Today, Monaco’s real estate market remains the most exclusive and expensive in the world. The country has limited space for development, so new construction projects are rare and highly coveted. As a result, property values remain extremely high, with some of the most desirable properties selling for tens of millions of euros. The market is subject to unique laws and regulations, including restrictions on foreign ownership and a requirement that all property transactions be conducted through a notary public. Despite these challenges, Monaco remains a highly sought-after destination for wealthy investors and luxury homebuyers from around the world.

The Beginning

The modern era of Monaco’s real estate market began in the mid-19th century, when Prince Charles III decided to transform the country from a fishing village into a glamorous destination for the wealthy elite. He embarked on a massive building program that included the construction of the iconic Casino de Monte-Carlo, as well as luxury hotels, villas, and other high-end properties.

An image of the Monaco Monte Carlo Casino

Casino de Monte Carlo

In the early 20th century, the market continued to grow as the country’s reputation as a playground for the rich and famous grew. The construction of the Monte Carlo Opera House and the opening of the Hôtel de Paris helped to cement Monaco’s status as a world-class destination.

During World War II, the overall economy suffered a setback as the country was occupied by Germany. However, after the war, the market rebounded quickly as the country once again became a hub for international high society.

In the 1960s, the market dramatically changed as underwent a major transformation with the construction of the Fontvieille district. This area was built on reclaimed land and included modern office buildings, luxury apartments, and a marina. This expansion drastically increased the amount of housing available in the Principality.

Fontvieille Monaco

Fontvieille Monaco

Modern times

Monaco’s real estate market has remained robust in the 21st century, with high prices and limited space continuing to make luxury apartments a highly sought-after commodity. The Tour Odéon, a 49-story luxury tower that opened in 2015, quickly became one of the most expensive residential buildings in the world. 

Tour Odéon

Monaco has also become increasingly focused on sustainable development in recent years. The country has launched several green building initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, including the creation of eco-districts, the installation of solar panels on buildings, and strict water and efficiency standards for both new and existing buildings.

The COVID-19 pandemic paired with the country’s strict lockdowns and travel restrictions initially had a negative impact on the market. However, demand for luxury properties has rebounded as buyers seek out safe havens and new investment opportunities. Overall, Monaco’s real estate market remains an important part of the country’s economy and a significant driver of its continued development.

The most recent developments in Monaco are Bayhouse and the new Mareterra development. Mareterra is a new waterfront eco-district in Monaco carving out a new neighborhood in the Larvotto district of Monaco. The Mareterra land extension is expected to be completed by 2025. It will integrate perfectly with Monaco’s shoreline and will be seen as a natural extension of its territory. It will be a beautiful new community of residential, cultural, and recreational spaces that celebrates the spirit and sensations of the Mediterranean.

Mareterra Land Reclamation Project

Bay House is a luxury residential complex located in the exclusive neighborhood of Larvotto in Monaco. It comprises of 56 apartments and five villas. Each three-to six-bedroom residence benefits from generous entertaining space, with floor-to-ceiling windows and south-facing wraparound balconies providing panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. It is attached to Testimonio II, a residential complex that comprises of 348 public housing units in two residential towers at 95 and 100 meters high, the towers are among the tallest residential buildings on the entire Côte d’Azur

Testimonio II / Bayhouse Development

Testimonio II / Bayhouse Development

In conclusion, Monaco’s real estate market is a unique and exclusive market that has been shaped by its limited space for development, unique laws and regulations, and its reputation as a destination for the wealthy elite. From its beginnings in the mid-19th century, Monaco’s real estate market has grown to become one of the most expensive and sought-after in the world, with some properties selling for tens of millions of euros. Despite setbacks in the past such as the impact of World War II and in modern times during the COVID-19 pandemic, the market has remained robust and continues to be a significant driver of Monaco’s continued development. The most recent developments in the country, such as the Mareterra eco-district and the Bay House luxury residential complex, are examples of Monaco’s commitment to sustainable development and its focus on providing high-end, exclusive properties for its wealthy residents and investors.

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