Monaco Real Estate: New build sales top €1 billion for first time ever

In Part I of Monaco Life’s Real Estate Review for 2022, we look at the impressive growth – in volume and in yield – of the Principality’s new build sector.  

2022 was a good year all round for the real estate industry in Monaco. 520 transactions were completed, up 18.2% on the previous year, and overall sales reached an estimated €3.54 billion. This latter figure represents a rise of more than 50% on returns in 2021.  

But it was in the new build sector that the biggest gains were to be had. It was the best year in at least a decade in terms of volume sold and prices reached, as total sales for new builds cleared the €1 billion mark – topping €1.19 by the end of December – for the first time ever.  

146 new apartments reached the open market over the course of the last 12 months: 71 from Villa Trianon in the Quartier du Port neighbourhood, 63 from the L’Exotique section of the EVOS project that borders the Jardin Exotique, 10 from the Villa Portofino in the heart of the Condamine district, and two from the Villa Farniente II in La Rousse.  

As 2022 came to a close, 88 of these had been confirmed as sold. This is in itself a record number and a volume that quadrupled from 2021 to 2022. Total profit saw a fivefold increase on the previous year, and between 2021 and 2022, the average price of a new build in the Principality increased by 32% to €13.5 million, although the median price fell by 12.8%. One in six new builds sold for over €20 million. 

Two-bedroom apartments were the most popular (24 were sold), closely followed by studios (23) and then three-bedroom flats (21). The four-bedroom and over category, which saw 13 sales, produced the largest overall return: €564.4 million. Villas, three of which were sold last year, fall into this category.  

Although statistics exclusively pertaining to the price-per-square-metre for new builds is not yet available, IMSEE reports that after a noticeable increase of 9% during 2021, the average price-per-square-metre fell by 1.8% in 2022, which equates to a drop of roughly €1,000. Still, property in Monaco is typically selling at almost €51,000 per-square-metre. This has risen by more than 60% in the last 10 years.  

 

  

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Photo by Monaco Life

CSM’s childhood brain cancer research set to get a huge boost

Thanks to a significant donation by the Société des Bains de Mer European Games Syndicate, the Scientific Centre of Monaco will be able to purchase the nano technology it needs to speed up its research into childhood brain cancer.

The Stem Cells and Brain Tumors team at the Scientific Centre of Monaco (CSM) is on a mission to better understand how brain tumours appear in children. The team’s recent research showed that “developmental accidents” that occur during foetal life account for a high proportion of cases.

The problem is, the treatments used for children are based systematically on those developed to battle against adult cancers, despite the situations being extremely different.

“The development of therapeutic strategies specific to paediatric cancers therefore represents a necessity and an opportunity to significantly improve their care,” said Dr. Vincent Picco, the leader of the CSM team. “It’s in this goal that we develop our research projects. While waiting for specific medication, the other major challenge in paediatric oncology consists, in the short term, in optimising existing treatments, in particular radiotherapy, with the aim of limiting the side effects.”

In its efforts to better understand the nature of the events responsible for the emergence of embryonic tumours, CSM researchers are utilising genetic analysis using a device called a spectrophotometer.

The SBM European Games Syndicate’s donation will allow the laboratory to upgrade its hardware to the more advanced Nanodrop version. “This kind of spectrophotometer allows us to measure the concentration of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) with high precision, on small volumes of solution of the order of a microlitre – one millionth of a litre, the size of an ant’s head – and very quickly,” explains Dr. Picco. “The use of this spectrophotometer will therefore result in a greater efficiency and significant time savings for the teams and therefore for the development of research programs.”

The official cheque handover will take place on 31st January.

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SEE ALSO:

CSM set to revolutionise treatment of childhood cancer

 

Photo by Monaco Life

Monaco Ambassador to Italy visits Rome for first consular meeting

In a strong start to the year for Monegasque diplomacy, the Principality’s recently appointed ambassador to Italy has headed to Rome for her first consular meeting.  

Recently appointed Ambassador Anne Eastwood hit the ground running as she held her first consular meeting in Rome on 20th January. This gathering brought together Monaco’s representatives in Italy as well as those of the embassy’s other nearby countries of accreditation, such as Croatia, Romania, Slovenia, Malta and San Marino.   

Eastwood took stock of the past year, mentioning the three trips Prince Albert II made to Italy last year in conjunction with the Historic Sites of Grimaldi network, but mostly turned her focus to the future.  

She spoke of her intentions to strengthen the Monaco Destination Ambassadors network, which is designed to promote the attractiveness of the Principality in Italy. As such, a special event will be organised for 31st May on the centenary of Prince Rainier III’s birth, Monaco’s former sovereign who is credited with opening Monaco up to the international scene.   

Back in Monaco…

Also on 20th January, Monaco’s Counsellor-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Isabelle Berro-Amadeï, spoke to the over 90 ambassadors accredited to the Principality for the first time at an event organised by Christophe Steiner, Monaco’s ambassador to France.  

Berro-Amadeï spoke out about the Ukraine, security, climate and food issues as well as the energy crisis, and highlighted the Monaco government’s commitments toward fostering a “just, inclusive and sustainable society”.  She noted that, as 2023 is the Principality’s 30th year as a United Nations member state, the nation is continuing to deal in multilateralism and dealing with common challenges being faced. Her message aimed at further strengthening the bonds of trust and friendship that the Principality maintains with 156 states, and received a particularly warm welcome as evidenced by the large representation at the event. 

  

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Photo source: Monaco Communications Department 

Documenting the Med: New sea life monitoring system deployed in Monaco waters

A network of remotely controlled underwater camera and video systems, designed to document marine flora and fauna, have been sent out from Monaco to measure the health of its coast.

Technology is an amazing thing, especially when it allows the world to see, track and keep records of places not normally accessible.   

This is the case with Professor Jessica Meeuwig’s technology company Blue Abacus, a pioneering marine science firm based at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia. Their camera system uses baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) to film, count and analyse populations of fish and other marine species, and it is being deployed here in one of the first experiments to cover the Mediterranean.  

For a year, the system will create a log of information that can be used to help in Monaco’s sea protection efforts, with the hope of reversing current alarming trends. The project comes with the full support of the Prince Albert II Foundation (FPA2) and collaborative efforts from Community Jameel and the Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature.  

“The FPA2 is pleased to join forces with Community Jameel, Blue Abacus and the Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature, with the objective of improving knowledge on the diversity of the species living in the deep waters of the Larvotto marine reserve,” said Olivier Wenden, the vice-president and CEO of the FPA2. “Supporting the development of scientific data through innovative tools is an essential condition for ensuring optimal protection of the marine environment. The cameras will enable us to develop our knowledge without disturbing marine life which, I believe, is a real added value.”  

The Mediterranean is a recognised biodiversity hotspot, boasting 15,000 to 25,000 species, and is remarkable in that 60% of the plant life is endemic. About a third of the Mediterranean’s sea creatures are also unique to the region.  

Many of the native species are considered vulnerable, endangered or threatened with extinction, due to habitat degradation, pollution, invasive species and overexploitation.  

“This project combines Monaco’s long history of pioneering ocean science and combating climate change’s threat to aquatic environments,” says George Richards, the director of Community Jameel.  

 

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Photo source: Blue Abacus

Stéphane Valeri takes on role as head of SBM

Former National Council President Stéphane Valeri has officially taken over as Deputy Chairman of Monaco’s biggest company, the Société des Bains de Mer.

As outgoing deputy chairman Jean-Luc Biamonti announced in a meeting with staff last week, his resignation had been brought forward by just over two months. A Board of Directors meeting held on Tuesday at the Hôtel Hermitage confirmed Stéphane Valeri as its director.

A graduate of the ESCP Business School in 1986, Stéphane Valeri chaired the National Council from 2003 to 2010 and again from 2018 to 2022.

He served as Monaco’s Minister of Social Affairs and Health from 2010 to 2017, and notably led the reform of private sector pensions and the establishment of remote working.

His honours include Commander of the Order of Saint-Charles and officer of the Legion of Honour.

“I take up my new duties with pride, within this great company to which my family and I have been very attached for several generations,” said Valeri in a statement. “Thanks to the work of my predecessor, Jean-Luc Biamonti, to whom I would like to pay tribute, the Société des Bains de Mer is today in a very good economic and financial situation. I thank the Board of Directors for their confidence. I measure the magnitude of the task ahead of me and I am fully committed now to continue to make the economic flagship of the Principality prosper and shine.”

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Photo source: Stephane Valeri Facebook page

Further pension reform strikes planned for 31st January

In protest at plans to up the retirement age and overhaul the pensions system, French unions are joining forces for another round of strike action at the end of this month.  

France wouldn’t be France without striking workers. The protests the country experienced just last week, which caused huge, nationwide disruption to travel networks, are in line with a kind of collective philosophy that people should speak out for what they believe in, or in the case of the planned strikes on 31st January, what they believe is wrong.  

President Emmanuel Macron’s planned pension reforms, which will raise the retirement age to 64 from 62, have struck a nerve with the population. Unions set themselves firmly against the changes immediately after the initial announcement, and challenges began on 19th January when an estimated 1.12 million workers stepped out in protest.   

Unions such as the CFDT, CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC, UNSA, Solidaires, and FSU are again calling on all members to walk out on 31st January, and the transport and education unions have already made their declarations to join. A full list of participants will become clearer in the coming days.  

“One thing is certain, we will be there again on 31st January to face the government and its reform,” the national secretary of the French Communist Party, Fabien Roussel, said on RTL the day after the last strike.  

The date of 31st January has not been randomly chosen. It is will be one day after the arrival in parliament of the official text laying out the reforms.  

Locally, strikes are being planned in Nice at 10am at the Jardins Albert 1er. Other actions in the region include those in Toulon, Marseille, Draguignan and Brignoles.  

 

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Photo source: CGT/Facebook