In a real estate market where luxury apartments can sell for $100 million or more, we’ve become a bit numb to the value of a mere million. But objectively, $1 million is still about three times the sale price of the median U.S. home (roughly $350,000) — a price very much out of reach for most.
So what makes a house worth a million dollars? While square footage, construction type and quality of finishes will affect value, two homes that are identical on paper can vary wildly in price depending on — you guessed it — location, location, location.
LendingTree recently conducted a study to find out which U.S. metropolitan areas had the highest percentages of owner-occupied homes valued at $1 million or more. While no one area could be shown to have a majority of homes worth a million, San Jose, Calif., home to Silicon Valley tech workers, came closest — with about 47 percent, and the median home value was close too: $968,800. In San Francisco, another tech hub, more than 36 percent of homes were valued at $1 million or more, with a median value of $840,600.
The New York City metropolitan area — where an apartment sold in 2019 for a record $238 million — was fifth on the list, with a median home value of $450,900. (If this number seems low, keep in mind that the metropolitan areas include not just the cities themselves, but also surrounding commuter communities.)
The portion of homes worth $1 million exceeded 10 percent in only five U.S. metropolitan areas, and accounted for less than 1 percent in all 10 metropolitan areas with the lowest percentage of homes in the price bracket, as seen in this week’s chart.