For the 6th year, Hong Kong has the the least affordable homes in the world
For the sixth consecutive year, Hong Kong has been rated the most expensive place to buy a home globally. The average flat prices at 19 times the gross annual median income, the highest ever in US-based Demographia's survey over 12 years.
The survey looked at 367 cities, but no mainland cities were included. Sydney was the second most unaffordable market at 12.2 times compared to 9.8 in 2014, while Vancouver was third at 10.8. San Jose was fourth at 9.7 and London in eighth place at 8.5.
The ratio of 19 was determined according to home prices in September when they peaked, compared to 17 times in 2014.
"This is the least affordable median multiple ever recorded in the survey," said the international consultancy.
Demographia classifies any region with a median multiple of more than 5.1 as "severely unaffordable".
This alarming figure contrasts with property agents saying housing prices should drop 15 percent this year, though people are waiting for prices to possibly fall even further before jumping into the market.
While 15 percent is not a big drop, Midland Realty chief analyst Buggle Lau Ka-fai said the affordability ratio for a flat costing HK$4 million had improved to 37 percent from 30 percent during the market peak last September.
Nevertheless, the historic high ratio gives a clear indication at how homes are more and more expensive, and how people's salaries have hardly kept up with the cost of living.
One wonders if the Hong Kong government even cares to comment on a pronouncement that hardly shines a favourable light on the city. It attracts the uber rich, who snap up ultra luxe flats and they keep our service sector busy, though good help is hard to find these days. But that's another story...