Monaco Plans A New Island For Monte Carlo
Tax haven Monaco is to build a new island in the Mediterranean, just off Monte Carlo, confirming rumours that have been circulating for a year of a major new development in the Principality.
With a surface area of some 275,000 square metres, the development adds size to the world's second smallest country - but not enough to lift it up from it's exisitng ranking in land area.
Commenting on the news, local travel guide YourMonaco say it is a welcome development for Monaco.
'The new development will add to to Monaco's housing stock, which might take a little pressure off the current prices which are among the highest in the world. One of the stipulations for those bidding for the development is that it must be good architecture and sympathetic to the local environs - which we take to be no high rises'.
There is no mention of new hotels in the initial plans, but it is thought that at least one or possibly two will be included.
And there is a possibility that the Monaco Grand Prix circuit might be changed to include the new area. Monaco is notorious for the lack of overtaking opportunities and bidders have been instructed to take the Monaco Grand Prix into account.
As well as the Grand Prix, Monaco enjoys having several internationally recognised world class hotels, including Monte Carlo hotels such as the Hotel de Paris. It is likely that any new hotels will have to be of a similar standard, and as the new development will include yacht moorings speculation in Monaco is that at least one hotel will be built close to the moorings.
Monaco is one of the world's best known tax havens, and residents benefit from a zero income tax policy.
Property prices in Monaco are high due to the lack of land - in the past one of the districts, Fontvieille, had much of its area reclaimed from the sea, but property prices there equal those of the better known Monte Carlo.
One of the best known buildings in Fontvieille, Seaside Plaza, has average prices of three to four million Euros for a three bedroom apartment, and a four bedroom four bathroom one is currently on the market at close to ten million Euros.
Tribune Properties who specialise in Monaco property doubt that prices will ease much.
'By the time the development is finished prices would probably have gone up in Monaco anyway, and this new development on the housing side is likely to be aiming for quality rather than quantity', they claim. 'It's almost certain that the properties will be snapped up by investors off-plan, and then come back to the market with a premium once the buildings are complete. The development in itself will attract more attention to the Monaco property market. In the short and medium term prices are likely to rise in Monaco rather than fall'.
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