The cities on the verge of a housing bubble (San Francisco isn’t one of t…

The cities on the verge of a housing bubble (San Francisco isn’t one of t…

The cities on the verge of a housing bubble (San Francisco isn’t one of them)

Before you go calling San Francisco real estate a bubble just waiting to pop, take a look at this ranking of housing markets around the world.

UBS’s 2017 Global Real Estate Bubble Index lists the cities whose housing markets are at greatest risk of becoming bubbles that could eventually deflate, or worse. The index scores come from the weighted average of other common subindexes, including changes in the price-to-income ratio and the mortgage-to-GDP ratio.

While San Francisco’s market was listed as “overvalued,” it is not deemed a “bubble risk.” In San Francisco, housing prices have gone up 65% over the past five years, not enough to make the city the most expensive place in the U.S. to buy a home (that title currently belongs to nearby San Jose, Calif. — and it’s not even close). San Francisco’s score in the UBS index is pulled out of bubble territory by the city’s “strong economic fundamentals amid the astonishing boom of tech companies,” according to UBS.

In fact, none of the eight cities that rank as top bubble risks are in the U.S.:

UBS

No. 1 on the bubble-risk list is Toronto, where housing prices have risen 50% over the past five years. It’s followed by Stockholm, Munich, Vancouver, Sydney and London.

But it’s not all bad news for Toronto homeowners. The city ranks No. 4 as the most livable city in the world, as judged by the Global Livability Ranking. And with an ever-deepening labor pool fueled by a steady inflow of immigrants, it is seen as one of the top contenders for Amazon’s AMZN, +2.04% second headquarters.

Toronto is a newcomer to the UBS list — which comprises only cities UBS rates as global financial centers — having entered “bubble risk” territory in 2016. Here’s how the risk of housing bubbles has changed over the past three years:

UBS

Real house prices in cities that fall in the “bubble-risk zone” have climbed by nearly 50% on average since 2011, according to UBS.

Among other American cities in the report: Housing markets in Boston and New York are considered fairly valued, and Chicago remains undervalued. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that buying a home in those cities is cheap. To buy a median-priced home in New York City, one would need to earn about $99,000 a year, just above the comparable figure of $97,500 a year in Boston. In Chicago, the comparable figure is about $63,000. The national average is just above $55,000.

More from MarketWatch More Coverage

  • Meet cryptocurrency guru George Weiksner—he’s 11
  • U.S. stocks open lower as CPI underlines inflation fears
  • This is the real reason many Americans stay poor

Original Article