Among all the reasons people find to live in New York City, the value Manhattanites pay per square foot of living space is unfortunately not one of them.
It's true the housing cycle has hit a slump.
In fact, recent worries surrounding subprime mortgage delinquencies and defaults are dominating news headlines and blurring hopes of a housing recovery.
Despite the recent slowdown, a million bucks isn't what it used to be in our real estate market. But what exactly is it worth in different places?
In my around-the-world Internet trek, I've come up with 10 properties that show just how much luxury and comfort a million can buy today. (See a slideshow of the properties, above right.)
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands
This single-family beachfront home includes four bedrooms and 2½ baths, and stands surrounded by three acres of tropical land. A large sun deck in the house's rear allows direct access to 250 feet of white-sand beach, while inside, magnificent windows capture the sea views in every room. An open floor plan with high ceilings gives an airy feel to the kitchen and dining- and living-room areas. Other amenities include an Italian-tile Jacuzzi in the master suite, a laundry room, central air and ceiling fans.
For more information, look
online or contact Robert Banks at 345-948-1463.
Piedmont, South Italy
Price: 850,000 euros (around $1,117,000)
Situated in the picturesque valley between Alba and Savona, this serene property consists of 600 square meters of working and living space, with large gardens, fruit trees, a henhouse, pastures and a charming country farmhouse.
The recently renovated main farmhouse includes hardwood floors; three bedrooms; three modern, tiled bathrooms; open dining and living rooms; and outdoor and indoor kitchens, all spread across three stories.
The area of Piedmont is one of the premier winegrowing regions in Italy and is surrounded by the Alps.
online or contact Mario and Vitalena Bonetti at 39-0173-86158 for more information.
Cabrera, Dominican Republic
Located on the north coast of the country, this four-bedroom hilltop villa has breathtaking views of the ocean and is a 10-minute car ride to the white sandy beaches of Playa Grande. Constructed by an architect husband and engineer wife, the villa is built into the mountain and has five levels. The main 3,000-square-foot house has three marble baths and a kitchen with modern appliances. In addition, the property includes a swimming pool, a separate thatched-roof gym, a maid's quarters and 10,000 square feet of outdoor terraces.
For further details, check
online or contact George Richardson at 212-966-6306 or 917-686-5627.
To view Hema Oza's video take of today's Top 1% segment, click here.
Currently under construction and expecting to be completed in mid-2009, the condos in the Marina Bay high-rise will have three bedrooms with an open dining and living room and kitchen area. The facilities at Marina Bay will include a lap pool, kiddie pool, Jacuzzi and gym, which will be located on the seventh floor of the building.
The high-rise is ideally located, right next to the Financial Center, and a five-minute walk from the city's Raffles Place business center.
Contact Hans Ng at 65-91058020 or look
online for more information.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
In the midst of a beautiful, intricate and undulating topography sits this enormous 8,032-square-foot single-family residence boasting five bedrooms and eight bathrooms.
If that wasn't enough, the property also includes tennis courts, a sauna, cellar, doghouse, four-car garage, built-in barbecue area and two pools, spread across 0.75 acres of lush land, all within the protection that comes with a gated community.
For more information, contact Ana Zecca at 305-528-6700 or go
Canterbury, New Zealand
This magnificent home consists of four en-suite bedrooms, each with its own balcony, and a large carpeted living room with soaring ceilings and a stone fireplace. In addition, the residence has a country-style kitchen equipped with modern appliances and a wooden stove.
Although the house has been utilized as a lodge business, it is available for sale as a private home as well.
For more details, contact Barry Hopkinson at 00-64-3-3602437 or go
Price: 775,000 euros (around $1,017,000)
This beautiful Mediterranean-style fenced-in villa includes six bedrooms, 6½ bathrooms, a large living/dining room and two kitchens spread across three levels. In addition, the mansion boasts such luxuries as French windows, a wood-burning fireplace, game room, gym, tennis courts, maid's quarters, laundry room, swimming pool, two-car garage, patio and terrace.
online or contact Vitaliy Vitkin at 330-405-5476 for more information.
Price: 500,000 British pounds (around $982,000)
Located on the first floor of Buttermere Court, this well-lit two-bedroom apartment is perfect for a young couple looking to settle into the bustling city of London. It comes complete with porter service and underground parking and includes one bathroom, reception room, kitchen and balcony.
For more information on the property, call 020-7586-9595 with reference number STJ060132.
San Francisco, Calif.
This recently renovated one-bedroom doorman apartment is situated in Nob Hill, commonly described as one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay area.
The residence includes one bathroom, an alcove for a possible office area and an open dining room, living room and kitchen floor plan. Floor-to-ceiling windows, bamboo floors, contemporary lighting and stainless-steel appliances complete the look of this modern-day flat.
Listing agent Stephen Gomez can be reached via phone at 415-345-4201 or 415-264-9016, or
A quick 25-minute train ride from Manhattan, this Tudor-style home has five bedrooms, two full and three half bathrooms, an eat-in-kitchen, living room, playroom and laundry room. In addition, it includes the luxury of a fireplace, fenced yard and outdoor sprinkler system.
Contact Georgette Pearson at 914-699-1980, ext. 516 for further details.
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