There is a growing body of research on the consequences of excessive land use regulation. The connection between excessive land use regulation and losses in housing affordability, has been linked to the doubling or tripling of house prices relative to incomes in places as diverse as Hong Kong, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Finally, there is credible housing affordability data from China. For years, analysts have produced “back of the envelope” anecdotal calculations that have been often as inconsistent as they have been wrong. The Economist has compiled an index of housing affordability in 40 cities, which uses an “average multiple” (average house price divided by average household income) (China Index of Housing Affordability). This is in contrast to the “median multiple,” which is the median house price divided by the median household income (used in the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey and other affordability indexes). The Demographia Survey rates affordability in 9 geographies, including Hong Kong (a special administrative region of China). The average multiple for a metropolitan market is generally similar to the median multiple.
“Gold is money. Everything else is credit.” — John Pierpont Morgan