For all it has to boast, London still falls short when it comes to value for money, especially in property terms. After all, house prices in the capital are 14.5 times more than the average Londoner’s wage. And, although you’ve just splurged a cool £1m on a home in the Big Smoke, you’ve probably been rewarded with, say, a one-bedroom apartment akin to this one in Pimlico. Sure, it screams luxury, and the sleek walls are a perfect location to hang your Rothko original, but there’s barely enough room to do your early morning circuit training. As for the outdoor space? Well, you can just about fit a pot of parsley on the windowsill.
So, why not take your cash elsewhere and treat yourself to a palatial-style abode abroad? Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard research. From a 16th-century estate in rural France to an apartment overlooking a lake in Melbourne, these are the places to spend your sterling.
Modern apartment, Berlin, Germany
If you want to head to the German capital, but avant-garde abodes aren’t your thing, then consider this sleek and slick apartment. If you manage to cop a southwards-facing flat, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll have unobstructed vistas of the River Spree, and the rooftop terrace is also an ideal place to host a few friends for drinks. Moreover, if you ever want to leave the vicinity (we’re not sure why you would, quite frankly), then the renowned East Side Gallery is a three-minute walk away.
Price: From £723,148.81 (approx.)
Temperature: Hottest in July (average of 18°C). Coldest in January (-1°C).
Average price of beer: 85p
Art galleries: 90
Modern apartment in Berlin
Farmhouse in Umbria, Italy
Strictly speaking, this property requires you to go slightly over your £1m budget. But, for a stone farmhouse set in a 11.7 hectare greensward in the Umbrian countryside, you’ll loosen your purse strings ever so slightly. Dating back to the 1700s and carefully revamped, this property straddles a fine line between rustic and contemporary, and the backdrop of undulating hills will trump any one of the UK’s cityscapes. If you get tired of the view, then make sure to dip your toe into the solar-heated, salt water swimming pool at the rear of the house.
Temperature: Hottest in July (average of 24°C). Coldest in February (10°C).
Best house feature: Traditional pizza oven
Annual pasta consumption: 24kg per capita
Farmhouse in Umbria
Lakeside apartment in Melbourne, Australia
Considering a move down under? We’ve found the abode for you. Located in the decadent Queens Domain apartment complex lies this stripped-back and contemporary interior. On the private resort-style roof deck you’ll be able to indulge in the sweeping panoramas over Albert Park Lake and Port Phillip Bay, but if things get a bit chilly you can still enjoy the scenery from within your apartment while channelling your inner Massimo Bottura in the Italian-designed kitchen. Moreover, as it’s valued way under £1m, you can spend the remaining cash on kitting the place out with surround speakers, Bang & Olufsen TVs and cocktail carts.
Price: £616,249.59 (approx).
Temperature: Hottest in January (average of 21°C). Coldest in July (10°C).
Average price for lunch: £8.60
Historical sites: 93
Lakeside apartment in Melbourne
An estate in Lectoure, France
Sure, cities are perfect for catering to your every need. But there’s something alluring about owning your own rustic mansion in a peaceful valley. No distractions, no pollution and no chaos. This five-bed, 16th-century estate with its pebbled courtyard, period features and paddock area is a must-buy for those in need of a respite from bustling metropolises. There’s also accommodation for staff, so you can sip on a merlot, write your novel or listen to some vinyls without having to worry about anything else.
Temperature: Hottest in July (average of 20.9°C). Coldest in January (5.4°C).
Locals’ favourite delicacy: Foie gras
Go-to tipple to wash it down: Locally-produced Armagnac
Estate in Lectoure
4-bed mansion in Cape Town, South Africa
Grand and airy, this four-bed beaut in the suburbs of Upper Kenilworth will make you feel like royalty. The imposing columns and gargantuan chocolate-brown double doors create the ideal entrance into this imposing edifice, and the high ceilings, grand cornices and ornate light fixtures give the place a big hit of finesse. Better still, the bedrooms and living quarters open to a veranda and pool – an area perfect to lounge around with a mojito in hand.
Temperature: Hottest in February (average of 23°C). Coldest in June (13°C).
Average price for a meal at a restaurant: £33.48
Entertainment: 49 sports venues, 64 cinemas and 76 museums
4 bedroom mansion in Cape Town
Seaview apartment in Costa del Sol, Spain
Sick of the grim and grey of Blighty? Why not consider this Andalusian apartment which is flooded with natural light. It also overlooks the sea and is just 450 metres from the beach, and accompanying the property is a free, one-year platinum membership to the nearby Double Tree Hilton Hotel where residents can indulge in luxuries such as Michelin-starred dining.
Price: £908,036.91 (approx.)
Temperature: Hottest in August (average of 26°C). Coldest in January (12°C).
Annual sunshine: Over 300 days (it is called Coast of the Sun, after all)
Main attraction: More than 20 Blue Flag beaches
Seaview apartment in Costa del Sol
Still need some property inspiration? Check out West London’s most stylish house