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Hong Kong Least Affordable Housing Market In 2012: Survey

1/21/2013 12:29 AM ET

Hong Kong remained the least affordable housing market for the third year in a row in 2012, a survey by Demographia showed Monday.

In its annual International Housing Affordability Survey, Demographia also revealed that overall housing affordability was little changed in 2012, with the most affordable markets being in the U.S., Canada and Ireland.

The U.K., Australia and New Zealand continued to experience pervasive unaffordability. All of the major markets of Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong were "severely unaffordable," according to the survey.

In Hong Kong, the government has taken a number of steps to cool the demand for housing and is seeking to increase the supply. There was a material worsening of housing affordability in the city-state, the report pointed out.

According to Demographia's affordability measure, the Median Multiple, Hong Kong was the most unaffordable of the 337 markets surveyed, followed by Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.

The survey covers housing affordability in 337 metropolitan markets in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Hong Kong.

In an introductory remark accompanying the survey, New Zealand's Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said "it costs too much and takes too long to build a house in New Zealand."

He said that land has been made artificially scarce by regulation that locks up land for development. This regulation has made land supply unresponsive to demand and when demand shocks occur, much of that shock translates to higher prices rather than more houses.

"It simply takes too long to make new land available for development," he added.

by RTT Staff Writer

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