A Million Dollars- It is Not What It Used To Be

Forbes has an article that describes what $1 Million buys in homes around the world.

“There was a time when $1 million could buy an urban penthouse, a waterfront villa, even a mountain chalet.

But those days are a thing of the past, according to Liam Bailey, head of residential research for worldwide property adviser Knight Frank. “One million dollars doesn’t buy very much in the most desirable global property locations,” he says.

Translation: Good luck finding four bedrooms, never mind a waterfront locale, for $1 million–at least in today’s highly desirable markets like Paris, London and New York.

In the latter, says Elizabeth Stribling, president of Manhattan-based real estate brokerage Stribling & Associates, “Generally speaking, you’re spending $1 million for a prime, one-bedroom apartment.”

And despite bloated inventory typical of a sluggish market, those set on living downtown, but looking for a $1 million two-bedroom will need to travel north to the far corners of the less-hip Upper East or West Sides, she says.

Little changes when you look at similarly established markets overseas, says Bailey. Among them: London, Tokyo and Paris, where, for the most part, $1 million buys only 328, 522 and 594 square feet respectively, according to the firm’s calculations.

“Not only has time marched on in real estate markets, but the position of the U.S. dollar as the world currency has weakened significantly against the Sterling and Euro as well,” says Ian Payne, senior vice president and managing director for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific for Realogy (nyse: H news people ) global relocation firm Cartus. To put that into perspective, the purchasing power of $1 million is nearly a quarter less in the U.K. today than it was five years ago, he says.

“So in London, depending on where you are, that might buy you a very nice three-bedroom apartment or it might buy you a one-bedroom apartment,” he says, “but it no longer gets you anything wildly impressive.”

Newer to the list of increasingly expensive locales are emerging markets like New Delhi and Dubai, which have seen property values soar in recent years.

But fortunately for those without a multitude of zeros to spend on a home, the dollar–or one million–can go much further if you’re willing to look further afield.”

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