Hong Kong ranked most expensive city to live in

Cathy Adams
The Star Ferry crossed Hong Kong harbour: Hong Kong Tourism Board/discoverhongkong.com

Hong Kong is the least affordable city to live in, according to a new ranking.

The Asian metropolis came top in the 16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2020, which ranked 309 cities in eight countries around the world on how expensive their housing was.

Affordability was measured by the median house price divided by the median household income.

Hong Kong came top with a “median multiple” score of 20.8, meaning average house prices are more than 20 times a typical household income, thanks to tight government control on new property development. It fell slightly this year, down from 20.9 in 2019.

Vancouver came second, with a median multiple of 11.9, followed by Sydney at 11.

Melbourne (9.5), Los Angeles (9), Toronto and Auckland (8.6), San Jose in California (8.5), San Francisco (8.4), and Greater London (8.2) make up the top 10 least affordable cities to live in.

Looking at entire nations, the most affordable places to live were in the US, with the average house being just shy of four times’ the average household income. Rochester in New York was found to be the most affordable city, with a median multiple of 2.5, followed by Oklahoma City and Cleveland (2.7); Buffalo, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and St. Louis (2.8); Indianapolis and Hartford (2.9); and Tulsa (3).

Canada came second, with a median multiple of 4.4, followed by Singapore and the UK (4.6) and Ireland at 4.7.

Most unaffordable cities in the world

1. Hong Kong (20.8)

2. Vancouver (11.9)

3. Sydney (11)

4. Melbourne (9.5)

5. Los Angeles (9)

6. Toronto (8.6)

6. Auckland (8.6)

8. San Jose (8.5)

9. San Francisco (8.4)

10. London (8.2)