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Study: Santa Cruz Housing 'Severely Unaffordable'

Honolulu's housing market is more expensive in the US, according to the 9th annual Demographia International Housing Survey.

The Santa Cruz housing market is pricey and rents here are steep. But how bad is it really?

One study says Santa Cruz ranks No. 2 in the least affordable housing markets in the United States and seventh among 337 markets in Australia, Canada, China (Hong Kong), Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the US.

The 9th annual Demographia International Housing Survey rates cities' housing markets on a range from "affordable" to "severely unaffordable."

San Jose and San Fransisco-Oakland join Santa Cruz in the top five least affordable US cities. They also are among the least affordable major metropolitan markets (those with a population of 1 million or more) in the countries studied.

The math is complicated.

The survey uses a methodology called the "median multiple." That means the median house price divided by gross before tax annual median household income to rate a country's housing affordability, the Sydney Morning Herald explained in this article that challenges Australia's poor showing in the study.

The Bay Area has seen its housing market rebound in recent months, with median home prices increasing and the number of homes sold on the upswing, according to figures released by DataQuick this month.

Demographia Housing Market Affordablity Study City Median Multiplier Median Home Price Median Household Income Hong Kong 13.5 $3.81M $282,000 Vancouver, BC, Canada 9.5 $621,300 $65,200 Honolulu, HI 9.3 $627,200 $67,200 Boumemouth & Dorsett, UK 8.7 $215,500 $24,900 Port Macquarie, Australia
8.6 $387,200 $44,800 Sydney, Australia 8.3 $642,700 $77,400 Santa Cruz, CA 8.2 $523,300 $63,600 Sunshine Coast, Australia 8.0 $430,000 $53,900 Coff's Harbour, Australia 8.0 $383,600 $48,100 Santa Barbara, CA 7.9 $485,600 $61,500 San Jose, CA 7.9 $673,000 $85,400 San Francisco-Oakland, CA 7.8 $568,000 $73,200

Demographia pulled figures from Q3 of 2012.

The study is authored by Wendell Cox, a conservative who is opposed to urban growth boundaries.

Mike Bulluionio January 25, 2013 at 08:51 PM
The demand for housing is way up here because everyone that can afford to move from Watsonville is doing so to avoid the brown hord.
Sara Christiansen January 25, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Wow Mike Bulluionio, that is quite an ugly statement...I hope you can afford to keep on living in Santa Cruz, if not I am assuming that you wouldn't consider Watsonville - thank goodness!!!!!!
D. January 26, 2013 at 03:58 AM
Mike, by your comment you are not very smart or belong in the human race. I own rentals and a home in SC and I will be keeping your name on file as a ASS. So to protect myself from selling or renting to you. Many families in Watsonville have worked very hard to buy homes there and in SC. And Mike the reason Santa Cruz is so popular is the great weather and beauty and the ocean. We also don't tolerant folks like YOU...........Your type is not welcome here................age61
Betsy January 26, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Thank you D. You spoke for quite a good number of us folks, who upon hearing his comments ....could not believe this beautiful town can still hold and in some unassuming capacity still embrace such type of garbage!. I hope my 1/2 ' brown' son will never have to cook a meal for him. He is attending culinary school at cabrillo college and loves the people in Gorgeous, kind and loving SC...
Chris Jordan January 27, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Small world. Thanks D. Watsonville is not the whole world either (although - maybe Mikes). U.S. draws many from other countries who have stronger currency and are not 16 trillion in debt. As mentioned - we have more tolerable weather without floods, hurricanes, snow, etc., And without tin-star tyrants ordering us how to live and running things like 2 year olds having temper tantrums.
Justice Gold January 28, 2013 at 06:56 AM
I think the word you were looking for was "horde", not hord, Mr. Bulluionio. Perhaps you might consider a spelling course along with some anti-racism classes. I hear they have a great educational system in Mexico, perhaps a trip down South is in order?

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