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2 Upstate NY cities named among the most affordable in the world



2 Upstate NY cities named among the most affordable in the world

Two cities in Upstate New York have been named among the most affordable places to live in the world.

A new Demographia study by Chapman University in California and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Canada analyzed 94 major cities in eight countries, including the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, New Zealand, and Singapore. Each metropolitan area was ranked based on a median multiple, a price-to-income ratio that divides the median house price by the median household income.

Rochester and Buffalo were found to be in the top 10 most affordable cities in the world, ranking No. 2 and No. 6 overall, respectively. Pittsburgh ranked No. 1 in the world.

The rest of the top 10 included mostly U.S. cities, including St. Louis, Cleveland, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Cincinnati and Louisville. Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, ranked fifth overall.

Five U.S. cities, meanwhile, were named “impossibly unaffordable,” including Honolulu, Hawaii, and four locations in California (San Jose, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego). Another 17 cities were dubbed “severely unaffordable,” including New York City, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and multiple cities in California (Riverside-San Bernardino, Sacramento, Fresno) and Florida (Miami, Orlando, Tampa).

No other cities in New York state appeared in the report, which also found the gap between housing costs and income has widened since the Covid pandemic.

“For decades, home prices generally rose at about the same rate as income, and homeownership became more widespread,” study author Wendell Cox said. “But affordability is disappearing in high-income nations as housing costs now far outpace income growth.”

Affordability was severely impacted by a housing shortage, which the report blamed on a substantial increase in net domestic migration from larger, “severely unaffordable” markets as well as land use policies that “artificially restrict housing supply” and drive up land prices.

The most affordable major cities in the world, according to the report:

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (U.S.)
  • Rochester, N.Y. (U.S.)
  • St. Louis, Missouri (U.S.)
  • Cleveland, Ohio (U.S.)
  • Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)
  • Buffalo, N.Y. (U.S.)
  • Detroit, Michigan (U.S.)
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (U.S.)
  • Cincinnati, Ohio (U.S.)
  • Louisville, Kentucky (U.S.)

The least affordable major cities in the world:

  • Hong Kong, China
  • Sydney, New South Wales (Australia)
  • Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)
  • San Jose, California (U.S.)
  • Los Angeles, California (U.S.)
  • Honolulu, Hawaii (U.S.)
  • Melbourne, Victoria (Australia)
  • San Francisco, California (U.S.)
  • Adelaide, South Australia (Australia)
  • San Diego, California (U.S.)
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