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24 September 2008

Monaco overtakes London in prime property market

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by Gill Montia

Monaco overtakes London in prime property market

Central London has lost its claim to the title “world’s most expensive property market”, having been overtaken by Monaco, the Mediterranean tax haven.

According to Knight Frank’s Prime International Residential Index, Monaco overtook the UK capital in the second quarter of 2008 to record the highest price per square foot for residential property, at £3,762.

The cost of prime homes in the sovereign city-state has risen by 30% over the past year, while London’s prime sector has seen a 2% rise as a result of the credit crisis and the fallout from the turmoil in the financial markets.

However, the UK capital is still not for the fainthearted, with prime property costing an average £3,291 per square foot.

While the London market is not awash with prime properties, Monaco has a distinct shortage, with only a few hundred apartments for sale at any one time and little new supply.

According to the founder of property and travel website, Roger Munns, a four-bedroom apartment on Avenue Princess Grace can cost £22 million.

Those happy with a less prestigious address and only three bedrooms can still expect to pay up to £4 million.

Residents of the Principality are apparently seeking anonymity and security. Security is not in question; there is one police officer for every 100 residents.

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