Real estate

Monaco homes are world’s most expensive

The Principality of Monaco claims the most expensive home prices of any country in the world, according to a report on the tiny nation from Savills released Wednesday.

Monaco, an independent slice of the French Riviera with an approximate population of 38,400, recorded an average resale price of €41,400 (US$44,992) per square meter in 2016, a record for the tiny nation, according to the report. The value of total transactions also reached an all-time high of €2.7 billion (US$2.934 billion).

“At a time when prices have adjusted in the prime residential markets of many world cities, prices in Monaco have continued to rise,” wrote Paul Tostevin, associate director of Savills World Research. Prime properties have increased nearly threefold over the past decade, according to the London-based brokerage.

Monaco boasts one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world at €166,000 (US$180,399)–second only to the European Principality of Liechtenstein.

Prime property values in the Principality have surged 180 percent in a decade, more than double the 70 percent growth rate for similar London properties, according to data from Savills Plc. The average sale price of an existing home in Monaco was 4.3 million euros in 2016.

Dense financial centers without much room for outward growth topped Savills list for most expensive luxury homes. Monaco beat out Hong Kong, which came in as the second most expensive prime residential market with prices at €39,100 (USD$42,489) per square meter.

Hong Kong, though, was far and away the most expensive in the “ultra prime” segment, where price per square meter hit €117,200 (USD$127,365) in 2016.

Monaco’s luxury market is skewed towards larger homes, where four-bedroom or larger units saw a price premium of 33% over one-bedroom properties. And while the population is tiny, foreign buyers make up a large portion of luxury transactions in the Principality.

“British, Italian, Scandinavian and South African buyers were especially active last year,” Mr. Tostevin wrote—though market activity has slowed in the wake of tense elections in France.

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