The Real Deal New York

How far will a million bucks go in NYC?

$1 million will likely net more space in NYC versus San Francisco, Boston

March 11, 2014 04:15PM
By Business Insider

How much housing you can buy with a million dollars very much depends on what city you are looking to buy in.

According to Knight Frank data cited by CNBC’s Robert Frank, a million dollars goes a lot further in Cape Town than it would in Monaco.

But what about in the U.S.?

We looked at housing list price data from real estate brokerage Movoto.com and real estate marketplace Zillow.com. The diagram below shows the number of square feet of housing that you can buy for $1,000,000, based on the median price per square foot in each city:

city-real-estate-chart-corrected

With a median list price of $666 per square foot, San Francisco’s real estate boom limits a million dollars to buying about 1,500 square feet. On the other end of the spectrum, the median list price in beleaguered Detroit is just $12 per square foot — 55 times cheaper than in San Francisco.

Considering all five boroughs, the median price per square foot in New York City is $424. Looking just at Manhattan however, that price jumps to an astronomical $1,538 per square foot, leading to $1,000,000 buying just 650 square feet.

2 Responses to “How far will a million bucks go in NYC?”

  1. March 11, 2014 at 6:01 pm, Obvious said:

    This is a pointless distinction. New York City’s landmass is 10 times larger than San Francisco’s. What would be San Francisco’s suburbs is still considered to be part of the “city.” Same with Boston. If you took out the far reaches of the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn, this would be a worthwhile comparison.

    • March 12, 2014 at 12:04 am, realposter said:

      well for one thing NYC is only 7x the landmass. NYC is much smaller than LA. Chicago is not much smaller than NYC. Point is the square feet you can get for one million dollars is a very distinct metric.
      Oakland is a separate city from San Fran in the same way Newark is separate from NYC. City limits are city limits.

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