land-use regulations adopted by governments with insufficient attention to economic fundamentals.”