THE Sunshine Coast, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie remain among the most unaffordable places to live in Australia, based on house price to income, with south-east Queensland scoring particularly poorly on a world scale.
The 9th annual Demographia survey found all 39 housing markets in Australia were rated as 'seriously' or 'severely unaffordable', based on median house prices being more than four times average incomes.
On the Sunshine Coast and in Coffs Harbour, the figure was eight times, just behind Port Macquarie on 8.6 times.
The average ratio for Australia is 5.6 times, while it is 6.5 times in the large capital cities.
Demographia ranks anything below an average house price to average pre-tax income ratio of three times as "affordable".
"Overall, Australia's Median Multiple remained at a severely unaffordable 5.6,'' the report said.
"Among the smaller markets, the least affordable was Port Macquarie, with a Median Multiple of 8.6, followed by Coff's Harbour at 8.0 and the Sunshine Coast, also at 8.0.''
Outside the major metropolitan areas, the least expensive markets were Shepparton (VIC) at 4.5 and Mildura (VIC) at 4.6, both considered 'seriously unaffordable'.
"There were no affordable or moderately unaffordable markets in Australia.''
The report blames "urban containment policies, especially land rationing mechanisms (principally urban growth boundaries) for inflating the price of housing relative to income.
"This inevitably leads to a reduced standard of living and increases poverty rates, because the unnecessarily higher costs of housing leave households with less discretionary income to spend on other goods and services.
"The higher costs ripple into rental markets, tightening the budgets of lower income households in particular, who already struggle with lower discretionary incomes.''
In the US, the most affordable major market was Detroit, with housing prices just 1.5 times annual incomes, below the historic range of 2.0 to 3.0, reflecting the depressed nature of its economy.
"Atlanta had a median multiple of 2.0 and is experiencing strong demand from a recovering US housing market.''
Among the other 16 affordable major markets, the lowest Median Multiples were in Cincinnati, Rochester, St. Louis, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Jacksonville. Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston.
The most unaffordable major market was Hong Kong, with a multiple of 13.5. Vancouver ranked second most unaffordable, at a Median Multiple of 9.5.
Sydney was the third most unaffordable, ahead of San Jose on 7.9 times, San Francisco and London on 7.8 and Melbourne on 7.5.
Median Multiple 5.1 & Over
Alice Springs, NT
Coff's Harbour, NSW
Fraser Coast, QLD
Gold Coast, QLD-NSW
Port Hedland, WA
Port Macquarie, NSW
Sunshine Coast, QLD
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