Monaco Is the World’s Most Expensive Place to Buy Luxury Homes

Monaco was the world’s most expensive luxury residential market for the third straight year in 2010 because of demand from wealthy buyers in the Mediterranean principality, which levies no personal income tax.

The average cost of a house or apartment in Monaco was $65,600 a square meter, according to a global index of luxury home prices compiled by Knight Frank LLP, a London-based property broker. London was the second most-expensive market at $56,300 a square meter, while Paris was fifth at $40,500. The other three most-expensive locations were also in France.

Monaco’s biggest deal last year was the purchase of La Belle Epoque, a 17,500-square-foot (1,600-square-meter) penthouse, for 240 million euros ($340 million) from Christian and Nick Candy in September. The buyer, whose name wasn’t disclosed, came from the Middle East.

“The real success stories in 2010 confirm the advantages of a global brand and a diversity of demand requirements,” like in London, New York and Paris, said Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s head of residential research. “Tried-and-tested markets with security of infrastructure and political and legal stability will outperform in the long run.”

The fastest price growth in the global luxury residential markets was registered in Shanghai, where there was a 21 percent increase to $17,700 a square meter, the Knight Frank index showed. The Chinese city was followed by Mumbai and Singapore.

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