The Most And Least Affordable Places To Buy A Home In The World 

Experts analysed property prices in relation to average wages around the world to reveal the most and least affordable countries to buy a home in

A new study from British based building supplier, Roofing Megastore into property prices around the world has revealed the most and least affordable countries to buy a home in if you’re earning the average salary in that country. 

The research shows Saudi Arabia, with an average annual salary of 305,120.90 ZAR and a 100 sqm city-based home costing 1,360,785.79 ZAR, is the world’s most affordable country to buy a home in. 

To develop the ranking, the research team at Roofing Megastore calculated the average cost of one square meter of residential property in 109 countries around the world – the cost was then multiplied by 100 to show how much a 100 sqm home would cost on average.

To provide a more accurate picture of affordability, average earnings (after tax) were also factored in to show the annual salary as a percentage of the cost of a 100sqm home. To illustrate the vast difference between the most and least affordable places, the study also reveals how many years it would take to buy a 100sqm home on an average annual salary.

The Top 50 Most Affordable Countries To Buy a Home In

When taking earning potential into account, one full year’s wage in Saudi Arabia would in fact equate to more than 22% of the cost of an entire home, which means in less than five years, there’d be enough to buy a home outright if all of the salary was saved and not spent.

South Africa’s wage to home-cost ratio comes in at 18%, which takes second place in the top 50 list, and the US, with annual average salaries equalling over 15% of the cost of a home, is the third most affordable place to buy a home in the world.

A yearly salary in Puerto Rico is the equivalent of 324,349.48 ZAR and on average, a 100 sqm home costs just over 2,240,796.20 ZAR – so an average annual wage would be around 14% of the cost of a home.

United Arab Emirates is fractionally less affordable when it comes to property than Puerto Rico, and with an average salary equalling 13.59% of the cost of a home it rounds off the top five, in fifth position.

The World’s Top 50 Most Affordable Places To Buy A Home:

RankCountryPrice per 100 square metres (Average price of a 100sqm home)
ZAR
Yearly salary ZARAnnual salary as a % of cost of a 100sqm homeHow many years it would take to buy a 100sqm home (with an average annual salary, and spending nothing of it)
1Saudi Arabia1,360,785.79305,120.9022.42%4.5
2South Africa1,389,962.45252,602.9118.17%5.5
3United States4,206,383.57631,509.7015.01%6.7
4Puerto Rico2,240,796.20324,349.4814.47%6.9
5United Arab Emirates3,590,760.03488,055.5413.59%7.4
6Palestine1,156,305.50147,167.3412.73%7.9
7Oman2,535,070.37296,761.3911.71%8.5
8Iceland5,767,223.41565,756.839.81%10.2
9Cyprus2,636,427.29251,811.059.55%10.5
10Qatar5,715,590.67541,487.219.47%10.6
11Ireland5,838,774.26528,749.379.06%11.0
12Denmark7,286,196.67635,637.078.72%11.5
13Belgium5,014,091.90428,854.328.55%11.7
14Canada5,995,235.89511,270.178.53%11.7
15Australia7,760,809.82651,832.258.40%11.9
16Netherlands6,324,503.78530,506.068.39%11.9
17Mauritius1,077,851.3489,544.958.31%12.0
18Bahrain3,359,072.55276,336.518.23%12.2
19Sweden6,862,647.75535,549.547.80%12.8
20Bulgaria1,504,851.91116,151.147.72%13.0
21New Zealand6,728,479.77516,588.977.68%13.0
22Latvia2,193,427.27165,587.017.55%13.2
23Jordan1,371,892.01103,481.537.54%13.3
24Trinidad And Tobago1,989,891.11149,569.697.52%13.3
25Norway8,537,493.83635,057.197.44%13.4
26Finland6,613,306.05486,771.527.36%13.6
27Switzerland15,452,038.281,107,297.647.17%14.0
28Italy4,251,184.07296,505.566.97%14.3
29Turkey1,002,919.9068,971.446.88%14.5
30Mexico1,387,942.2295,102.526.85%14.6
31Germany7,707,928.39526,110.686.83%14.7
32United Kingdom7,247,263.99480,288.096.63%15.1
33Spain4,223,174.87278,356.346.59%15.2
34Iraq1,549,236.1899,483.296.42%15.6
35Estonia3,718,948.52236,451.586.36%15.7
36Kazakhstan1,175,015.5274,204.976.32%15.8
37France7,488,981.59472,289.176.31%15.9
38Malaysia2,326,529.30145,698.156.26%16.0
39Bolivia1,419,829.4587,232.746.14%16.3
40Greece2,517,781.62151,034.006.00%16.7
41Honduras1,502,171.8089,881.185.98%16.7
42Costa Rica2,213,995.09131,279.155.93%16.9
43Romania2,031,341.46120,249.275.92%16.9
44India1,341,984.4178,795.275.87%17.0
45Libya2,038,001.13119,437.935.86%17.1
46Kosovo (Disputed Territory)1,490,375.2586,972.045.84%17.1
47Bosnia And Herzegovina1,879,732.45105,101.775.59%17.9
48Moldova1,304,442.5572,823.495.58%17.9
49Hungary2,670,822.05147,420.735.52%18.1
50Austria7,651,036.94416,596.475.44%18.4

The Least Affordable Countries To Buy A Home In

At the other end of the scale, it’s no surprise that infamously expensive South Korea and Hong Kong feature in the top 10 least affordable countries to buy a home in.

The number one least affordable place to buy a home though is Ghana – average property prices stand at just over 7,655,209.38 ZAR but the average annual salary is only around 51,272.96 ZAR, which means it would take 149 years to save up enough to buy a home if none of the wage was ever spent.

It’s cheaper to buy property in Sri Lanka – on average a 100 sqm home costs around 3,189,281.42 ZAR, but the average annual salary is also low at just over 42,540.67 ZAR a year. This equates to just 1.33% of the cost of a home and would take 75 years of saving and not spending anything at all, to be able to buy a 100sqm home.

Third place Hong Kong has the highest property prices in the entire study – on average, a yearly salary in Hong Kong would bring in almost 565,956.62, which is the equivalent to 1.36% when compared to the cost of a home.

In fourth position is Jamaica (1.63%), and rounding off the top five least affordable countries to purchase a home when factoring in purchasing power, is Iran (1.72%).

The World’s Top 20 Least Affordable Places To Buy A Home:

RankCountryPrice per 100 square metres (Average price of a 100sqm home)
ZAR
Yearly salary ZARAnnual salary as a % of cost of a 100sqm homeHow many years it would take to buy a 100sqm home (with an average annual salary, and spending nothing of it)
1Ghana7,655,209.3851,272.960.67%149.3
2Sri Lanka3,189,281.4242,540.671.33%75.0
3Hong Kong41,538,148.18565,956.621.36%73.4
4Jamaica6,941,436.92113,363.831.63%61.2
5Iran3,178,520.3754,793.651.72%58.0
6Philippines2,651,645.0552,464.391.98%50.5
7South Korea18,805,476.50398,301.052.12%47.2
8China8,737,852.44188,034.162.15%46.5
9Argentina3,257,025.2972,363.002.22%45.0
10Ethiopia1,553,966.9835,226.412.27%44.1
11Kenya3,063,732.4372,263.102.36%42.4
12Nepal1,478,203.0839,102.822.65%37.8
13Indonesia1,986,419.1453,234.322.68%37.3
14Zimbabwe2,147,043.0757,724.722.69%37.2
15Taiwan9,387,972.26255,619.252.72%36.7
16Thailand3,643,113.5699,868.252.74%36.5
17Vietnam2,618,001.5379,684.583.04%32.9
18Peru2,120,536.3766,785.933.15%31.8
19Uruguay3,285,034.48107,764.833.28%30.5
20Azerbaijan1,620,157.6054,603.613.37%29.7

Gian-Carlo Grossi, Managing Director at Roofing Megastore commented:

“Although in reality, it would be impossible to save 100% of your wage and not use any for standard costs of living, the length-of-time-to-buy equation serves to really illustrate the difference between the most and least affordable places to buy a home around the world.

For so many, owning a home is a key goal in life, and yet the gulf between average salaries and the prices of homes in so many countries makes it impossible for lots of people.

Our business exists to make it easier for people to improve and maintain the homes they’re lucky enough to own – so we wanted to highlight this property ownership issue to increase awareness so more people can find ways to buy a home in the future.”  

To see the full research, and see which countries have the highest property prices and wages in the world, visit https://www.roofingmegastore.co.uk/cost-of-a-home.