Monaco experienced a surge in residential market activity last year, with transaction volumes exceeding their 2007 peak for the first time. In total, 555 residential properties traded in the resale market in 2014, putting the number of deals 21% above 2007 levels.
The number of residential sales exceeded their 2007 peak for the first time in 2014.
FIGURE 4Resale transaction volumes exceed 2007 peak
The very upper tiers of the market have been the most liquid, and as a consequence transactions in euro terms reached new records. Some €2bn of property traded in the resale market in 2014, compared to the previous peak of €1.1bn in 2008, an increase of 91%.
While total sales volumes by both number and value have reached new highs, average prices have remained static. This, set against a weak euro has made Monaco property look cheaper to some foreign buyer groups, particularly those with US dollars.
A €2m property cost US dollar buyers $2.16m in April 2015, compared to $2.77m in April 2014, a reduction of 22% in a year. The same €2m property to a British sterling buyer cost £1.44m in April 2015, compared to £1.65m a year prior, a reduction of 12%.
Investors have been active in the €1-10m bracket, seeking easy to manage properties to feed into the rental market. Monaco benefits from a range of end users, and second home purchasers and those seeking primary residences in the super-prime segment have been active too.
Monaco is unusual in that almost all of its residential stock could be considered ‘prime’. The ‘mainstream’ housing stock, in which many of its workers live is found in bordering French towns. Given Monaco’s restricted space, 95% of its housing stock is in the form of apartments, with villas making up the balance.
The Principality has a large rental sector, much of it institutionally owned and let to Monégasque residents. In the ultra-prime sales market British, Russian, Middle Eastern buyers have been especially active in the last year.
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FIGURE 5Monaco district by district: Seven key districts with distinct residential characteristics
Source: Savills World Research
Monaco’s ultra-prime residential markets are focused in Monte Carlo, around the famous Place du Casino. The most desirable area is Carre D’Or, followed by neighbouring Fontvieille, which also offers a variety of commercial uses. Sought-after buildings can be found throughout the principality, with the majority of new ultra-prime schemes developed in outer districts due to limited land availability in the ultra-prime core.