property trends

The Monaco property market is thriving. Island of safety and stability in a troubled world, Monaco continues to attract European customers.

Monaco is a refuge for top sports people. Novak Djokovic and Nico Rosberg have made it their home. © Miells &Partners

Despite the Coronavirus crisis, the Principality’s charm is as strong as ever. “In an uncertain international situation, investors are well aware of Monaco’s advantages: political stability, security and a safe health situation. The Principality also offers a congenial fiscal climate,” says Michel Dotta, chairman of the real estate board. Monaco is still one of the world’s five most expensive capitals. “The price per square metre can be the same in Monte-Carlo as on 5th Avenue in New York or Avenue Montaigne in Paris, but the taxes are not!” says Jean-Yves le Graverend, director of John Taylor Monaco, with a smile. Investing in real estate in the Principality is an excellent bet. “Since 1973, property prices have increased incrementally every three or four years, almost doubling every 10 years,” adds Michel Dotta. Monaco’s property market has quickly absorbed the impacts of oil crises and economic slumps, including the 2008 subprime crisis. “After the shift to the euro, prices in francs quickly multiplied by six,” points out Lucien Mostacci, director of the Miells & Partners agency.

71% hike in 10 years

One of the new luxury developments is the 26 Carré d’Or building. © Francis Amiand

Over the past 10 years, the average price per m2, across all districts, has risen by a dizzying 71%, from €28,000 to 48,000*. And new buildings like the Tour Odéon, Petite Afrique, 26 Carré d’Or and L’Exotique are way above that figure. “In 2025 we can probably expect €100,000 per m2 for buildings on the new offshore extension,” says Michel Dotta. “With L’Exotique, everything was sold from plan, in six months, at €30,000 to 45,000 per m2. We’re seeing gains of around 25% on resale just a few months after purchase,” explains Jean-Sébastien Fiorucci, director of the Golden Square agency. That operation, on the western edge of Monaco, illustrates current trends in new buildings in Monaco: spacious homes, a panoramic view looking down on the Rock, a collective swimming pool, spa, gym and, for the penthouse, a 300m2 terrace. “The fashion is for size,” says Michel Dotta. Taking into account the ageing offerings of the older housing stock, each new building in Monaco is awaited with baited breath. Lucien Mostacci remembers with amusement that “Back in 1979, there were people sleeping outside the sales office of the future Monte Carlo Sun in the Carré d’Or. They wanted to be the first to invest there.”

European buyers
Monaco is known as the chosen home of tennis champs like world N° 1 Novak Djokovic and Formula 1 drivers like Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Monaco-born Charles Leclerc. Today, says Michel Dotta, the customers buying pieds-à-terre in the Principality are “95%

The new build developments are going for size. © Milena

from Napoleonic Europe”: English, French, Italian, German and Russian. Some agencies like Miells & Partners have played their wild card: negotiators whose job is to handle East European business. Agents are seeing another trend too: “There has been a Brexit effect, and a Covid effect, with UK residents coming because they fear an explosion of fiscal and social pressure back home.” “People who buy property here already have three or four homes, like a villa nearby in Mougins or Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, another in the Caribbean (Moustique or Saint-Bart) and a flat in London, the most cosmopolitan of capitals,” says Michel Dotta. They are high net worth people who make quick decisions: “The biggest deals are the fastest,” reckons Jean-Sébastien Fiorucci, who recently signed a billion-euro property search mandate.* Source: IMSEE, Observatoire de l’Immobilier 2019, p. 20 – average price per square metre between 2010 and 2019.

* Source: IMSEE, Observatoire de l’Immobilier 2019, p. 20 – average price per square metre between 2010 and 2019.

Between sea and land

Monaco has recovered 25% of its territory from the Mediterranean Sea. The new eco-district Mareterra is already attracting buyers.

This new eco-quarter will notably accommodate 60,000m2 of exceptional housing, an extension to the Grimaldi Forum, a 1-hectare wooded park, and a marina with some 15 berths. © Lightfield

The properties on the new extension into the Monegasque sea are popular. Even before delivery of the Mareterra district at the end of 2024. No surprise according to Michel Dotta: “Mareterra will be a truly green coastal district, quiet, with no cars at all. Six flat hectares in an amphitheatre-shape Principality… The Promenade Prince Jacques, running along the coastline from the new port to the Grimaldi Forum, is intended to be a paradise for joggers and walkers. It’s the embodiment of the Monaco way of life, with its small marina surrounded by restaurants and shops…”, enthuses the President of the Chambre Immobilière de Monaco.
Designed by Valode and Pistre, Michel Desvigne and Renzo Piano, among the world’s greatest architects, this future 6-hectare district offers a hundred or so large units — the smallest apartment measures approximately 400m² — with finishes designed to meet international standards of excellence. The great advantage is that each apartment has a sea view and a guarantee to keep it for many years to come… Among the properties on offer for sale in recent months are a dozen 1,500-2,500m2 villas. “In Monaco, there’s no equivalent. These properties with their feet in the water are attracting new investors. We could see some of the great European industrial families among the future Mareterrians”, believes one agent. Mareterra has appeared on the Monegasque map since October 2020.

Prices per m2 in Monaco

Each district of the Principality has its particularities. Let’s look are prices per m2 district by district.
Monte-Carlo: the must-have

These buildings on Boulevard de Belgique in the Carré d’Or have magnificent views of the harbour. © Miels&Partners

This is undeniably the most prestigious part of Monaco. Monte-Carlo and its Carré d’Or are where buyers most want to live. “It’s lively, not far from the sea, and it’s the dream of everyone who enjoys shopping,” says Emmanuelle Roussel, director of Revimmo. With its luxury stores, restaurants, casinos and high-end residential buildings (notably Les Floralies, Park Palace, Mirabeau and Petite Afrique) between Boulevard de Suisse and Avenue de Grande Bretagne and as far as Place des Moulins, it’s costlier than ever. “Eighty per cent of the market is between €50,000 and €70,000/m2, with peaks of €100,000/m2. Sometimes you may find the cheapest and the most expensive in one building, between the penthouse and the ground floor with no view,” says Jean-Yves Le Graverend at the John Taylor agency. “It’s often bespoke, haute-couture properties,” says Michel Dotta.
To find something a little cheaper (€40,000/m2), you need to look around Rue des Roses or Rue des Géraniums, or on the border between Monaco and France. The pattern is the same with rentals: you can find a studio for €2000 a month but when you get near the Carré d’Or rents soar to €2800 straight away.

On the exotic side

Villa Ispahan is one of the lovely villas that draw the eye on Boulevard du Jardin Exotique.

Further from the centre of Monaco, the Moneghetti and Jardin Exotique districts attract customers looking for quiet and glad to be near the Princess Antoinette park (ideal playground for children) and the Théâtre des Muses. “Buying a property in this district means more space than in the Carré d’Or, at less cost. Some apartments have views overlooking the Rock, Fontvieille and the sea,” says Michel Dotta. Prices range between €30,000 and €35,000/m2 for apartments built in the 1950s. For a building with a good view, like Monte-Carlo View or Garden House, they quickly rise to €45,000 or even €50,000.

The neighbourhood features the New National Museum of Monaco. © nmnm-sidney-guillemin-2014

Some buildings are still much in demand, like Eden Tower for its wide open view and Les Ligures for its pool and tennis court.
On the rentals side, “rents are between €600 and €900/m2 per year,” says Jean-Yves Le Graverend at John Taylor. With peaks for high-luxury blocks like Tour Simona.

Fontvieille: more space
This district, a mix of residential and functional buildings, is attracting more and more buyers. “A lot of British and Americans go for Fontvieille,” says Lucien Mostacci, director of Miells & Partners. “They like this district, build on land reclaimed from the sea in the 1970s, for its quiet, its spacious luxury apartments and its little marina with restaurants and English pubs around it.” Sporty types and families also like to be near Marquet beach, the Louis II stadium and the Cap d’Ail tennis club. And being near the heliport is a major asset for business people.

Heliport, luxury residential and a marina: Fontvieille, built out onto the sea, is attracting buyers.

To buy, prices range between €40,000 and €55,000/m2. Modern blocks with high-end amenities like the Seaside, the Plaza and the Terrasses (pool, spa, gym and caretaker) come close to €60,000/m2 for the upper floors.
On the rentals market, you can find a large studio flat for €2000 a month in Fontvieille or a two-room flat for €4000.

Monaco-Ville: village atmosphere

Monaco Ville is much appreciated for its quietness. © Miels&Partners

It’s a proper little village with pretty, colourful houses. Monaco-Ville is also where the Prince’s palace and Monaco’s main institutions are located. It’s the Principality’s high-security power centre. And buyers love it. “The British, Americans and Russians are very keen to buy here. It’s a pedestrian area, less noisy and less polluted, where their children can safely come and go on foot,” explains Alain Chantelor, negotiator at Roc Agency, who says prices have practically doubled in ten years. They are now €30,000 to €35,000 per m2 in the narrow streets and €40,000 to €60,000 per m2 for properties on the hilltop. “Near the gardens and ramparts, it’s scarcity that drives prices up”.
Although many of the district’s venerable buildings have no lift or car park, there are a few gems, “some very fine apartments whose owners have completely renovated them. Some have put in an inside lift.” One fully-furnished 220m2 house is currently to let for €20,000 a month.

Condamine: authentic charm 
The historic Condamine district is accessible, friendly and always much sought-after. It features unpretentious places like the Place d’Armes market and Rue Caroline with its Belle Epoque façades. Other assets for this authentic neighbourhood are its many shops, bars and restaurants, and its schools. Notably the International University in the audaciously-designed Stella building.Of course it’s the Condamine seafront that’s most highly prized.

La Condamine, the shopping district at the foot of the Rock, is famous as the starting point for Monaco’s F1 Grand Prix. © Miels&Partners

“The harbour front buildings have direct views of the start and finish of the Formula 1 Grand Prix. There are splendid buildings like Ermanno Palace, ShangriLa and the Palais Heraclès,” says Emmanuelle Roussel at Revimmo. On the upper floors, prices can reach €60,000/m2, but most flats go for €35,000 to €40,000/m2. For rentals, you can find a two-room flat for €2500 a month and a three-room for €4000 a month.

La Rousse: big changes
The La Rousse neighbourhood already boasts the tallest building in Monaco, and one of the costliest: Tour Odéon. Apartments in this 170m, 49-storey dual skyscraper are selling for €20 to 50 million for the sake of their top-notch amenities The 3500m2 penthouse, with infinity pool and water slide, has long been reckoned the world’s most expensive apartment.

The Testimonio development will include the prestige homes of Bay House (54 luxury apartments and five sumptuous villas) as well as Monaco’s new Intenrational School with capacity for 500 students.

Two building projects now under way should appeal to families. Bay House, located between Boulevard d’Italie and Avenue Princesse Grace, will have 54 private apartments (250 to 1000m2) and five luxurious villas, each with garden-terrace and pool. Scheduled for delivery in 2024, these homes are part of the Testimonio II development, which will also include the international school. Mona Résidence is an original architectural project designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte for the Michel Pastor group. Also involved are landscaper Jean Mus, designer Ora-ïto and artist Daniel Buren. The project includes indoor and outdoor pools, a cinema and children’s areas. “The rents will be €800 to €1200 a year per m2,” says Jean-Yves Le Graverend at John Taylor. “Some older buildings in the district are still greatly appreciated: Château Périgord with its amazing view, Parc Saint-Roman and Monte-Carlo Sun,” says Lucien Mostacci at Miells & Partners. Price per m2: €40,000 to €60,000 depending which storey.

Larvotto: highly prized
Residents of Larvotto have direct access to the beach, with restaurants and the Japanese garden, Jimmy’z and the Sporting d’eté nearby. There are very few properties for sale on the seafront (Avenue Princesse Grace) – only at number 21 and La Réserve (between €50,000 and 80,000/m2 depending which storey).
The other seafront blocks, built by the Pastor family, have rentals. For these, “90% of the market is between €800 and 1200/m2 per year,” says John Le Graverend at John Taylor. To buy, you have to look for something close to Boulevard du Larvotto, where prices are lower. Larvotto is going to see its fortunes rise still further with the current renovation of Promenade du Larvotto and the new extension being reclaimed from the sea.

One Monte-Carlo tops the charts

One Monte-Carlo, the Monaco city centre mall designed by Richard Rogers, 
attracts customers seeking the truly exceptional

Richard Rogers designed the exterior of One Monte Carlo. © Milena

It’s one of the build-to-let successes of the year. The sleek, harmonious lines of the complex designed by world-famous architect Richard Rogers are pitch perfect. As is the luxury-yacht-style woodwork in the indoor areas, by the talented interior designer Bruno Moinard. The 37 apartments at One Monte-Carlo have been on the rental market since 2018; almost all tenants are European, and some are business people who have also installed their companies in the office building next to the apartment block. 
One Monte-Carlo (the name takes its cue from One Hyde Park in London) owes its success to several factors. The address of course (Ah, to live at number 1, Place du Casino, with a view of the gardens!), but also plenty of space (the flats average more than 300m2) and high ceilings (over 3m, which is rare in new buildings). “Space is a real luxury in Monaco now. We’ve focused on indoor space because our residents, who own outstanding properties
elsewhere, are used to living in places that top the 1000m2 mark. The big triplex apartments, at prices based on the Sporting’s highly exclusive villas, have private pools on the roof,” says Valérie Petit, projects and lettings manager at Société des Bains de Mer.

The apartments look out over Place du Casino. © Milena Radoman

And there’s more. “All rooms have daylight. There are no windowless rooms. Apartments can be furnished if the tenant so desires. Every property is let with curtains, net curtains and slatted blinds, and all residents gets free subscriptions to the Thermes Marins.” Hotel services include cleaning, valet parking and room service (with a choice between the Hôtel de Paris and Mada One menus). Another asset that persuades people to sign the lease (two years minimum) is the Monte-Carlo Shopping promenade and its 50 exclusive brand-name stores. “One thing never varies: the gentleman visits, but it’s always the lady who decides, whatever their culture.”

Niche business
For Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, residential property is a niche business, with over 70 rental properties altogether. The group started out in 2005 in Larvotto with the Résidence du Sporting, Monte-Carlo Bay’s luxury multi-storey block. It’s all rentals: 24 furnished apartments ranging from 70m2 studios to 380m2 apartments, priced from €10,000 a month. Residents can enjoy the hotel’s spa and lagoon. One of the group’s most remarkable lets is the 1800m2 penthouse with private pool at the Balmoral. That building, in the Carré d’Or, offers seven big apartments, all at least 250m2, from €50,000 a month.

La Vigie is one of the finest Belle Epoque residences on the Riviera.

Villa La Vigie, “our dowager”
La Vigie, built in 1902, is considered one of the Riviera’s finest Belle Époque houses. Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld lived there for ten years. “He redecorated it beautifully. The elegant trompe l’œil he had made in the hallway is still there to be admired,” says Christelle André, deputy manager of SBM’s Hotels, Spas and Resorts operations. Since 2000, after restoration, the villa is rented out, complete with hotel services including live-in personal housekeeper and butler, from €55,000 a week off season. “We transform it however the customer wishes – into a museum, a private home or a venue for a christening, wedding or VIP event during the Grand Prix. Recently it was used as a film set.”

 Dossier réalisé par Milena Radoman