Taking Albury over Miami doesn't seem like a great trade

(Edited to make the post less hilariously ungrammatical. This is what I get for blogging before my third cup of coffee.)

Fresh from the wires today, something that won’t be surprising to anyone who’s tried to buy there: Sydney is the second least affordable housing market in the world, and Melbourne is the fifth least affordable. (The data comes from libertarian thinktank Demographia, and the rankings are based on price:income ratio.)

The only city in the survey that’s less affordable than Sydney is Hong Kong - which just happens to be the destination of choice for the trillions of dollars (literally) of funny money flowing out of China.

The really astounding thing: according to the same survey (scroll down to page 20 for the table), houses in Geelong - a drab bayside town of 160,000 people an hour down the freeway from Melbourne - are less affordable than houses in London or San Francisco. Geelong’s defining features are an oil refinery, an aluminium smelter, and a Ford engine plant. There is no way in the world that it should be less affordable than San Francisco.

And if you go all the way down to the second least unaffordable city in Australia, you find my old home town of Albury-Wodonga, which has 90,000 people, no shortage of land, the second-highest rate of drug crime in New South Wales, and is three hours’ drive from anything you’d call a city. But it’s still more expensive than Denver or Calgary, and only a shade cheaper than Miami. Picking Albury house prices to outperform Miami over the next few years does not seem like a brilliant trade.