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IT IS cheaper to buy a home in New York than it is in Brisbane, according to a new global study that ranks every one of Australia's major housing markets as 'severely unaffordable'.
International housing affordability think tank Demographia has released its 14th survey on house prices, revealing Sydney has the second most expensive housing market in the world after Hong Kong.
The survey found Australia has the highest number of severely unaffordable housing markets, with homes in five of its major cities and 15 other housing markets costing more than five times the annual median household income.
In Sydney, a home costs on average 12.9 times the median income.
Melbourne, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Geelong, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Perth, Cairns and Canberra are all near the top of the list.
Brisbane is ranked the 18th least affordable major city, with homes there costing 6.3 times the median income.
In comparison, homes in New York cost 5.7 times the median annual household income.
Looking at smaller non-major cities, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast fare poorly, with housing costs around nine times the median income.
The survey takes in prices from the third quarter of 2017 and compares average home prices to median income, taking in 92 major cities and 293 areas in nine countries.
It found Ireland and the United States have the most affordable housing markets, while Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand have the most expensive.
The survey's authors Wendell Cox and Hugh Pavletich said the housing markets rated 'severely unaffordable' had more restrictive land use regulation, usually "urban containment".
"Australia is perhaps the least densely populated major country in the world, but state governments there have contrived to drive land prices in major urban areas to very high levels, with the result that in that country housing in major state capitals has become severely unaffordable," the report stated.