Principado del lujoIyna Bort Caruso
Monaco is a country so small, it’s measured in acres, not miles. The whole of the principality could fit into New York’s Central Park. Yet as diminutive as it is, Monaco is the international epicenter of glamour. In this narrow strip of land between the southern Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, millionaires make up nearly a third of the population, according to a July 2014 study released by Spear Magazine in association with wealth consultancy company WealthInsight.
There’s much to attract high net worth individuals: security, privacy and favorable tax laws. There are no income or personal gains taxes. That, of course, is not the whole story.
Monaco offers an exceptional lifestyle in the heart of Europe. Sunny summers are ideal for yachting enthusiasts. Come winter, a handful of ski resorts are located within a two-hour drive. Its attractions are epic scale, from the Formula One Grand Prix to the famed Casino de Monte-Carlo Casino, an architectural masterpiece with its bas-reliefs, frescoes and sculptures. So many want a piece of this seaside city-state that native Monegasques are minorities in their own country, making up just 20 percent of the population.
No restrictions are imposed on international property buyers who come house hunting knowing land is limited and no bargains are to be had.
The Monte Carlo district is a jewel in the Grimaldi dynasty crown. The priciest of Monaco real estate is in the Carre d’Or area around the glitzy central square, Place Du Casino. Modern luxury high rises overlook Larvotto Beach. A penthouse here, valued in the mid-nine figure range, is among the most world’s most expensive. Fontvieille is the newest residential area. This manmade waterfront neighborhood, which includes sports facilities, a heliport, marina and restaurants, was created from land reclaimed from the sea in 1981. The quarter of La Condamine is one of the oldest, home to Port Hercules, Monaco’s only deep-water--and megayacht-jammed--harbor.