Entrepreneurs and Premiership footballers have traditionally colonised the areas around Manchester, producing a market for "super-rich" homes with a high bling-factor. Manchester itself is no stranger to the seven-figure designer pad, and the same price tag is now buying you less than ever out in the sticks. This four-bedroomed penthouse forms part of Mere Hall, a listed Regency building with beautifully landscaped communal grounds. Two receptions and three bathrooms complete the package.
Jackson-Stops & Staff (01625 540340; www.jackson-stops.co.uk)
Why buy one property when you can get five? Cornwall's tourist industry has been rediscovered by the middle classes in recent years, with no end of celebs waxing on about the joys of Rock, Newquay and Fowey. House prices have shifted accordingly, with traditional cottages and farmhouses leading the charge. Still, it remains a corner of Britain where a million pounds still buys something seriously substantial. Nestled in Ladock, near Truro, with grounds of 2.5 acres, this four-bedroom stone farmhouse, complete with a range of converted barns, can provide four separate holiday cottages.
DR Kivell (01822 810810; www.drkivellandpartners.co.uk)
Location will always be the deciding factor. Elegant centres such as York, Bath and Edinburgh punch well above the national price average, and buyers looking for a slice of urban sophistication will always be prepared to part with more of their cash. York's cobbled streets are littered with stunning period gems, like this six-bedroom Victorian town house. Overlooking Bootham Park, it has three receptions, two bathrooms, and a self-contained flat, as well as a walled garden and that prized parking space.
Jackson-Stops & Staff (01904 625033; www.jackson-stops.co.uk)
Gone are the days when you could sell your one-bedroom flat in Fulham and buy a dramatic pile in Wales. Despite having some of the UK's cheapest homes, rural properties are in high demand over the border. Find something with charm and space not far from a market town, and your money won't stretch as far as you thought. This stone-and-slate, six-bedroom Georgian farmhouse in Mold, complete with 120 acres and equestrian facilities, is still the stuff of property dreams, though. And considerably more substantial than that penthouse in Kent.
Savills (01244 323232; www.savills.co.uk)
It has been some time since the seven-figure home pulled serious wow-factor in London. Smaller and smaller pads are now commanding million-pound asking prices, and many decent family homes fall into this category. Location is key – just being within spitting distance of a decent postcode can up the price. This three-bedroomed Victorian house in Ripplevale Grove, London N1, is well placed, near the centre of Islington and, charming though it is, you don't get much more than a tennis-court-sized footprint for your money.
Carlton (020-7359 0000; www.carltonestateagents.co.uk)
The stockbroker belt keeps on expanding, and prices are pushing ever higher, following the soar in prices in London. Families on the hunt for decent schools, shops and train links arrive in towns such as Tunbridge Wells, in Kent, where faux-Georgian mansions are springing up. But it's not just those seeking gravel driveways that end up in these parts. With views over the town, this three-bedroomed penthouse is specced to impress, with mood lighting, wraparound balcony, and gadgets such as plasma screens and Miele coffee-makers included.
Savills (01892 507000; www.savills.co.uk)
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