Monaco

Monaco is the world’s smallest state after the Vatican, (less than 2 km2).

The allure of this Principality nestled on the Mediterranean coast is that it is an independent state with a long history. Apart from the glamorous lifestyle on a temperate and beautiful coast, Monaco is famous for its numerous advantages for investors. In addition to political stability, Monaco offers a stable economic environment. The security of the real estate market and the possibility of personalizing one’s investment, make the Principality of Monaco an ideal place to invest in.

The main attribute of Monaco’s fiscal policies is the total absence of direct taxation for Monegasque residents as there is no income tax, capital gains tax or wealth tax.

In addition, there is no Monegasque estate duty on assets situated outside the Principality. The Monegasque property prices were not significantly affected by the global crisis: hence a safe market. A Monegasque real estate investment could play an interesting role regarding risk reduction. An investor wishing to allocate funds in a low-risk asset could eventually include a Monegasque property in his or her international portfolio.

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In world arenas, people who don’t know Monaco sometimes confuse Monaco and Monte-Carlo as being one and the same. In fact Monaco is the city, and the state, and Monte-Carlo is its best-known district.

Let’s take a few minutes to discover the different parts of the Principality and how they are adjusted to living accommodations. It is also useful to look at the constructed surface area in each “district”, whether this be for residential usage, commercial, public or industrial.

There are seven districts in Monaco:

Fontvieille This is the newest quarter of the Principality, on the western seafront. It was the figment of the late Prince Rainier’s III imagination known as the “Builder Prince”. The Sovereign, realising already in the mid 1960’s that living and working space were becoming too limited in his country, approved a plan by the Italian engineer Gianfranco Gilardini, reclaiming 35 hectares (86 acres) from the Mediterranean Sea. In 1981, the cornerstone of the new quarter was laid by the then Crown Prince Albert (today the Sovereign Prince) and now over 3,600 people live in the area (which is nearly 10% of the total population in Monaco), which also houses the heliport, a modern shopping mall, and several hotels. The port of Fontvieille is not just a place to keep one’s yacht. It is also a pleasant place to have a meal or a refreshment at one of the many bars and restaurants along the waterfront. Fontvieille is, or has been home to a large number of famous residents, due to the contemporary aspect of many of its buildings and easy access to the Heliport, placing Nice or Mandelieu airports just a few minutes away. Fontvieille is a very dynamic area, as it contains a large number of industries, while only 40% of the constructed surface area in Fontvieille is residential, the district does not have an industrial “feel”. It’s true 95% of all of Monaco’s industrial space may be found in Fontvieille, however it must be underlined that there is no heavy industry in Monaco, and what industry is to be found in Fontvielle is non-polluting and highly discreet. A key landmark of Fontvieille is the Stade Louis II sports stadium, home to the Principality’s soccer team, as well as to a number of top level sports events, including the annual Herculis IAAF meeting. Prices of flats located on the harbor of Fontvieille with a sea view can easily reach €50,000 to €80,000 per square metre.
The Condamine district - la condamineThe Condamine district covers the area of Port Hercules. This area is well known for its open air market place and its various typical local restaurants and stores. The Condamine is a tactical location for the yearly world known “Formula 1 Grand Prix” race, as the departure and finish are located at the Harbor. Prices in this district can vary from €30,000 to more than €80,000 per square metre for apartments with terrace providing a great view on the port and Formula One track. This district can be the most attractive place for a person with a lower investment budget. Moreover, Condamine offers different construction styles from the modern to the Bourgeois style.
The Rock, Monaco Ville, le RocherMonaco Ville, otherwise known as “the Rock”, is the old town of Monaco and is the smallest quarter, representing only 4% of the Principality’s surface area, but it houses 15% of Monaco’s constructed surface space. The old town is the rocky headland where, in the 13th century, a fortress was built and later a fortified town. The fortress was seized in 1297 by François Grimaldi and in the following centuries, it developed into what is today the Prince’s Palace, the official residence of Prince Albert II. The old town retains a medieval village feel, made up almost entirely of pedestrian streets. Only local vehicles are allowed in the district, where motorcycles are prohibited after 10pm, ensuring a good night’s sleep for the inhabitants. The old town also houses the Oceanographic Museum, the Monaco Cathedral (containing the remains of Monaco’s late Princes and Princesses), and the St Martin Gardens. It is a highly touristic location throughout the year but a very calm place in the evening. Prices of apartments range from €30,000 to €50,000 per square metre. However, flats with a beautiful view on either side of the rock can reach prices up to €60,000 per square metre. Apartments for sale in this district are rather rare. People who want to invest in Monaco Ville should be patient to find the property of their dreams and should bear in mind that parking spaces are also limited.
Moneghetti / Jardin ExotiqueMoneghetti is located in the north central border of Monaco. This district is close to the French town of Beausoleil, as well as Cap d’Ail in France. This area becomes more and more attractive and recently, several new buildings with high standard amenities have been built; Simona, Monte Carlo View, Oiseau Bleu. Since this district is overlooking the Principality, many apartments enjoy a pleasant view on the port Hercules and the rock. The price per square metre of this district is comparable to that of the Condamine area, although the new buildings have caused a raise in prices. Investors with a lower budget may be interested in the more bourgeois style apartments in this sector.
Monte-CarloMonte-Carlo is the most prestigious district in Monaco and also the quarter that boasts the highest quantity of constructed surfaces (791,000 m2). The most famous area in Monte-Carlo is the “Carré d’Or/Golden Square” which was founded in the middle of the 19th century by Prince Charles III building the Garnier Opera, which is a smaller version of the famous Paris Opera. This district is known for its Palace hotels, its Casino and a concentration of luxurious boutiques like Chanel, Cartier, Hermes, Prada, Gucci, Graff... It is also the district that has the highest concentration of commercial space – amounting to 36% of the Principality’s total. Living in this district means being truly at the heart of things in the Principality, within an easy stroll of the Casino, the Hôtel de Paris, the Café de Paris, the Métropole Shopping Centre and the prestigious boutiques, banks, restaurants and bars of the “Carré d’Or” or “Golden Square” shopping area. In some renowned buildings such as the Mirabeau, the Floralies, the Park Palace, the Sun Tower, or the Monte Carlo Star, the price is reaching €80,000 per square metre. The Monaco Government has recently started to renovate the Hôtel de Paris and will develop several modern architectural buildings hosting offices, luxury boutiques and apartments.
Saint Roman / La RousseThis area is located on the north east side of Monaco, from the Place des Moulins to the Monte Carlo Country Club, north of the Larvotto area. There are several high standing residences, like Villas del Sole, Monte Carlo Sun, Parc Saint Roman, but you can also find 1950’s bourgeois buildings. Tour Odéon is located here, which considerably raises the attractiveness of this area. Prices of property in the Tour Odéon are around €80,000 per square metre, whereas Château Périgord and Parc Saint Roman, are offered around €35,000 per square metre.
LarvottoOn the eastern seaboard of Monaco lies Larvotto, built in the 1960’s, counting only 40 buildings, or 3% of the total number. But these buildings account for more than 8% of the constructed surface of the Principality. The famed Summer Sporting Club, hosting concerts of internationally famous artists, the Grimaldi Forum, the Japanese Gardens, the Méridien Beach Plaza and the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel are all to be found in this quarter. At the very tip of this coastal strip also lies the renowned Beach Hotel neighbouring the Monte Carlo Country Club, which hosts the Rolex Masters, ATP Tennis Tournament. With a relaxed and sophisticated ambiance, the Larvotto area also is home to a great number of famous residents who appreciate the exceptional views out over the sea from the district’s upmarket buildings. This district is mainly composed of modern constructions with relatively high standard buildings. The core inconvenience for the potential investors of an apartment on “Princess Grace Avenue” is the limited number of buildings that are available for sale. The only two apartments that an investor can purchase are “La Reserve” and “21 Princess Grace.” All other properties on the Princess Grace Avenue are only available for rental purposes. All things being equal, an apartment on the port will sell for a much higher price that the one next door if one has a sea view and the other doesn’t. And apartments in the Tour Simona have been rented out at very high prices, despite the fact that the building is not in the centre. So in the end, the quarter is of little importance if you have the right product.

With around 1,500 buildings in Monaco, this represents a total of 3 million square metres. Almost half of all the constructed surfaces are in Monte-Carlo and Fontvieille which also happen to be the biggest districts. 61% of the constructed space in Monaco is residential, 21% is industrial or commercial, and the remaining 18% is for administrative buildings or hotels.