It would have been a brave person who would have predicted how buoyant the real estate market would be in the first quarter of 2020. And why would Monaco go against the trend in a world with unparalleled levels of insecurity due to the pandemic. Unforeseen levels of gyrations in oil prices and gyrations in stock markets cast a shadow over real estate markets.
Yet now that the numbers are in for the first quarter of 2020 we in the Principality can more than breath a sigh of relief. The press reports are quite taken with the numbers in Monaco quoting more than 100 apartments selling, the vast majority of which were resales – though new projects recorded sales too.
It seems in Monaco that for all the murmurs about construction noise, that construction and property serve a role as dependable levers of economic health even when other broad sectors around the world are reeling from the impact of the pandemic.
So with an over 10% increase in the number of Monaco apartments sold compared to the same quarter in 2019 – 13.5% is the increase quoted in the press – the next savvy question has to be, at what price? Did the sales mirror the global atmosphere of uncertainty and were therefore transacted at a reduced price?
The reported numbers would appear to show the opposite with average prices trending upwards at a rate of 3.5%. Increased sales at moderately higher prices is what the reported numbers show – a strong vote of confidence in the Principality. The natural question is why? Why such a sign of health in the property sector. When there is heightened insecurity in the world, the Principality remains an oasis of stability.
Prince Albert’s reign of fifteen years has established a pattern of reliable governance under a Constitutional monarchy with dependable transparency. The Rock reflects the equally solid foundation of Monaco’s institutions. We all feared the pandemic but the Principality’s health sector stood up to the test almost like no other. Where other nations’ hospitals were overwhelmed Monaco planned its capacity “with belts and suspenders”. Monaco’s retirement homes also bucked the trend with noticeable lack of penetration by the virus.
And sanitary regulations remain strict creating a blanket of security for both residents and visitors.
Good governance, health, safety and education continue to be reliable and important magnets for those seeking security in an ever more unpredictable global environment.
The Principality’s property market at the beginning of 2020 is giving it a big vote of confidence as the state charts a path to recovery even as the pandemic is still shaking other countries’ confidence to the core.