How Much Square Footage You Can Get for $1 Million in Major Cities

Depending on where you live, a $1 million home may be a sprawling mansion or a small apartment in a high-rise building. The square footage of a million dollars will vary greatly from city to city and coast to coast. Which of the 50 largest cities in America will give you the biggest real estate bang for your buck?
To get these numbers, we took the median listing price per square foot by city from to see how many square feet you could theoretically get for $1 million in those cities. While the square footage of actual homes listed for $1 million in these cities may vary depending on amenities, upgrades, and location, this analysis and graphic from is intended to provide a visualization of the differences in the price of square footage in America.


Click on the infographic to zoom.


A Look at Square Footage Prices Around the Country

According to recent estimates, the median listing price per square foot in America is $155. It’s not surprising that many of the cities with the highest median listing price per square foot are large coastal cities. In fact, of the top 10 cities with the most expensive prices per square foot, six are located in California. With a median home value of $554,886 across the state, it’s easy to see how quickly home prices can add up.

These are the 10 cities with the highest median listing price per square foot as well as how much square footage you could purchase for $1 million:
1. San Francisco, CA: $1,100 (909 square feet)
2. Boston, MA: $668 (1,497 square feet)
3. San Jose, CA: $666 (1,502 square feet)
4. New York, NY: $611 (1,637 square feet)
5. Oakland, CA: $536 (1,866 square feet)
6. Washington, DC: $523 (1,912 square feet)
7. Los Angeles, CA: $515 (1,942 square feet)
8. San Diego, CA: $501 (1,996 square feet)
9. Seattle, WA: $490 (2,041 square feet)
10. Long Beach, CA: $483 (2,070 square feet)

Of the 50 most populous cities in America, the following are the 10 cities that have the lowest median list price per square foot along with how much square footage $1 million could potentially buy you. While home buyers would be unlikely to find a $1 million mansion in Detroit this large, it just goes to show the stark difference in real estate prices around the country.
1. Detroit, MI: $45 (22,222 square feet)
2. Memphis, TN: $56 (17,857 square feet)
3. Milwaukee, WI: $92 (10,870 square feet)
4. Indianapolis, IN: $101 (9,901 square feet)
5. El Paso, TX: $104 (9,615 square feet)
6. Tulsa, OK: $105 (9,524 square feet)
7. Omaha, NE: $118 (8,475 square feet)
8. Louisville, KY: $118 (8,475 square feet)
9. Oklahoma City, OK: $119 (8,403 square feet)
10. Kansas City, MO: $120 (8,333 square feet)

What Is Considered a Mansion?

While there is no set definition for what is considered to be a mansion, it’s generally a large home between 5,000 and 8,000 square feet. This varies greatly depending on location — what’s considered a mansion in Manhattan is likely to be much smaller than one in Texas. Mansions also characteristically have luxury amenities like large foyers, tennis courts, and home theaters.

Which city’s square footage price surprised you the most?

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