Monaco has many claims to international fame, including its casino, grand prix, mega-yachts, tax haven status, Hollywood-style glamour and the palm-lined Avenue Princesse Grace.
All contribute to the principality's allure as one of Europe's most desirable addresses and make it a continuing magnet for property investors with an interest in the top end of the international market. Since the Mediterranean enclave covers little more than two square kilometres, space is obviously at a premium.
'Monaco represents a privileged and safe location for investments that has no equivalent anywhere in the world,' says Massimiliano Ibba, managing director of the Agedi property agency.
The local tax regime imposes no income, property, inheritance or capital gains tax (except for French nationals), while Monaco's crime rate is among the lowest anywhere, he says. There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property. Political stability has never been a concern. And, while French speakers are in the majority, the resident population of about 35,000 is international in background and outlook.
'Last but not least, there is an exceptional quality of life, with a mild climate all year round, major cultural and sporting events, an excellent education system and absolutely first-class medical facilities,' Ibba says.
Property prices are among the highest in the world. They rose on average more than 10 per cent a year for much of the past decade. Steady capital appreciation is all but guaranteed.
A one-bedroom Monte Carlo apartment close to the country club and casino might fetch Euro4.35 million (HK$50.7 million), while a two-bedroom luxury apartment with sea and Formula One views could start at Euro6 million.