As a result of the phenomenal growth in prices of Monaco residential, office and commercial property in the past two years, Hamptons International have decided to launch an office in the Principality.

* Properties for sale in Monaco

‘It’s a trend that shows no sign of slowing down, driven by a variety of exceptional factors, that are totally different from anywhere else in the world,’ says Jean-Luc Portos, of Hamptons International Monaco

Apartment costs (and there are approximately 20,000 of them in a country of only about two square kilometres) range from €30,000 per m² up to a robust €100,000 per m². That’s comparable with the most expensive anywhere in the world.

Factors driving the growth are many, with the absence of income or capital gains tax obviously having particular attraction and being in many cases the first reason for looking at the opportunity more closely.

The British are actually the fastest single national growing community in Monaco. What they then see in Monaco is much more than the most immediately obvious advantages. A country with one of the best climates in the world, located in a centre of civilisation, with 20 minute access to Nice airport and offering an unprecedented level of security, good health care and educational facilities. The Monaco authorities are also taking steps to increasingly facilitate the establishment and development of commercial enterprises based in the Principality.

There are basically no restrictions on owning property in Monaco, which is held by residents and non-residents alike. The latter can be investors for the long term or for taking advantage in the shorter term of the rising prices.

To become a formal Monaco resident requires a resident’s permit for which, in turn, ownership of an apartment (there are very few houses) or the rental of one are required. A word of caution is that the apartment used for this purposes much satisfy certain minimum norms depending on the number of family members.

Monaco’s growing attractions, in both relative and absolute terms, satisfy the conditions to be more than a counterbalance to today’s uncertain economic climate and its outlook must be included among the best in the world.

* Look out for a special Monaco section in Country Life International Summer 2008 out on May 21, 2008