• Real Estate

The property market: the positive trend continues

7 August 2019 - 9h30

How did the property market go in the first six months of 2019? The Director of IMSEE, Sophie Vincent, provided some indications on the first quarter at a breakfast meeting of the MEB last month. What has happened since that time?

Sophie Vincent stressed the strong progress of new property sales, thanks essentially to the marketing of two real estate programmes, the Tour des Giroflées and 45 Rue Grimaldi. Property resales, on the other hand, were lower, with a 15% reduction in transactions, but only an 8% reduction in value. In detail, sales of small apartments (studios and two-apartments) were stable, while sales of three-room apartments halved. However, four villas were sold during the first quarter compared with two in the same period last year, hence the lower fall in value.

Resales remain active

It is hard to detect a yearly trend from a single quarter, however. From information provided by his colleagues, the President of the Chambre Immobilière, Michel Dotta, currently estimates that following a record-breaking 2018 (over 2.3 billion euros), resales may see a slight reduction in 2019, but will stay at a very high level. In terms of volume, studios and two- and three-room apartments represent four-fifths of the market, but he notes that transactions in Monte-Carlo, at the Port and in the most prestigious buildings in Fontvieille and on the Rocher often reach per-property prices of several tens of millions of euros. Sales at L’Exotique, which is currently under construction, and at Le Stella are continuing to move the market.

What are prices like? Who are the buyers?

What can be said about prices? Last year, the average price per square metre reached 48,799 euros, an increase of more than 18% over 2017, and exceeded 56,000 euros in Monte-Carlo and 60,078 euros in Le Larvotto for a small number of transactions. The average price was 45,819 euros in Fontvieille, 51,479 in La Condamine, 43,056 in La Rousse, 39,811 in Jardin Exotique and 36,420 in Moneghetti. These numbers have been confirmed in the first part of this year, with an average price of between 45,000 and 50,000 euros per square metre, the fluctuations being based on the type of property being negotiated and its location. Who are the buyers? They are sometimes residents looking for investments to diversify their holdings or to put their cash into a low-tax context. We should also note the presence of Northern Europeans (in particular Belgium and the Netherlands), but there are few Italians. As for Russian-speakers, those who are not already in the Principality seem tend to rent initially so that they can make a decision before buying.

As regards rentals, the market seems to be a little less tight, and it appears that the time required to find a tenant is a little longer for significant properties, which sometimes leads certain owners who want to rent quickly to make a little effort. The residency conditions required for a couple, on the other hand, are affecting the studio apartment rental market, while the market for two-room apartments is showing a tendency to tighten.

Apart from these few adjustments, it is evident that the Monegasque property market is still going well, and that 2019 should be along the lines of 2018.

Noël Mettey

©GOK

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