Homes that cost a million dollars or more are rare in most of the country but make up more than 20% of the for-sale market in San Francisco, Fairfield County, and San Jose. The typical million-dollar listing in New York is smaller than the average American home.

Close your eyes and imagine a million-dollar home. Depending on where you live, you might be picturing the modest three-bedroom down the street, or you might be thinking of a sprawling mansion. You might even be drawing a blank if you live in a market where million-dollar homes are almost unheard of.  While a home listed for a million dollars might cause just a shrug in some parts of California and New York, million-dollar homes are few and far between once you get more than a couple hours’ drive from an ocean. To see what a million bucks buys across the country, we calculated the share of for-sale listings on Trulia priced at or above $1,000,000 in each of the 100 largest metros, as well as the typical size of homes priced at or near the million-dollar mark, all as of March 3, 2014.


In Most Metros, Million-Dollar Homes Represent Just a Sliver of the Market

Nothing drives home the huge differences in housing costs across the country more than how rare or common million-dollar homes are. Million-dollar homes account for more than 20% of listings in New York, neighboring Fairfield County, CT, and Long Island; in Orange County and Ventura County, on the southern California coast; and in San Francisco and San Jose. In fact, million-dollar homes make up close to half the San Francisco market, at 44%.

# U.S. Metro Share of for-sale listings priced at or above $1,000,000
1 San Francisco, CA


2 Fairfield County, CT


3 San Jose, CA


4 Orange County, CA


5 Ventura County, CA


6 New York, NY-NJ


7 Long Island, NY


8 Honolulu, HI


9 Los Angeles, CA


10 San Diego, CA


For the share of listings priced at or above $1,000,000 in all of the 100 largest metros, click here.

But in 68 of the 100 largest metros, million-dollar homes make up less than 5% of the for-sale market, including the major metros of Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta. Furthermore, million-dollar homes are less than 2% of the market in 44 of the 100 largest metros.

The unevenness in the share of million-dollar listings across the country is much starker than the contrast in median prices. For instance, the median price per square foot is 43% higher in West Palm Beach than in LakelandWinter Haven, FL, but the share of million-dollar homes in West Palm Beach is 23 times as high. Similarly, the median price per square foot for homes in Long Island is 2.5 times higher than in Rochester, NY, but you’re 50 times more likely to find million-dollar homes in Long Island. It’s the extremes, not the medians or averages, which really show how different housing costs are across the country.

A Million Dollars for THAT?

In pricey markets, where million-dollar homes are more common, you’ll need more than a “one” in front of six zeros to buy a mansion. To find out what $1,000,000 gets you in each market, we determined the median size among all homes for sale in the million-dollar range ($900,000 to $1,100,000). The typical million-dollar New York home is less than 1,500 square feet. In New York and in five other metros, the typical million-dollar home is smaller than the median new home built last year nationally across all price points (2,460 square feet, according to the Census).

# U.S. Metro Median size of homes listed at or near $1,000,000 (square feet)
1 New York, NY-NJ


2 San Francisco, CA


3 Honolulu, HI


4 San Jose, CA


5 Miami, FL


6 Los Angeles, CA


7 Oakland, CA


8 Long Island, NY


9 Orange County, CA


10 Providence, RI-MA


For the median size of homes priced at or near $1,000,000 in all of the 100 largest metros, click here.

But in markets where million-dollar homes are especially rare, they’re also especially big. In 64 of the 100 largest metros, the typical million-dollar home is 4,000 square feet or larger. In Toledo and Indianapolis, the median million-dollar home is 7,000 square feet, and in Birmingham, where you get the most bang for your buck, a million dollars gets you a whopping 8,000 square feet.

# U.S. Metro Median size of homes listed for at or near $1,000,000 (square feet)
1 Birmingham, AL


2 Toledo, OH


3 Indianapolis, IN


4 El Paso, TX


5 Columbus, OH


6 Tulsa, OK


7 Colorado Springs, CO


8 Pittsburgh, PA


9 Kansas City, MO-KS


10 Greensboro, NC


For the median size of homes priced at or near $1,000,000 in all of the 100 largest metros, click here.

That means the differences in million-dollar homes across the country are so big, you could actually fit million-dollar properties from New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Miami together inside a million-dollar mansion in Birmingham and still have room to spare – that is, if you couldn’t find any better use for 8,000 square feet.