How Monaco Lures Seekers of the Luxury Lifestyle
By: Judith Isacoff
Situated on the stunning Côte d’Azur, between France and the Mediterranean, and a stone’s throw from Italy, Monaco is both home and haven for high-net-worth individuals.
The tiny principality, whose 39,000 residents occupy what is described as the safest square mile in Europe, leads the ranking of countries with the highest average wealth per capita—about $2.1 million, according to the most recent AfrAsia Bank Global Wealth Migration Review.
With its prime location, luxury lifestyle, and favorable tax system—that is, no personal income tax or capital gains tax—it’s easy to understand why so many high-net-worth individuals choose to live in the nation-state with the highest standard of living in the world.
Monaco’s appeal—evoked in dozens of Hollywood films, including Ocean’s Twelve, Iron Man 2, and GoldenEye—extends from its pristine beaches to its glamorous and storied Monte-Carlo Casino. The principality hosts the famous Formula One Grand Prix and the Monaco Yacht Show—the world’s premier superyacht exhibition, featuring 100 superyachts.
Monaco is also home to internationally recognized restaurants, including the three Michelin-starred Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse inside the grand Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. There are also five-star spas, haute couture shopping, a historic opera house, and marinas reserved for magnificent megayachts.
Luxe residences, whether on the waterfront or in elegant, centrally located high-rises, keep the principality at the top of the list as the most expensive location to buy residential property worldwide, with an average price per square meter of more than €47,000 ($54,000), according to Savills, one of the world’s leading property agents.
“Within Monaco itself, the district of Monte Carlo is more expensive still with an average price of €53,000 euros per square metre,” Savills reports.
Sales figures for the third quarter of 2021 show that despite continued disruption globally due to the pandemic, Monaco’s “property market clocked up 303 re-sales (i.e. sales of properties over 5 years old) in that quarter, up almost 10 percent on the same quarter in 2020. And 12 sales of new properties, as compared with 11 in the same period in 2020,” Savills reported on January 5th.
The epitome of Monaco luxury real estate is the 35,000-square-foot “sky penthouse” at the Tour Odéon, listed as the most expensive penthouse in the world and priced at around $387 million. The five-story residence with 360-degree views literally towers over the principality atop Monaco’s tallest building. Among its opulent amenities are two rooftop pools connected by a waterslide; an outside bar and dance floor; a private cinema; and a staff that includes a personal chef, caterer, chauffeur, and 24-hour concierge.
Chief among other top-of-the-list properties are residences in the new eco-district Mareterra, designed by award-winning architects Renzo Piano, Denis Valode, and Michel Desvigne. Formerly known as ”Portier Cove Monaco,” Mareterra is part of a massive $2.4 billion land reclamation project that artfully extends the coast of the principality, maintaining the integrity of marine life along its shores. When the project is completed in 2025, the elevated waterfront apartments will allow pedestrians unobstructed views of the sea and will be enhanced by lush gardens and open, recreational green spaces.
Two wave-inspired waterfront towers, comprising 348 residences, are scheduled to open in 2024 in the lively Larvotto district. Testimonio II, designed by Alexandre Giraldi—the same architect who designed the Tour Odéon—will also include 56 large Bay House apartments and five stunning villas with private roof gardens and pools.
In the heart of Monte-Carlo, just a short distance from the palm tree-lined esplanade of Casino Square, the reimagined Villa Palazzino offers luxury condominiums with patios and private gardens, among other amenities.
A sought-after address in the principality’s northwest, L’Exotique Monaco in the Jardin Exotique district, features French architect Rudy Ricciotti’s inspirations from nature. These luxury residences are notable for their hanging gardens, lush tropical foliage, and broad terraces facing the Mediterranean Sea. Available residences are priced from €1.93 million (US$2.15 million).
With its luxury condominiums, moderate Mediterranean climate, high level of security, including 24-hour video surveillance throughout the principality, significant financial advantages, and singular commitment to sustainability, it’s easy to see why Monaco is one of the most popular places to live luxuriously in the world.