In the mid-19th century, Monaco was a sleepy fishing village. To say that times have changed for the second smallest country in the world is to state an obvious on par with the existence of gravity. Today, for the wedge of land that’s smaller than New York’s Central Park, more high-profile real estate investments are difficult to find anywhere else on the planet. In fact, on average, $1 million currently spent on real estate in Monaco buys an average of 190 square feet. In the most exclusive parts of the country, such as the “Golden Square” (an area that surrounds the iconic Casino de Monte-Carlo and the Avenue Princesse Grace), $1 million is enough for 90 square feet.
“The only locations around the world that even come close to competing with Monaco’s real-estate market are Singapore, Tokyo, and Hong Kong,” says Alexander Kraft, chairman and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty France, Monaco. Throughout the 19th century, Monaco’s popularity was on the rise due to its legendary hotels, Cote d’Azure climate, and tax benefits for the ultra-rich. Yet it’s over the past decade that the small plot of land between France and Italy has arguably seen its most staggering growth. “Prices have more than doubled over the past decade,” says Kraft, “and much of that has to do with the fact that, unlike nearly every place around the world, there’s virtually no crime here. What’s more, the mild year-round climate, picturesque location on the Riviera, and world-class accommodations make Monaco the first choice for real-estate investments.”