LIMERICK is the most affordable place to buy a house out of hundreds of cities surveyed across the world.
Limerick ranked in first place alongside four cities in the United States, according to the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability survey, with the median house price calculated to be just twice the median household income.
The 11th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey covers 378 metropolitan markets in nine countries - Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.
A total of 86 major metropolitan markets - with more than 1,000,000 population - are included, including five of the six largest metropolitan areas in the ‘high income world’ - Tokyo-Yokohama, New York, Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Los Angeles, and London.
Alongside Limerick were Rockford in Illinois; Terre Haute, Indiana; Utica, New York and Youngstown, Ohio,
The list links median household income to median house prices, and for Limerick, it was given a median price of €100,000 and a median household income of €49,700, with a rating of 2.0. A ratio of three and under is rated affordable, three to four moderately unaffordable and four and over is seriously unaffordable. In the top 10 most affordable cities, Waterford also claimed the tenth spot, alongside one city in Canada and two in the US. The median price in Waterford is €103,000, with a median household income of €46,600.
The survey found that Dublin is “seriously unaffordable” with a rating of 4.3.
Dublin’s median household income in Dublin was €57,600, with the median house price at €245,000.
The survey indicates that Dublin’s ‘affordability loss’ could indicate a trend towards a second housing bubble. It went from being moderately unaffordable, with a rating of 3.7 in 2013, to a seriously unaffordable rating of 4.4 in 2014.
“Overall, Ireland was the most affordable geography in the survey, with an affordable median multiple of 3.0, a worsening from 2013, when the median multiple was 2.8. With the exception of Cork (3.2), all of the other markets were rated affordable, with median multiples of 3.0 or less (Galway, Limerick and Waterford),” it stated.
The survey found that Hong Kong is the least affordable, followed by Vancouver, Sydney, San Francisco, San Jose, Honolulu, Melbourne and Santa Cruz.
Meanwhile, John de Courcy, an auctioneer in the city, has said that the Limerick market, outside of the city and its suburbs, is ‘ticking over’ but that the underselling of repossessed properties continues to have a destabilising and dampening effect.
“Once the repossessed stuff gets sold, prices will start to go up again. It’s all down to the banks and also whether they start lending again. There is a general uplift, and a knock-on from what’s been happening in Dublin, but the market is not going to go crazy again and we will not see that level of increase in county Limerick,” he said.
Over 1,500 houses sold in Limerick last year, the most that has been sold in the county in five years, with the biggest sales upswing in the country.