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by Zsolt Szemerszky

Zsolt Szemerszky

Monaco’s real estate scenery

Monaco’s real estate scenery

Let’s summarise Monaco again briefly. The Principality of Monaco is an independent sovereign state located in the south-east of France, close to the Italian border. Its great location and exceptional climate makes Monaco a highly comfortable place to live throughout the year. Winter is mild and summer is very sunny.

The Principality of Monaco is surrounded by nature, on one side you have the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, and on the other side, the mountains with their vibrant green vegetation.

Monaco offers a balanced lifestyle; one can walk around and discover the amazing tiny old streets of Monaco-Ville, and then venture to the other side of Monaco to experience the excellent luxury buildings including the fabulous Tour Odeon housing the most expensive apartment in the world.

Source: Institut Monégasque de la Statistique et des Études Économiques

The traditional language of the Principality is Monegù and the official language is French, although Italian and English are spoken by a large number of people. Monaco benefits from an international environment with more than 139 nationalities for a total population of only 39,000 inhabitants. The territory of Monaco covers only 1.98 km2, of which 20% were reclaimed from the sea.

It may seem easy to understand Monaco by numbers and facts, however, its real estate market is much more difficult and the demand is extremely diversified.

When I first arrived to the Principality of Monaco back in 2010, I heard many rumours about the condition of the apartments. Some of the residents complained about the old pipes and electricity systems. Even if this seemed quite obvious to me since Monaco is full of old, historical constructions, I could not really adjust these complaints with the image of the Principality.

Talking a lot with my great friend, a real estate agency owner, I realised that Monaco spends incredible amounts for the reconstructions and renovations. I also got to know that many of the “bad” locations have already been renovated during the past years. Therefore, it is always important to see the past and the future city development plans before you accept any opinions or rumours. To do that, one of the best starting points is the environment and urban development project, which is a special role of the Ministry and its departments.

In order to make a proper real estate decision/investment in the Principality of Monaco, it is always good to understand the characteristics of the different districts and to take a short visit to get a glimpse of their feelings.

Because no matter what some people say, the real estate market is booming in Monaco. 2018 was an exceptionally good year too. Just to give you a brief insight, approximately 2.7 billion euros were exchanged on real estate transactions in 2018. The number of transactions was +11% in existing apartments, and there was a record number of sales for new apartments.

In 2018, prices have been up +18.1% on average from 2017. Mean value in Monaco is now 48,799 Euro per square meter, which is a new record; this is almost two times the average price of 2009.

Regarding areas, Monte Carlo is still the place to be combined with La Rousse, these two areas represent 60% of the number of transactions completed and 66% approximately of the amount exchanged. Prices have been up everywhere except Larvotto. There is a large gap between the Monte Carlo average of 56,000 Euro per sq. meter and the less expensive Moneghetti at 36,000 Euro per sq. meter.

In the new property market, mostly one bedrooms have been sold. In the resale market, we have seen a decrease in studios transactions due to tighter restrictions on residence card applications regarding minimum living spaces. One, two and three bedrooms have been sold more than the previous year.

Many renovations by property developers are currently underway, providing better quality or upgraded properties in the market. New projects such as the sea extension will be a good advertisement for Monaco and will provide modern, high-grade residences.

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