Housing Market

What Kind Of Home $1 Million Dollars Can Get You Around The World

22 November 2022 | BY

We’re seeing property prices on the rise, but for comparison sake, here’s what $1 million dollars can get you around the world.

These days, the million-dollar HDB club seems to be accepting way more members than we’d like to see. Not only does it include units from prime locations, it also bagged those from heartlands like Tampines, Woodlands and Bedok. And while you’d assume that only executive flats and maisonettes are counted, enter this 4-room Pinnacle@Duxton flat.

The idea of having to fork out at least S$1 million dollars for a decent home can be hard to swallow for us everyday Singaporeans. That said, we’re not the only country that sees these trends. In fact, other major cities around the world get much smaller square footage for the same price tag – though we’re still not sure if we’d count ourselves lucky for that.

That aside, let’s explore what kind of housing S$1 million dollars can get you around the world.

Singapore

For $1 million, you can get a decent shoebox apartment with shops and MRT downstairs.
Image credit: Lentor Modern

But first, let’s set a clearer benchmark of housing in Singapore. Although more and more resale HDBs have started crossing the million mark, the price itself is still somewhat enough to get you a private property. Take the highly coveted Lentor Modern condo launch: for S$1.1M, you can land yourself a 527sqft 1-bedder, or a 700sqft 2-bedder for S$1.4M.

$1 Million Dollar Homes GloballyA renovated Executive Maisonette in Singapore.
Image adapted from: TMMI

As for public housing, a million dollars can, by and large, get you a more prized unit. We’re talking about lofts, maisonettes, executive and jumbo flats which can be as big as 2,000sqft – that costs more than 3 times in private condos.

These unit types don’t come around often, with maisonettes not being built anymore. Plus, some of them are part of the more elusive DBSS scheme, which helps explain its higher prices.

New York City

$1 Million Dollar Homes GloballyImage credit: StreetEasy

New York City – a concrete jungle where dreams are made of, and where homes undoubtedly don’t come cheap. Those who wish to live here have to take note that renting, let alone buying, is a pain – there’s a common rule that your annual income must be at least 40 times your monthly rental.

That said, a million dollars can still buy you a cosy home. You can get studios and 1-bedrooms with a view of the park, or even 2-bedrooms, if you’re lucky. More specifically, this renovated duplex 1-bedroom in Chelsea is going in at US$800K (~S$1.2M), which is quite a good deal given that the neighbourhood is pretty prime and popular.

$1 Million Dollar Homes GloballyImage credit: StreetEasy

For more space for the same price, head over to Prospect Park, a neighbourhood in Brooklyn, where you can find this 2-bedroom in Windsor Terrace complex. Usually, people looking to rent will focus on boroughs like Brooklyn and the Bronx for more affordable deals.

London

$1 Million Dollar Homes GloballyImage credit: Regal London

Ask any avid property investor with very deep pockets and they’ll likely tell you that they’ve eyed the London market. Granted that it can be expensive especially for foreign buyers, VISA residents and citizens can find brand new studio and 1-bedroom apartments in prime areas for a million dollars – slightly more affordable than you’d imagine.

Located within the hipster Hackney neighbourhood in Zone 1, Shoreditch Exchange has 660sqft apartments for a million dollars. It’s a new mixed-development with a WeWork office space, ground floor shops and a good list of facilities. Throw in its proximity to the city and you’d reckon it’s a pretty decent catch.

Image credit: Greater London Authority

Slightly away from the main city stands Hampton Towers in Canary Wharf. For a million dollars, you can get a 2-bedroom unit with similar facilities. Given the fact that it’s in London’s Central Business District, many of the units here will be rented out to white collar professionals.

Paris

Housings with $1 Million Dollar Globally1-bedroom in 17th arrondissement for €880K (742sqft).
Image credit: Sotheby’s International Realty

Ah, the city of love. Apart from being the world’s romantic capital, Paris also has the second most popular housing market in Europe. Not only is it known for its beautiful luxury properties along the seasides and countries, its city apartments are also worthy investments.

Housings with $1 Million Dollar GloballyImage credit: Sotheby’s International Realty

On average, you can get 2- to 3-bedrooms for €800K-€900K (~S$1-S$1.2M) in areas beyond the main city centre. At Place Saint-Georges located in 9th arrondissement, you’ll find this 2-bedroom located in a charming freestone building with a courtyard. It’s on the market for €920K, and is of a decent 775sqft size.

Bangkok

Housing with $1 Million Dollars GloballyImage credit: Supreme Legend

Night markets, street food and cheap shopping aren’t the only star points of Bangkok. What’s more interesting is that unlike in other cities, housing prices in the Thai capital are actually falling. Due to the rise in property credit and construction slowing down, demand has decreased.

Housing with $1 Million Dollars GloballyImage credit: Supreme Legend

Supreme Legend is a condo project in the Yan Nawa district near Mae Nam station with 2-3 bedroom size units available from ฿16,700,000-฿22,400,000 (~S$630K-S$840K). Given that Yan Nawa is equivalent to the Great World district back home, getting a 3 room for less than a million sounds, as they say, a bang for your baht.

Seoul

Image credit: Bain & Company

Korea never fails to enthral us, and a trip to Seoul for more K-BBQ and soju will always be appealing to us. While a vacation in the city sounds fun and relatively affordable, buying a house and living there can say otherwise.

Ask Seoul residents and they’ll say that, just like in many cities, inflation has been getting the better of them, as their long working hours and stagnant paychecks can’t keep up with it.

Housing with $1 Million Dollars GloballyImage credit: Seoul Homes

That explains why although a million dollars can get you a 3-bedroom high-rise unit near the city centre, the price point itself is still not pocket-friendly.

This 3-bedroom in Gangnam Palace at Songpa-gu district is on the market for KRW890 million (~S$1M); while the location is equivalent to Outram Park in SG, the same price can still fetch you a 5-room HDB in said area – well, at least for now.

Tokyo

Apartment complex in central Tokyo.
Image credit: Pixabay

Now, onto the other side of the peninsula. Despite it frequently topping the list of Singaporeans’ favourite holiday destinations, we all feel the pinch and can say that Tokyo is pretty expensive. But for its housing market, a million dollars can actually get you similar offerings compared to other cities.

On average, a 2- to 3-bedroom in the central neighbourhoods like Shoto and Ebisu can go at around ¥64 million-¥77 million (~S$600K-S$700K). For more square footage, you can look into popular residential areas like Ota and Setagaya, which are connected along the Meguro-Ku train line into the main city.

It’s not just through famous brands like Uniqlo, Daiso or Nitori that we see the Japanese’s creativity and ingenuity come through.

Sleeping areas are on the loft upstairs.
Image credit: Spilytus

To deal with scarce space in the city, real estate developers have come forth with apātos, which are tiny dwellings around 80sqft in size that are meant for solo living. A million dollars can get you around 16 units, or even 20 units in the greater Tokyo region.

Hong Kong

Image credit: @hongkong.explore

In the real world, a house is not just a human right, but an investment commodity, and nowhere else encapsulates that more poignantly than Hong Kong. It’s not that the city doesn’t have enough land, but rather that it auctions its land to competitive real estate developers who bid for it at very high prices.

Housing with $1 Million Dollars GloballyImage credit: Executive Homes HK

Needless to say, the people who are at the shortest end of the stick would be potential buyers themselves, who have to fork out a million dollars just for 400sqft of space, which is worth roughly 2.5 parking spaces; this is seen in Man Kwong Court located in Kennedy Town district. 

New apartments, on the other hand, can be as small as 170sqft for the same price – that’s a quarter of a regular studio.

Types of housing worth $1 million dollars around the world

Talk about winning the lottery but these days, even a million-dollar windfall may not be enough to get you your dream home. Rather, the real victory is getting a decent place at a good price. With mortgage rates being on the rise too, if you’re looking for public housing in a mature estate with a healthy number of years on the lease, you can expect to pay around a million dollars in total, making the prospect of an affordable home farther to achieve.

While Singapore’s housing situation sounds a tad better than in other cities, the idea of paying a million for a HDB is still hard to digest, as public housing is, by right, meant to give an affordable roof over our heads. Granted that these million dollar sales mainly apply to premium type units, let’s hope that the market will simmer down in the future.

For more housing guides in SG:


Cover image adapted from:

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