Revealed: how Dubai homes are becoming more affordable


Getting on to the housing market ladder in Dubai is getting easier with affordability levels rising, according to the annual Bloomberg Global City Housing Cost Index.

The UAE city fell 29 spots – or, rather, rose – in the affordability ranking, one of seven cities to drop more than 10 spots from last year’s list, including Moscow, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Mumbai.

Last year it took 71 percent of the self-reported average income of just over $3,300 to get shelter in Dubai. This year’s proportion was 47 percent.

The only cities where housing was cheaper relative to income than in Dubai were Houston and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Globally, Toronto’s costs posted the biggest jump from a year ago in the index, which analyzes more than 100 municipalities worldwide.

Canada’s financial hub surged 18 places to rank 28th globally in the survey, while Vancouver had the second-largest leap – 16 spots to 16th overall.

Canada was a bargain, though, compared to Hong Kong and San Francisco which maintained their positions as the world’s two most expensive cities, based on four equal-weighted factors that comprise the index – the average monthly mortgage on a 1,000 square-foot home downtown, payments for a similar unit in the suburbs, and rents for a three-bedroom apartment in the city-centre and on the outskirts of town.

New York, London, Geneva and Singapore rounded out the top 6 in total costs, though there was minimal movement from a year ago in the top tier.

But no city was close to Hong Kong for breaking the bank accounts of loan-assisted buyers.

A typical 1,000 square-foot home in the city centre commanded an average mortgage payment of nearly $8,000 per month, according to Bloomberg-analyzed statistics from, a database of cost-of-living statistics contributed by users.

China’s capital Beijing and financial hub Shanghai each moved into the top 10 this year thanks mainly to surging prices faced by buyers of downtown units.

In 15 of the 100-plus municipalities surveyed, the monthly housing cost for units used in the analysis would be at least double an average income. Buenos Aires, Kiev and Mumbai led the “impossible dream” pack.

* With Bloomberg

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