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Buying a home in Monaco and the French Riviera

Monaco is considered to be one of the most luxurious and expensive property markets in the world. The microstate’s ideal coastal climate, lifestyle, “safe haven” status, and advantageous tax system support the premium for real estate, whether those properties are luxury homes, penthouses, townhomes, condos, and apartments for sale. Prices vary wildly according to the property location, the building itself, and the size of the apartment/home.

Property in Monaco and the French Riviera is generally quoted by the square meter and varies from the average of €45,000 per square meter to €55,000 per square meter (sometimes higher).

  • Monte Carlo, famous for hosting glamorous events, is Monaco’s prime real estate market
  • Fontvielle, the newer port area, is popular for its marina and commercial shopping center. Larvatto remains popular because of its beaches
  • Quartier St Romain, which is also close to the beach, is in demand because of its proximity to the Monte Carlo Country Club

The limited number of new construction in these areas makes them very attractive, drawing buyers who are looking to make the French Riviera their primary place of residence.

The buying process in Monaco is straightforward and has many similarities with the buying process in France. The biggest plus is there are no restrictions on international buyers.

Here are a few essentials to consider when buying property in Monaco.

Work with a credible agent immobilier

An agent immobilier is your real estate agent. Yours should be a member of a proper professional body, so you should look out for acronym like:

  • “Monaco Welcome Certified” label (launched by the Government)

Similar to purchasing property in France, your agent immobilier may ask you to make a formal written offer called the offre d’achat. This contains:

  • A description of the property
  • An outline of the purchase price
  • The date by which you intend to move forward with the exchange; be cautious about drawing this out, as it this would technically constitute a contract to purchase

Another point of caution is that after signing off on the offre d’achat, there is no “cooling off” period that entitles you to reconsider the purchase and recover your deposit, unlike in France, where buyers have 10 days to withdraw from the sale.

Acquire the services of a notaire to prepare the compromis de vente

The next step after making the offer d’achat is having the purchase contract, or the compromis de vente prepared. For this, it is essential for the purchaser to acquire the services of a local public notary, or a notaire, to ensure that the terms of agreement are accurate and conform to French law.

The notaire is a neutral party appointed by the state, and it is their job to process all contracts related to the purchase. Allow the notaire a time frame of one week to a month’s time to complete the file and all relevant searches. Upon signing the compromis de vente, you are normally required to pay a deposit of 10%, which will be held in escrow by the notaire.

Complete the sale

Completion of the sale takes place at the notaire’s office with payment of the balance. Transfer taxes, as well as the notaire’s fees, are also due at this stage. Costs are borne by you, the purchaser. The deed of sale, or the arte de vente is drawn up. In France, this is referred to as the arte authentique. Once this is signed, the property is officially yours. The notaire will now transfer the funds that would have already been deposited into their account, and register you as the new owner of the property at the registry of deeds.

Fees to bear in mind

There are no capital gains or income taxes in Monaco. That said, property registration, title registration and notary fees are typically 6% of the property’s purchase price. These fees are to be borne by you, the purchaser.

What are often referred to as notary’s fees are, in fact, taxes paid to the state, which are handled by the notary, hence the term. The notary 6% on older properties and 2.5% on newer properties. Real estate agent fees are split between the purchaser and the seller.

Buyers pay 3% plus 20% value added tax, while sellers pay 6% plus 20% value added tax. The price quoted by an estate will usually include the real estate agent’s fees.

If you’re looking to buy or rent property in Monaco and the French Riviera, Spark & Partners offers a diverse selection of luxury real estate, including homes, villas, and apartments. We have properties overlooking the dreamiest panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. We are the best website to start your search for the most desirable high-end properties in the world’s most gorgeous locations. Contact Spark & Partners today at 377.97.777.000 or email hello@spark-estate.com to get started. You can also send a message here.

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