In the heart of Europe, nestled at the foot of the Southern Alps and bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, is a luxurious destination so tiny that it could fit into New York’s Central Park – Monaco, where a third of the population is made up of millionaires.
If you’re looking for a spot to spend some extra millions, Monaco might just be the destination of your dreams. With security, privacy and favourable tax laws (no income or personal gains taxes) this has been a destination favoured by those with a high net worth and an even higher need to escape the public eye. Warm summers are ideal for yachting enthusiasts and those wanting to laze on the beautiful beaches surrounded by topaz water, whilst winter means access to cosy ski resorts only a two-hour drive away. And that’s not all Monaco has to offer. Steeped in rich history and stunning architecture, Monaco is also home to the Formula One Grand Prix and the famous de Monte-Carlo Casino. Not hard to see why it has been a playground for the rich and famous since the mid-19th century.
As for the culture and people of Monaco, it’s a smorgasbord of the wealthy, tanned and beautiful. Monaco boasts about 37 800 residents, which comprises of around 125 different nationalities. Although the official language is French, Monégasque is the national language and both English and Italian are widely used. Monaco is run by a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as Head of State. The House of Grimaldi has ruled over Monaco with only brief interruptions, as far back as 1297!
If you’re looking to buy property, the good news is that there are no real restrictions on international property buyers and a new law was introduced to cut purchase closing costs by 40%. The bad news is that land is limited in this highly sought-after, tiny city-state and bargains are next to none.
Monaco is divided into four very different districts – Monaco-Ville (the old city), La Condamine (port quarter), Monte-Carlo (business and recreation), and Fontvieille (recreation and light industry).
The question is: what can you look at spending on a stylish home in Monaco? Well, costs depend on which district you are buying in. A penthouse in Carre d’Or, Monte Carlo, which overlooks Larvotto Beach, can fetch up to nine figures – amongst the world’s most expensive properties. A one-bedroom apartment in the garden of the casino, with a harbour view, would probably cost about $7 million, whilst a studio apartment in the Saint Roman district, near the beach, would cost about $3 million. Another sought after area is Fontvieille, a manmade waterfront constructed after Italian Engineer Gianfranco Gilardini’s design. Fontvieille boasts sports facilities, a heliport, a marina and restaurants. It was designed and created in order to combat the chronic land shortage and is one of the newest developments in Monaco. The quarter of La Condamine on the other hand, is still one of the oldest and boasts Port Hercules, Monaco’s only deep-water harbour. At any point you’ll find Port Hercules sporting an impressive collection of mega yachts.
Whatever your choice, in Monaco, it is all about location, location, location.
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