How Much Space Can You Buy For $1.216 Million in 20 Cities Around the World?

Note: This article originally erroneously had the conversion of £1 million as roughly equivalent to $1,823,851.50 in United States dollars. That is incorrect. The conversion should have been £1 million as roughly equivalent to $1,215,901.00 in United States dollars. The amounts in United States dollars have since changed. I apologize for the error and thank readers of The Gate for calling me out on it.

One million pounds in the United Kingdom is roughly equivalent to $1,215,901.00 in United States dollars — give or take a few pennies. That is a lot of money — no matter which currency you use — but have you ever wondered how much space you can buy for that amount in 20 cities around the world?

How Much Space Can You Buy For $1.216 Million in 20 Cities Around the World?

This article from On Stride Financial incorporates selected prominent cities within the United Kingdom and then included additional locations using the Global Power City Index to create the visualizations in this article. In total, 20 prominent cities from around the world were selected.

Once the property data was collected, £1 million was converted to the currency of each country, and this figure was divided by the estimated cost per square metre for each city. How much space £1 million could get you in each country can be easily seen in the simplified visualisation below.

Source: On Stride Financial.

I have been given express written permission to use the images and the verbatim text from the aforementioned article in this article; so let us take a break from the news of the day and have a little fun going on a virtual journey around the world to see just how much space you can buy with all of that money.

…So How Much Space DOES £1 Million Buy You in 20 Cities Around the World?

The million-pound home is a concept of great fascination, whether you aspire to have one or you’re waiting for rising house prices to push your current property over the finish line!

Like the classic question “how much is a pint of milk?” the concept of “what does a million-pound home look like?” is a kind of thought experiment about class and value. But if a million pounds will buy you vastly different properties at one end of the UK or the other, the variation around the world is even greater.

We decided to see how much floor space a million pounds will buy you in different cities around the world. Got your tape measure ready?

Million-Pound Map

A map was created to show at a glance of what is on offer around the world. It immediately reveals something many British homeowners are acutely aware of: a million quid gets you a whole lot more in one region than it may in another just a few miles away.

For instance, you can get from Manchester to London in two hours on the train — and many people do, since with four times the floor space for the same price, it makes more sense to commute.

Similar regional patterns can be seen internationally. In Singapore a cool million will get you more than six times as much as in nearby Hong Kong, despite both being small, business-oriented islands with similar GDP. In fact, £1 million will soon be the average house price in Hong Kong, thanks in part to its proximity to the Chinese market and its status as a financial hub.

Source: On Stride Financial.

Millionaire Properties Side-by-Side

Our second graphic visualizes the relative space in each of the cities we surveyed. At a glance you can see you’ll get a similarly-sized property in Stockholm, Sydney, or San Francisco: perhaps three-four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a toilet, plus a lounge and big, open kitchen-diner. There’s probably room for a garage and a porch or conservatory too. A generously-proportioned family home, but no mansion.

You’ll find more than double this floor space for a million pounds in Birmingham or Berlin. While 360 sqm is not technically a mansion (a mansion normally needs to be around 500 sqm or more) you could certainly make a ranch of it if you have a big enough plot. Four or five large bedrooms, two or three lounges, a double-garage, diner, office, playroom, and – why not? – a butler’s pantry will still leave space for a laundry room, though you may need a map to find it. But be quick: Berlin has the fastest-rising house prices in the world.

Source: On Stride Financial.

Biggest and Smallest Million-Pound Homes

The final visualization shows potential designs for the cheapest and most expensive cities covered by our research. A million-pound flat in Hong Kong would nestle neatly into the master bathroom of your epic pad in Glasgow — more rooms could have fit into the Glaswegian abode but opted instead for more leg room in each space.

Of course, the lifestyles in these two cities are vastly different. While Glasgow is a vibrant cultural city, there’s no place like Hong Kong, where transient souls from around the world gather to make big things happen. And indeed, there are a lot of highly-paid roles here that can’t be found anywhere else. But just try getting a deep-fried Mars Bar pizza at 2am after a night on the tiles in Hong Kong — maybe you’re better off with a roomy manor in Glasgow in walking distance from the chippy.

Source: On Stride Financial.

With more and more of us working remotely — or taking advantage of ever-faster intercity travel — the location of your property has less and less to do with what you do for a living and more with how you want to live. Which city would you choose if you had a million pounds and no geographic ties?


Although this article is clearly targeted towards people who are based in the United Kingdom, I thought the information was interesting enough to share with people who are based in the United States and other parts of the world.

The lengthiest graphic in the article is below after its conclusion so that it does not interrupt reading the text but is still in the article if you are interested in viewing it.

Source: On Stride Financial.

Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

10 thoughts on “How Much Space Can You Buy For $1.216 Million in 20 Cities Around the World?”

  1. NB says:

    Complete rubbish. £1m is equivalent to about $1.21m – which means that everything you compared is wrong.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Although the error which I committed was from United Kingdom pounds to United States dollars — for which I committed and take complete responsibility — the rest of the comparisons should be correct, NB.

  2. Hal says:

    How old is this article?? The GBP hasn’t been that strong well before the brexit vote.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The article is not old, Hal. I committed the error in terms of the conversion rate; take full responsibility for it; and have since corrected it.

  3. GUWonder says:

    That which I get for $1.5 million in Stockholm, I can get for $150k about 100 minutes from Stockholm or for $800k about 30 minutes from Stockholm.

    What I get for $1.5M in Copenhagen, I can get for about $500k about 30 minutes from Copenhagen.

    What I get for $1.5M in Manhattan I can get for about $400k about 30 minutes from Manhattan.

    But for a variety of reasons, people are willing to pay a premium to live in more prime locations. And the harder and more costly it is to do home construction in an area and the more building restrictions there are, the more costly such prime locations become.

    Speaking of expensive prices for properties in prime locations, even poor countries like India can have some very expensive neighborhoods too.

  4. Debit says:

    Yeah. The first sentence is wrong.

    One million pounds in the United Kingdom is roughly equivalent to $1,823,851.50 in United States dollars

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That one was my error, Debit — and I know where I went wrong.

      For some reason, I had converted 1.5 million pounds to United States dollars, which came out to $1,823,851.50.

      One million pounds is roughly equivalent to $1,215,901.00.

      Please accept my apologies for the error.

  5. Debit says:

    Also when central banks say there is no inflation they are lying.

  6. JJ says:

    Agreed on exchange rate comments above and also flags are interesting. Since when does Belfast fall under the Republic of Ireland? Also, HK has its own flag that I’m sure it would prefer to use considering the current situation.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I completely agree with you, JJ.

      Belfast should be under Northern Ireland; and Hong Kong would likely prefer its own flag.

      Information which I receive from the source is usually correct and vetted. I will let them know.

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