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Monaco Is the World’s Most Expensive Place to Buy a Home for the Fourth Year in a Row

The cost per square meter more than doubles New York City's.

Monaco, Home, Real Estate Photo: Courtesy of Monaco Press Center

Looking to buy in Monaco? Well, it’ll cost you.

The picturesque French enclave has once again been crowned the most expensive area in the world to buy a home by global real estate brokerage Savills. It’s a distinction that the coastal principality has received every year since 2017. This year, it won pretty handily, with an average price per square meter of about $56,000 (€47,600 at current exchange) to the Hong Kong’s $46,60 (€39,600). New York finished third, with an average price per square meter of about $26,120 (€22,200). (And for New Yorkers who love to complain about astronomical city rents, Monaco beats the Big Apple there, too, as the priciest rental market in the world.)

These are all numbers that reflect sales in 2020, so, naturally, things were down a bit from the year prior. Transactions fell by 11 percent year over year, with properties priced under $5.8 million (€5 million) being the most active market segment.

Monaco, Yacht, Home, Real Estate

The Monaco Yacht Show.  Courtesy Monaco Yacht Show

What accounts for Monaco’s big price tags? For one, the Mediterranean locale has been long sought-after for its tax benefits—there no property or income taxes here. The location also speaks for itself. It’s positioned on a gorgeous coastline, with luxury resorts aplenty. The prestigious Monaco Grand Prix and Monaco Yacht Show are also held here every year.

But space is at a premium: Monaco is smaller than New York City’s Central Park, which helps explain why carving out a small space to live can be so difficult (and pricy). It’s estimated that about one-third of Monaco’s residents are millionaires, and the area has an overall poverty rate of zero.

Ayrton Senna on his way to victory at the 1993 Monaco Grand Prix.

The 1993 Monaco Grand Prix.  Photo: Courtesy Bonhams.

In 2020, Monaco did see less interest from global buyers, primarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Most who ponied up the cash to meet the million-dollar price tags were local. If previous years are any indication, though, it’s unlikely that this slight dip will keep Monaco from maintaining its top spot on Savills’ annual list.

Best start saving up, folks.

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