Savills – Prime Residential

Founded in the United Kingdom in 1855, Savills is one of the world’s leading property agents. For over 165 years Savills has held a reputation for high professional standards and now operates internationally in over 700 offices with 40,000 staff globally.

As a global real estate services provider listed on the London Stock Exchange, Savills has an international network of more than 700 offices and associates throughout the Americas, UK, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, India as well as the Middle East.

Founded in the United Kingdom in 1855, Savills is one of the world’s leading property agents. For over 165 years Savills has held a reputation for high professional standards and now operates internationally in over 700 offices with 40,000 staff globally.

Savills offers a broad range of specialist advisory, management and transactional services to clients all over the world, including those on the French Riviera and Monaco.

French Riviera

Since 2001, Savills has been operating across the French Riviera. The network of offices is present across the most sought-after and prestigious locations on the Côte d’Azur. Savills French Riviera combines the benefits of a leading international agency and the unrivalled expertise of a professional team of multilingual agents to ensure clients benefit from a powerful combination of local knowledge and international marketing presence.

Property is not just bricks and mortar, property equals people, that includes Savills’ dedicated clients, contacts and suppliers who make the Real Estate profession a constantly evolving art form.

Savills builds lasting relationships that help clients achieve their property ambitions. An essential element of this is client service with clients at the forefront of everything Savills does. The Savills team is invaluable and strives for success each day, delivering a personalised service.

Despite being a historic brand and over 160 years old, Savills  isn’t stuck in its ways. It is very forward thinking and entrepreneurial, every day there is new innovation and the brand really leans into that and learns from its employees.

I have lived here for 30 years and I really am convinced that the Côte d’Azur is the best place to be and the best place to buy.

Alex Balkin, Executive Director, Savills French Riviera

An essential tool in how the company works and delivers results for clients is the Savills global network. With over 300 property disciplines represented across the company, the company has a vast range of resources at its fingertips. Everything from award winning research, to valuations, an unparalleled in-house press team, dedicated international desks, a sports and entertainment team in addition to a Private Office that is a true leader and specialist in its field. This means Savills can lead with accurate insights and work collaboratively to guide clients through their projects and achieve their property ambitions.

As a central figure in French Real Estate for over 20 years, Savills looks forward to sharing this lifestyle, experience and beautiful part of the world with others.

Moving to Monaco

Monaco is a microstate less than half the size of Central Park in New York City. For decades, the prevailing story of the Monaco property market has been one of chronic undersupply. To try to meet the consistently high levels of demand, construction projects continue apace.

There are two large projects in the pipeline: Mareterra, Bay House Monaco, and other smaller projects such as Le Luciana, and the second phase of Villa Portofino. The most ambitious of these developments, Mareterra, will add 110 apartments, ten villas, a new port, and a public park, along with other infrastructure, all built on land reclaimed from the sea.

We can say that we have a reputation for discretion, analysis and tenacity in a market which is awash with agencies and where properties trade at high values.

Irene Luke, Principal Partner at Savills Monaco

Each of these projects will bring much-needed stock to the Principality but will do little to keep up with the consistently high demand across Monaco. For many prospective buyers globally, the mood for the coming year is decidedly more downbeat than it has been in the previous two years since the pandemic.

In the recent Savills Global Agent Sentiment survey, agents reported that there has been a shift in buyer sentiment towards one of caution. Many local agents stated that they are stressing the value of property as a long-term investment along with the potential for future growth after this period of uncertainty. This caution globally has the potential to further boost Monaco’s property markets as many buyers will be looking for property as a hedge against inflation, global uncertainty, and other more volatile markets, which Monaco can provide in large measures.

Resale rebound

The number of resales in Monaco has returned to pre-pandemic levels. This rebound has largely been driven by the increase in sales of larger apartments, with two-bedroom or larger property sales increasing by 12% from 2021.

We have been involved in many off-market transactions at the prime end of the market, new build and re-sales, but we pride ourselves on taking the same care of all of our clients – whether they are renting or buying.

Two-bedroom properties in particular saw the largest increase in sales with 103 properties transacting, an increase of 18% from the previous year. The total volume of resales for the year totalled €2.35bn, with 432 properties changing hands. Two-thirds of these properties were priced below the €5m mark; however, increasing numbers of sales at the top end of the market are helping to support rising total sales volumes.

The number of properties sold with prices above €10m has increased by over 50% in a year and 300% over the past decade. Buyers in Monaco tend to be in the 40-60 age bracket and have school-age children. These buyers are also largely still active in business and view Monaco as an economically efficient and safe place for their families. They come from across the globe, but many buyers are British, Italian, Belgian, Scandinavian, and South African. In recent years, there has been an increase of younger buyers, many from the finance and tech sectors who want a European base.

It isn’t just being in Monaco that attracts these buyers and residents – many are looking for properties within specific districts or developments within the Principality. Properties sold in the Monte Carlo and La Rousse districts accounted for nearly two thirds of the total sales within Monaco and just over €1bn of the total second-hand sales volume for the year.

Larvotto took the top spot for most expensive district by square metre in 2022, with prices rising 4% on the year to €62,000psm; however, for a district with so few properties changing hands each year (only five properties sold in 2022 and an average of four properties sell each year), any high price-point transaction has the potential to skew the average price per square metre for the district.

While many markets began to struggle in the second half of 2022, Monaco real estate experienced a bumper year. Over the year, there were 520 transactions across the Principality, which while lower than the highs seen between 2014 and 2016, is 10% above transaction volumes seen in the past five years. After a record-breaking year for pricing in 2021, where prices surged past the €50,000 per square metre barrier, 2022 saw the smashing of another record. For the first time, total transaction volume came to €3.5bn for the year, nearly three-quarters of a billion euros higher than the previous record, set in 2019.

The race for space

This record transaction volume has largely been driven by the new-build market, which also achieved record high sales volumes. New build sales crossed the €1bn threshold for the first time in 2022, precipitated by a large number of properties coming to market; 146 in 2022, which was the third highest number of deliveries ever behind 1993 and 2015.

The 88 new build sales that Monaco achieved in 2022 were driven both by the high number of flats coming to market and also by the ongoing construction projects which have led to increased off-plan sales, and represented a nearly 300% increase over 2021 figures.

New builds accounted for a record 34% of total sales in Monaco during 2022, an exceptional figure given the average share of new build sales has been approximately 8% of the total since 2006. The race for space continues in Monaco, both as a result of the pandemic causing global reassessment of housing needs, and because of a change in approach to residence card applications in recent years, meaning greater scrutiny of the size of properties rented or bought by prospective residents.

This change has been filtering through the new build market, with many new build schemes offering larger apartments. As a result, the sales of apartments with three bedrooms or more increased by over €830 million in 2022 compared to the previous year and accounted for over 80% of the new build sales across the Principality.

A safe haven

With demand outstripping supply across the Principality, it is likely that 2023 will see similar levels of sales and pricing to 2022. In a market such as Monaco, where purchasers are much less reliant on bank financing, the role of interest rates will likely have less of an impact on sales volumes than in other locations.

As the volume of sales transactions also strongly depends on domestic purchasers, we expect sales volumes to remain strong with stable prices. As with the rental sector in other prime residential markets, it is likely that the Monaco rentals market will see another strong year in 2023 as a result of increasing numbers of residents flocking to the Principality in search of quality of life, safe havens from global economic turbulence, and the fact that the sales and resale markets in Monaco are undersupplied. So many new residents will choose to rent before they purchase flats, further supporting rental market performance.

Irene Luke, Partner
Jean-Claude Caputo, Partner

Related Articles


More Lifestyle Articles