Monaco’s most expensive houses are being bought by Russians

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Density of wealthy populace increasing in the principality

Grace Kelly lived here. A view of Fontvieille and Monaco Harbor. anshar/Shutterstock
Grace Kelly lived here. A view of Fontvieille and Monaco Harbor. anshar/Shutterstock

The typical buyer profile of Monaco homes is in a flux, skewing younger and leaning toward non-Europeans, a recent report by Knight Frank showed.

Buyers from China, the Middle East, and Russia are reportedly springing for Monaco properties priced above EUR10 million (USD11 million), while their British, Italian, Swiss, and northern European peers tend to be active around properties below those price points. “Not only is the age of buyers lower than it was a decade ago, but the nationality of buyers can increasingly be defined according to their purchasing power,” wrote Knight Frank researcher Kate Everett-Allen.

Monaco remains a highly coveted tax haven among high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) worldwide. “Unlike many other tax havens, it is neither remote nor compromised on its lifestyle offering,” Edward de Mallet Morgan, head of Knight Frank’s Monaco department, reported. “Monaco is, after all, located on the most sought-after coast in the Mediterranean, with the Cote d’Azur and the Italian Riviera on its doorstep, ski resorts an hour away and Nice airport with connections to Europe and beyond and within approximately a 30 minute drive.”

More: Weak euro plus strong dollar equals Monaco’s record-breaking year

Home to 12,200 millionaires, Monaco has seen a 62 percent increase in its population of wealthy people or those with net assets of more than USD30 million over the last 10 years, according to Knight Frank. Prices for Monaco properties have also soared by 27.8 percent over the last five years, according to the Monaco Statistics office.

Meanwhile, a survey by market research company New World Wealth ranked Russia as having the world’s sixth biggest outflow of individuals worth over USD1 million, with the number of millionaires in the country falling 2 percent last year.

The conflict in Ukraine and the depreciating ruble have driven rich Russians to other shores. In a survey by property broker Tranio.com and Spear’s Russia, 58 percent of HNW emigrants from Russia cited geopolitical and economic instability as main reasons to change their country of residence and buy overseas property. Around 2.2 percent reasoned that they were in search of more attractive tax regimes.

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