bron : nytimes.com
In the quiet, residential Jardin Exotique or Exotic Garden district in the southwestern corner of the principality, this recently renovated one-bedroom apartment is on the 11th floor of a modern-looking 21-story condominium. Built in 1978, Les Ligures, as the concrete high-rise with 200 apartments is known, has 24-hour concierge service, a swimming pool, a tennis court, a fitness center, gardens, parking and a cellar. The building is undergoing facade renovations, which are scheduled to be finished July 31, said Irene Luke, a partner with Savills Monaco, which has the listing.
The 800-square-foot unit has wood floors and walls of glass opening onto a 150-square-foot terrace accessible from the living room, kitchen and bedroom. The light-filled apartment overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and Le Rocher, the rocky promontory that is the site of the ruling Grimaldi family’s palace.
A small foyer leads to a combination living and dining room with built-in wood cabinetry hiding a Murphy bed to one side. A partition wall, painted gray, separates the bedroom. Built-in cabinetry surrounds the bed.
The kitchen has white cabinetry with matching Corian countertops and Miele appliances. A glass partition divides the bedroom from a free-standing, contemporary bathtub and a double vanity. The toilet and a sink are in a small room off the hallway.
Designed by Steven Beunens of S. B. Interieur, based in Belgium, the apartment is “particularly nicely renovated,” Ms. Luke said.
Though not included in the asking price, the furniture and artwork are negotiable. The dining room chairs are leather with walnut legs. The dining room table is tempered glass on a dark oak base. The apartment is within easy walking distance of a public school. The area of Monte Carlo, the hub of this 499-acre cosmopolitan principality with about 37,800 residents, is a five-minute drive.
Bordered on three sides by France and on the fourth by the Mediterranean, Monaco is known for its yacht-filled harbor, a Belle Epoque casino, an ornate opera house, luxurious hotels, designer boutiques, nightclubs and highly regarded French and Italian restaurants. The Nice – Côte d’Azur international airport is a 30-minute drive. Ski resorts in the Alps are an hour away by car.
Though transactions slowed to a trickle during the global economic downturn in 2008 and 2009, prices in Monaco “didn’t plummet the way they did in other parts of the world,” Ms. Luke said. “There was a bit of a hiatus” instead, as most owners didn’t need to sell. Last year there were 555 residential resales, 21 percent more than in 2007, according to a 2015 residential market report by Savills.
Between 2013 and 2014, prices for apartments and houses rose an average of 17 percent. Ultraluxury property in Monaco costs $9,000 per square foot, the report said. But because of a drop in the euro, this year Monaco slipped to the second most expensive housing market in the world, after Hong Kong.
Monica de Champfleury, managing director of Hammer Draff Great Properties, a Christie’s affiliate, said studios without a sea view start at one million euros, or about $1.1 million; with a view the price can go as high as 3.5 million euros, or about $3.9 million. Four-to-five-bedroom apartments sell from 12 million euros to 60 million euros, or about $13.3 million to $67 million, depending on the size of the unit and the quality of the view. Demand exceeds supply. In the coveted Golden Square district in the heart of Monaco near the casino, only about 10 apartments are for sale.
“The request is stronger than the offer, and the inventory is extremely low,” Ms. de Champfleury said. With land and space tight, pricey new residential buildings geared to the global rich are replacing older houses, said Sergey Sander, a Monaco-based director of Leading Properties of the World. At 49 stories, the tallest is the 70-unit Tour Odeon, expected to be completed this summer.
Deborah Dwek, an owner of C.I.C. Immobilier Monte-Carlo Sotheby’s International Realty, said new apartments tend to be larger with high ceilings and more amenities, such as concierge and valet services, gyms, markets and salons.
WHO BUYS IN MONACO
With residents from about 125 nations, Monaco is “much more of a mixed bag than it had ever been,” Ms. Luke said, and “very diverse.” Deep-pocketed buyers come from Italy, Eastern Europe, Britain, South Africa, Australia, Scandinavia, Switzerland, the Middle East and Asia.
Ms. de Champfleury said that people were drawn to Monaco not only for its status as a tax haven, “but more and more, for the high-security aspect of the principality, the very stable economy and the good schools and the good weather conditions.” Increasingly, she said, “people come with their whole families.”
One in three people in Monaco are “fiscally privileged” millionaires, Ms. Luke said, many with homes in more than one country. While Monaco used to be a magnet for wealthy retirees, “it is becoming a hub in Europe for people who are still active in business.”
Only a “notaire,” or notary, can handle real estate transactions in Monaco, Ms. Luke said. Bank financing for 50 percent to 100 percent of the purchase price is available, Mr. Sander said, though many buyers pay cash.
Those who wish to reside in Monaco must have a local bank account and provide certification that they have sufficient funds to live without state assistance, Mr. Sander added.
First-time residents staying for more than three months need a temporary residency permit, available for 10 euros; those who have lived in Monaco for at least three years need an “ordinary permit” for a three-month minimum annual stay; the fee is 15 euros. After 10 years, a “privileged permit” valid for 10 years can be obtained for 30 euros. It requires that the applicant reside in Monaco six months each year.