New research about property affordability from Online Mortgage Advisor has revealed where in the world property prices have outgrown local wages the most in the last five years.

Researchers compared the difference in square meters — one square meter equals about 10.7639 square feet — of property that a person earning the average annual net salary in each city could afford to buy in 2020 compared to 2016. Researchers also compared what percentage of a person’s salary is spent on rent between those two time periods.

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Using the latest insights from the property market in January 2021, the study have also revealed what percentage of homes in each U.S. state and city a local person can afford right now.

Key Findings:

• The average person in Tucson can afford 12.61 square meters less of space in 2020 compared to 2016. That’s about 135 square feet less of space.

• Tucson, Arizona ranks as the 8th city in the U.S. with the worst change in renting affordability.

• Another city in Arizona also appears in the Top 10 global list. Phoenix has seen a difference of 9.45 square meters — a little more than 100 square feet.

• Only 67% of properties in Arizona are affordable to couples on the state’s average annual gross salary. This figure drops to 29% for singles.

In which global cities did property prices outgrow wages the most?

Researchers looked at where in the world house prices have become less affordable for locals on the average annual salary, based on how many square meters of property they can purchase.

Tucson, Arizona has seen the worst change in affordability in the world. In 2020, full-time employees in Tucson could typically afford 22.92 square meters of space. This number has dropped dramatically to 10.32, creating a difference of 12.61 square meters.

In which U.S. cities did renting outgrow wages the most?

We calculated the changing affordability of renting across the U.S. for those earning the local average salary.

Tucson, Arizona ranks as the 8th city in the U.S. with the worst change in renting affordability. It cost 27% of a local’s monthly salary to rent a property in 2016, but jumped to 31% in 2020.

What % of properties can the average person afford right now in Arizona?

Researchers analyzed every property listed for sale in the 50 most populated cities per U.S. state from Trulia’s listings in January 2021 to find out what percentage of these properties a person is able to afford, based on them earning the average annual gross salary in their state.

To do this, researchers used the following formula:

Mortgage (4x salary) + 20% down payment = Max price of property affordable

• A single Arizonan can only afford 2.5% of properties on the market in Gilbert.

• Meanwhile, Scottsdale is the least affordable city in Arizona for locals to purchase property in the current climate.

• Rio Rico is currently the most affordable city in Arizona to purchase property for singles, whereas Sierra Vista is the most affordable for couples.

• 67% of properties in Arizona are affordable to the average couple; this figure drops to 29% for singles.