About a month ago the fifth annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey (I must have missed the first four) claimed that Australia has some of the worlds most expensive housing, quoting the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast as being in the top five of the least affordable areas in the world.
I don’t get it!
But, on closer inspection, they only looked at Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the US. Now it starts to make sense. I can’t imagine Canada, Ireland or New Zealand being that dear. As for the US, I remember visiting someone in about 2000. He had a house in L.A. on Mulholland Drive, high up on the hillside overlooking, well, hills I think. It was a long time ago!
He loved living there but said that it was a really expensive, but we were just about to buy a place in Essex that was far more expensive. It was nothing flash…
So, out of the six countries this survey looked at, we can forget four of them. So now it’s down to the UK vs Australia.
Now, my old house was considered large in the UK. It was on a plot about 10 metres wide and about 50 metres deep. So around 500 square metres. My house in Australia is on a plot 40 metres wide and about 80 m deep, roughly speaking. Either way the full size of the plot is 3,300 square metres.
As for the actual living space within the house, in the UK that was around 115 square metres. Here it’s 240 square metres. As you can see my English house was an upstairs downstairs (high set as they say here) arrangement whereas here my house is all on one level.
My house in Australia cost almost exactly two thirds the price I sold my English house for. So financially I have dropped down the housing ladder but I’m really happy about that. I know which house I prefer to live in.
I know house prices have dropped substantially since I left the UK, but I don’t know the exact percentage. I have heard that it’s around 12% so far and US prices have fallen from their highs by around 20% . Here, the official index says house prices fell by 3.3% during 2008 and this year it is predicted to fall 10%.
So if Australia holds up better than the other countries over the next 12 months, what might we see in the sixth annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey? Could Australia become the most expensive country in the (very small according to them) world?
The people over at demographia.com might think so, but look at the deals, metre per square metre. What would you think?