Not long ago, that much money was considered a princely sum. But in today's global property market, it does not go as far as it used to. Kevin Brass takes a look at what $1m buys around the world
UAE // Dubai
Property: Three-bedroom villa
Dubai’s prices in some areas are down more than 50 per cent from 2008, but that was only after a steep run-up in the boom years. And these days, villas such as this one in the Meadows are popular. The fully furnished house is 3,089 square feet and includes a family room and a separate maid’s room, as well a private, landscaped garden and access to community facilities. Its proximity to Sheikh Zayed Road is a bonus.
Price: Dh3.7m (US$1m)
Switzerland // Nendaz
Property: Three-bedroom apartment
A picturesque chateau nestled in the ski slopes might be out of reach for $1 million these days. But this five-year-old apartment is available in Nendazin the Four Valley area about two hours from Geneva. The apartment offers Alpine views from its four balconies and is only a short walk to the main ski lift. The “neutral” interior finish also makes it ideal for the rental market, the listing says.
Price: 949,000 Swiss francs (Dh3.8 million)
England // London
Property: One-bedroom apartment
London is the benchmark for any international property comparison. It is one of the most expensive markets in the world and annually ranks as the most popular destination for international buyers. Prices for central London properties have continued to rise, even during the recent financial crisis. This intimate 570-square-foot apartment is in Queen’s Gate Gardens in South Kensington. Not many amenities, but it does include a “reception room” and “fitted wardrobes”, according to the listing.
Price: £600,000 (Dh3.5 million)
US // Austin, Texas
Property: Four-bedroom house
Austin is one market that largely avoided the property collapse, primarily because it did not have the big price run-up that occurred in other cities. Known as the live-music capital of the world, Austin is considered one of the hippest cities in the US. This stylish, 4,000-square-foot, three-storey house is set in a leafy neighbourhood in West Austin. It includes a game room, offices and a heated party pool with a wading area, fountains and waterfalls.
Price: $1.095m (Dh3.5 million)
Turkey // Kas Peninsula
Property: Four-bedroom villa
Turkey is one of the hottest international markets in the region, attracting European and Middle Eastern buyers with relatively low prices and quiet seaside locales. This villa, advertised by the UK company Spot Blue, sits on a 1,500-square-metre plot on a tree-covered hillside overlooking the Mediterranean. All the bedrooms have terraces with sea views. The property includes a swimming pool and a separate apartment for staff or visitors.
Price: £700,000 (Dh4.1 million)
Scotland // Auchencairn, Dumfries and Galloway
Amid the rugged beauty of Scotland, a little bit more than a $1 million can still buy a castle. Maybe not one of the grand, ancient edifices, but this renovated tower on Balcary Bay offers the castle experience, including a 3,000-square-foot home on 7.7 hectares. The property includes a swimming pool, gardens and views across the bay to Hestan Island. The house features four bedrooms, a drawing room and three grand reception areas, so that a buyer who isn’t royalty can at least entertain like a king or queen.
Price: £850,000 (Dh4.9 million)
Spain // Mallorca
Property: two-bedroom apartment
Spain’s second-home market crashed in spectacular fashion in 2008, with prices cut by half in some areas and thousands of golf course villas left empty. But not on the island paradise of Majorca. This cliff-top apartment with a spectacular sea view is a scant 914 square feet, part of a building with 12 units. All the appliances are modern, and there is the now-requisite under-floor heating for those chilly nights, as well as a small communal pool and garden for residents to enjoy the Spanish spring.
Price: €750,000 (Dh3.7 million)