Legacy of a Prince

The death of Europe's longest reigning monarch, Prince Rainier of Monaco, has cast a shadow over one of the world' most expensive property markets.

When Prince Rainier took power in 1949 the tiny Principality which is smaller than New York's Central Park was little more than a backwater whose image was one of a bygone era.

But instead of allowing Monaco to lose her independence and become part of France, Prince Rainier built the world's second smallest country into its best known tax haven with property prices to match.

The Monaco of today is barely recognisable from the Monaco the Prince inherited, reclaiming land from the Mediterranean that added 20 per cent to her size, promoting Monaco as a millionaire's playground and allowing several new property developments.

Slower Sales

Consistent demand over recent years has led to over a hundred estate agencies in less than a square mile offering their services to those with the money to buy in the tax haven.

But sales this year have slowed. Monaco property sales so far this year have been a lot slower than in recent years, while the rental market has remained busy according to Henri Boulanger of Monaco's Tribune Properties, adding that the increase in Monaco's property prices seen in recent years won't be repeated for this year at least.

Prices start from 350,000 Euros for a small 28m2 fourth floor studio on the Boulevard d'Italie, rising to 5,000,000 Euros for a three bedroom apartment with Mediterranean views in Monte Carlo, to over 15,000,000 Euros for the best apartments.

For details of apartments for sale and rent in Monaco visit www.propertymonaco.com