In Money

How much $1 million buys you in real estate in each major U.S. city


Ever wonder how far $1 million goes in real estate in the U.S.?

Here’s an interesting chart from Slate:real-estate-one-million-in-each-us-city


SF is ridonculus. So is Detroit.

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  1. Tania

    Detroit has a ton of financial problems right now, very depressed economy. Entire abandoned neighborhoods, I’m not surprised.

    The Bay area has a ton of financial services and high tech companies. Any city that has big money industries that require intellectual talent will have very high real estate prices (supply and demand). So, I’m not surprised there either. Also explains NYC. Foreign investors/part of the year residents will also drive prices up. I used to work a lot in the Bay area.

    Very interesting! I wish Honolulu was included. I personally like small spaces better in vibrant neighborhoods with good available jobs so the less space per $ doesn’t bother me so much.

  2. MelD

    I wonder how our prices compare – it is very rare to find anything under US$500,000 in this country and near a city close to or over a million is pretty normal. And that’s regardless of sq ft – of course, they don’t build ’em as big here but then we are a tiny country (Switzerland)! However the quality of our build vastly outdoes most of that elsewhere, even in neighbouring countries, it’s the complaint I hear of most when Swiss go abroad…

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      You are in one of the best countries in the world!!!

      Your homes must be amazing. Ours here are shoddily constructed and made out of chipboard 😐

      1. MelD

        @save. spend. splurge.: Long-lasting, I guess – ours was built in 1770 LOL!!

        1. save. spend. splurge.

          That is some fine workmanship. I cannot say the same for houses here.

          1. MelD

            @save. spend. splurge.: LOL!

  3. SP

    Depressing! The footnote about manhattan vs NYC was interesting – manhattan would less than half as large as SF at 650 or so.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      @SP: I find SF a lot more desirable to live in than Manhattan, that’s for sure.. I lived there for a bit and found it lacking. Quite stressful actually.

  4. Judy Gregory

    Why does Birmingham never appear on a list like this? It’s bigger than some of cities that are listed.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      @Judy Gregory: But is it a place where people actually want to move and live?

      1. Judy Gregory

        @Several years ago people were shocked to learn that the city of Mountain Brook AL (part of the greater metro area) had the highest per capita income of ANY city in the USA. People from all over the country travel to be treated at the UAB medical centers. Next time a pro athelete, including NASCAR drivers, is seriously injured, check to see where they go for treatment and rehab. Spain rehab (part of the UAB complex) will appear more often than not. Birmingham is a major metropolitan area within a 2 to 3 hour drive from the ocean and from the beautiful Smokey Mountains.

        1. Judy Gregory

          BTW If it’s just cities people WANT to move to, why is Detroit on the list?

          1. save. spend. splurge.

            Ohhh good point! 🙂 I didn’t even think of that.

        2. save. spend. splurge.

          Hmm maybe it just isn’t “popular” enough. It certainly sounds nice and I’ve heard of it although I have never been there.

  5. Kay

    It would have been interesting if they did the study at $500,000 or so. Most of those sq ft are too high to get a true feel of price difference.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      @Kay: I’d agree with that. I think a million just sounded nice for the study.

  6. Leslie Beslie

    And this is why they’re paying people to move to Detroit…

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      @Leslie Beslie: *nod* .. over concentration of people in a few cities is a growing problem because it drives housing prices up. Toronto & Vancouver in Canada are a perfect examples of that.

  7. Michelle

    Am a little disturbed to find Denver in the 10th spot. Things HAVE been getting pricey here. And this confirms that feeling even more. I am so happy that I bought the little place at the time that I did. If I were to sell it I would make a lot of money (for what it is). Instead, I will rent it out and make long-term passive income. Nice.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      @Michelle: Hey, all the better for you!

  8. GirlinaTrenchcoat

    Yep SF real estate is bleeping expensive. Over the years I’ve watched the price skyrocket from “almost affordable” to “don’t even bother if you’re not a Facebook god.” 🙁

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I think you’re a bit lucky being in the U.S. because at least SF is a real city in the sense that it’s dynamic and the weather is heavenly.. so I can see why prices are so unaffordable.

      In Canada, Toronto is the closest to being an “American” city, but is only the size of Chicago, and you find houses (shacks really) that go for $600k – $1 million here when in the U.S. it would be $300K max…

      Still, I hear you. Real estate is not cheap in the most urban of cities.

      1. GirlinaTrenchcoat

        @save. spend. splurge.: I’ve never been to Toronoto but I would like to visit someday. I also used to think our weather sucked (compared to LA at least) but after seeing the Northeast part of Canada and the US this past winter I do agree, SF weather would be preferable! 🙂

      2. SP

        @save. spend. splurge.: ]

        This is a great point. I personally just don’t get why Boston (and to a lesser extent, Washington) are so desirable / expensive. IT IS COLD THERE!

        1. save. spend. splurge.

          @SP: I KNOW! Boston is quaint and cute though. I found it sweet when I visited but damn it was cold.. just as cold as in Canada. I think it’s also something about its proximity to NYC too.

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