How Much Real Estate Could You Buy for $1 Million?
“There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location”
Those are words from Harold Samuel, a British real-estate mogul from the 1900s. Broadly speaking, it’s a quote that still holds true—property values in the world’s best cities have always been worth a pretty penny.
The scarcity of real estate is driven by trends such as urbanization, which is the migration of people into cities. While the first examples of cities were built thousands of years ago, it was only recently that the majority of the population began to live in them. In fact, the urban population just overtook the rural population for the first time in 2007.
Of course, certain cities simply hold more appeal for wealthy people, and as a result, competition in the prime real estate market can be fierce.
To learn more about the sky-high cost of prime property in cities, this infographic visualizes data from Knight Frank’s Prime International Residential Index (PIRI 100).
What’s a Million Dollars Good For?
The following table lists the number of square feet that you could buy with one million dollars in various cities. We’ve included more cities on this list than in the graphic to create a more comprehensive comparison.
|City||Country||Square feet of prime property for $1 million (USD)|
|Hong Kong||🇨🇳 China||229|
|London||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||329|
|New York||🇺🇸 United States||358|
|Los Angeles||🇺🇸 United States||454|
|Miami||🇺🇸 United States||833|
|Cape Town||🇿🇦 South Africa||2,363|
|São Paulo||🇧🇷 Brazil||2,759|
Monaco, the most expensive city on this list, is incredibly land-constrained with an area of just 0.78 square miles. For context, New York’s Central Park is 1.31 square miles in size.
In second place is Hong Kong, which has become notorious for its difficult real estate market. Just 7% of the city is zoned for residential use, which pushes many of its citizens into sub-100 square feet micro apartments. These housing units offer grim living standards and are often referred to as “coffin homes”.
On the other side of the spectrum, Hong Kong recently set the record for the most expensive home in Asia. A 3,378 square foot penthouse sold for $59 million in 2021, translating to $17,500 per square foot.
What is Prime Real Estate?
You may be wondering what prime real estate is.
Knight Frank defines it as “the most desirable and expensive property in the area, generally defined as the top 5% of the market by value.” This suggests that the prices visualized above are on the upper end of the scale, and that more attainable homes are available.
» If you’re interested in urbanization, consider this infographic which ranks the 20 largest cities in the world.
The Rising Demand for Nature-based Climate Solutions
Carbon credits from nature-based solutions are in high demand as organizations look to shrink their carbon footprints.
The Rising Demand for Nature-based Climate Solutions
The world’s forests are important carbon sinks that absorb a net 7.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) annually.
Therefore, regrowing, preserving, and managing forests and other natural carbon sinks is crucial to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and nature-based climate solutions are one way to do so.
Nature-based solutions refer to conservation, restoration, and land management projects that generate carbon credits by avoiding, reducing or sequestering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With more organizations committing to climate targets, carbon credits from these projects have been in high demand.
The Growth of Nature-based Carbon Credits
With the race to net-zero ramping up, carbon markets have been growing as a whole.
In fact, the value of total transactions in the voluntary carbon markets in 2021 reached nearly $2 billion—more than tripling since 2020. Forestry and Land Use carbon credit projects led the growth, accounting for over 66% or over $1.3 billion worth of transactions in 2021.
Here’s a full breakdown of transaction values by project category:
|Transaction Year||Forestry and Land Use||Renewable Energy||Energy Efficiency / Fuel Switching||Household / Community Devices||Other and Unknown||Total|
Figures have been rounded and may not sum up to the total.
Forestry and Land Use projects manage forests, soil, grasslands, and other land types to avoid or reduce carbon emissions or increase carbon sequestration. These projects generate one carbon credit for every tonne of CO2 equivalent GHGs that they remove or avoid from entering the atmosphere.
At the same time, they may offer co-benefits that can advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals through improvements in biodiversity, soil health, air and water quality, and the livelihoods of local communities.
Therefore, Forestry and Land Use projects have a significant role to play in reaching net zero. In fact, according to research published in the scientific journal Nature, letting forests regrow naturally has the potential to absorb up to 8.9 billion tonnes of CO2 annually through 2050, while still maintaining native grasslands and current food production levels.
Nature’s Role in Reaching Net Zero
For organizations looking to achieve their sustainability goals, nature-based solutions offer an opportunity to preserve and restore critical carbon sinks while supporting biodiversity and local communities. As a result, these types of carbon credits often trade at a premium, and their demand is skyrocketing, especially with more corporations committing to sustainability.
Carbon Streaming aims to accelerate a net-zero future. It pioneered the use of streaming transactions, a proven and flexible funding model, to scale high-integrity carbon credit projects to accelerate global climate action and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It focuses on projects that have a positive impact on the environment, local communities, and biodiversity, in addition to their carbon reduction or removal potential.
>>>Interested in learning more about Carbon Streaming? Click here to learn more.
Visualizing the Forest Funding Gap Relative to Emissions
Deforestation accounts for 10% of global CO2 emissions, yet receives just a small slice of climate funding. See why closing this funding gap is necessary to combat climate change. (Sponsored)
The Forest Funding Gap
Climate change has been referred to as modern day civilization’s greatest challenge. And stopping deforestation is an important step in the battle to stop rising global temperatures. Yet, when you look at the amount of climate funding earmarked for deforestation, something doesn’t add up.
This graphic from The LEAF Coalition looks at the state of global deforestation and compares how much climate funding it receives relative to its global CO2 emissions.
Deforestation’s Role in Global Emissions
Protecting our forests and protecting the climate are one in the same. In fact, the data reveals that tropical deforestation accounts for 10% of global CO2 emissions.
What’s more, these levels of emissions exceed that of all individual countries except for the U.S. and China. Despite this, climate funding towards deforestation only accounts for $14 billion of the over $618 billion available, representing a small 2.2% slice of the total.
This is especially problematic when considering a forest’s carbon stock and carbon sequestration capabilities. Here’s how different forests across the globe compare when looking at gigatonnes of carbon stock.
|Ecosystem||Estimated Carbon Stock (Gt)||Annual Loss Rate|
|Tropical moist forests||295 Gt||0.45%|
|Boreal forests||283 Gt||0.18%|
|Temperate broadleaf forests||133 Gt||0.35%|
|Temperate conifer forests||66 Gt||0.28%|
|Tropical dry forests||14 Gt||0.58%|
A carbon stock or carbon pool refers to a system that can store carbon and take it out of the atmosphere. Forests are used to offset plenty of carbon emissions, and by some estimates, it would cost $25 billion for additional carbon offsets to match and compensate for unabated emissions.
This is crucial because unabated emissions are those who’s harm are not reduced from carbon reduction methods. While this may sound like a lot, it’s equivalent to just 1.5% of the profits from Fortune Global 500 companies.
Altogether, approximately 30% of global emissions are absorbed by forests each year. Despite this, 3.75 million hectares of tropical primary rainforest were lost in 2021, equivalent to 600 football pitches per hour.
Turning The Page
It’s practically impossible to effectively tackle climate change without addressing deforestation. The broader agriculture, forestry and other land use category (which includes deforestation) accounts for 21% of all global CO2 emissions.
Swift action is required in order to slow deforestation and decelerate rising average temperatures. See how The LEAF Coalition, a public-private initiative, is accelerating climate action by providing results-based finance to countries committed to protecting tropical forests.
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