Buyer envy? What £1m buys in London, and around the world

Buying property for £1 million isn't quite what it used to be – especially if your new purchase happens to be in London. House prices per square metre in the British capital have risen by 56% in the last five years according to Halifax research, leaving you with a lot less space for your cash. 

So you get the best value for your money, we've done a bit of research to see how much £1m will get you on London's property market today, and how this compares to other hotspots across the world.

London

With prices still sky-high, you're probably thinking there's little chance of finding a home anywhere near the heart of the city for £1m. Actually, a swanky 1-bed city pad within walking distance of Covent Garden is available for under £900,000. You might not have much room to swing a cat in, but with all the top West End theatres just a stone’s throw away, you can go out to see Cats instead.

Monaco

Good news for Brits: London isn't the most expensive city in the world per square metre either. That honour falls to Monaco, where the floor space is so expensive that it’s cheaper to buy a Sunseeker yacht and moor it in the marina. Not that we'd mind having all those bars and brasseries on our (floating) doorstep.

Northern Italy

The mountainous countryside of Northern Italy is dotted with 'sleeping beauties' – historic villages that have lost their residents to the cities. Many savvy investors have now taken to restoring these properties as holiday cottages and letting them out for up to €800 (£725) per week. All 12 houses in the village of Calsazio, for example, are available for €250,000 (£226,000). Well below our budget, even after renovations.

Wellington

The capital of New Zealand has just jumped to the top of the global Quality of Life Index. With low crime, a pleasant climate and a surprisingly reasonable cost of living, there are plenty of reasons to be tempted. Most of all, though, you can get a stunning four-bedroom hilltop home with views across the city and onto the bay for around 1 million NZD (£565,000).

Koh Samui

If you’re looking for a tropical idyll, Thailand's party island could be the place for you £1 million would buy you a luxury beachfront villa with four bedrooms and a swimming pool. It also has five bathrooms, which is handy for the kind of mega parties the island is famous for, and the master bedroom has an en-suite jacuzzi. Presumably for when you’re too lazy to walk the 20-metre distance to the sea.