A look into Montecarlo Real Estate

Nestled between the French Riviera and northern Italy, Monaco has been a magnet for millions of visitors each year. It is no coincidence that the second-smallest sovereign state in the world has attracted some of the most successful individuals to call it home. A zero personal income tax regime, mild Mediterranean climate, and top-notch security can be credited for the Principality’s success.

Monaco hosts a number of cultural, sportive and business events throughout the year; Monaco F1 Grand Prix, Yacht Show, Rolex Tennis Masters and the Summer Music Festival at the Sporting are just a few of them.

The real estate sector is one of the prime beneficiaries of the popularity and vibrancy of Monaco. Owning an apartment there serves not only as a status symbol, but also yields practical benefits. Strategic access to France and northern Italy as well as a mere 5 minutes helicopter flight to Nice International Airport (3rd busiest airport in France) appeal to global trotters.

In addition, a domicile in the Principality may allow the owner to obtain Monaco residency and be within a stone’s throw away from other influential businessmen from around the world. The size of the Principality also severely restricts the number of new projects, which in turn adds resilience to the properties’ value.

Acquiring property in Monaco is quite straightforward. The purchase usually takes place in two stages:

  • Signing the contract
  • Executing the transfer deed before the notary public

The purchaser of real estate may be asked to sign an offer or a pre-contract – a common practice in this buoyant real estate market. Upon signing the contract, the buyer is generally asked to pay a deposit of 10% of the transaction price immediately, which may be held by the notary or the estate agent.

There is no real estate tax, no inheritance tax between parents and children nor between spouses, and no mandatory club membership subscription for property owners. A monthly building maintenance fee is applied, the level of which depends on the attributes of the building.

Value of the apartment itself, however, is on par with prime real estate in Hong Kong and New York. A studio apartment of 30 sqm. may cost between 1.75-3M Euro, whereas a 3-bedroom apartment of 165 sqm. may cost between 5-15M Euro depending on the exact location.

A foreign person owning (directly or through a company) an apartment in Monaco may proceed to apply for a Carte de Résident. The applicant shall provide documentary evidence of his/her accommodation in Monaco. This can be done by presenting the lease agreement and a recent electricity bill in the applicant’s name, or alternatively, the property deed accompanied by an electricity bill preferably in the applicant’s name.

If the property is owned by a company, the applicant will have to provide Articles of Association of the Company and Certificate of Incumbency/Good Standing. If the real estate asset is owned by a commercial company, the latter is required to lease the apartment to the applicant. But it is also possible to acquire the asset through a civil company (SCI) in which case, subject the SCI’s articles, the shareholder can dispose of the property without a lease agreement.

The applicant will also have to provide proof indicating that he/she has sufficient income in Monaco. This can be achieved by presenting:

  • Director’s agreement with a Monegasque company; OR
  • Certification from a Monegasque bank that the applicant has adequate financial resources. In order to provide the certification banks will require a EUR 500K minimum deposit

There are other documents to submit during the process, including a long stay visa for applicants from outside the European Economic Area, as well as a curriculum vitae and a certificate of good conduct accompanied by French translation. Finally, an interview with the resident section of the Monaco police will be scheduled to determine the applicant’s fitness and eligibility for residency. Thereafter, he/she may enjoy all the perks which residing in Monaco shall bring.

As of 20 April 2018, Fidinam’s office in Monte Carlo has obtained the license to operate as a multi-family office. With a team of professionals on the ground – majority of whom hail from the legal and corporate finance sector – not only can Fidinam MFO S.A.M. assist you in realising your investment and residency goal in Monaco, but also provide a full range of family office services from asset consolidation and monitoring; to risk management, compliance and everyday support.

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