Monaco has long been known as one of the great tax havens along the French Riviera, and this trend is only continuing to grow as this principality is experiencing a boom in luxury housing that includes the priciest penthouse on the planet. Developers are banking on the influx of millionaires and billionaires into the country not slacking any time soon.
As other countries change their laws about banking privacy, Monaco remains a place where account holders can remain anonymous, and the high tax rates in other countries simply do not apply.
Do you have money to burn?
The British government has recently instituted a special tax for luxury residences, and the American government has led a worldwide effort to find hidden assets, making Monaco all the more attractive. Of the 38,000 people who live in Monaco, a third are millionaires (or more). Icon Property, a Monaco-based firm, estimates that home values will jump by at least 20% between now and June 2015. This would restore the values of Monaco's real estate market back to their peak, which they had reached in 2007 before the worldwide economic collapse.
It's not just homes that are seeing a construction boom in Monaco, though. The Tour Odeon is a double skyscraper currently under construction near the Mediterranean beach in Monaco. It will hold a penthouse covering 3,300 square meters, including a water slide that links a dance floor to a round swimming pool below. The expected price for this apartment will start at approximately 300 million euros when it hits the market in early 2015, branding it as the priciest penthouse in the entire world. In total, the skyscraper will cost more than 600 million euros to construct, not counting the price of the land.
Some of Monaco has already seen its boom. The costliest part of Monaco centers around The Casino de Monte Carlo (which you've seen in James Bond flicks) and the Golden Square. If you had $1 million to spend in this area, you could walk away with about 15 square meters of property, which makes even Manhattan's famously small studios look large. However, smaller dwellings are seeing a boom as well.
The average price of a home with at least five bedrooms jumped 24 per cent. However, on the lowest end of the real estate spectrum, studio costs fell by about nine per cent, indicating that there is some room for growth in the entry level real estate market.
While some parts of the world are continuing to struggle to make their way back from the collapse of 2008 and 2009, Monaco is clearly experiencing smooth sailing.