NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom, 2006/11/11 - Traditionally seen as a luxury bolt hole for businessmen saving millions in tax, Monaco residency is being taken up by more and more women..
The incoming population of Europe's favourite tax haven is changing, according to a Monaco travel guide.
Best known of Europe's tax havens, Monaco has also been seen as a social gathering and vacation place for the rich - and home to successful businessmen enjoying the zero per cent income tax policy.
With the social highlights of the Monaco Grand Prix, the luxury yacht show and the casino, the image of Monaco's incoming population could be misconstrued as a male dominated business orientated environment, with women taking their place behind the casino dealing tables and the pit lanes for the Monaco Grand Prix.
But the incoming mix is changing, and with it Monaco and Monte Carlo's image.
YourMonaco.com say that the change has been noticeable in recent years, with more women taking top positions in the banks and finance houses in Monte Carlo.
'Even ten years ago it would almost certainly have been a man you would be seeing if you wanted to open a bank account in Monaco. Now there's a fairly good chance that the manager will be a woman, who earned the position on merit'.
Further evidence of the change in Monaco's population comes from Monaco real estate specialists Tribune Properties who have noticed a bigger percentage of their enquiries coming from women.
'The amount of women enquiring for a property in Monaco has increased in recent years', they say. 'At one time it was mainly businessmen who were selling up and looking for a tax haven to retire to. There's definitely more businesswomen looking for property in Monaco now, and more women of independent means too.'
A report in the UK from the Centre of Economics and Business Research suggests that the trend of more women deciding independently to move to the tax haven of Monaco might increase as they suggest over half of millionaires in a few years time will be women.
As well as the Monaco Grand Prix, the principality is Europe's best known tax haven, with residents enjoying a zero rated income tax.
With property prices among the highest in the world, residents of Monaco normally need to spend six months a year there to maintain residency.
An announcement has been made recently that a new island is to be built off Monte Carlo, and this will provide more land and property in the world's second smallest country.
Bidders for the development have been asked to take the environment into account - and also the Monaco Grand Prix. Which suggests a possible new route for the race.
Despite being one of the world's most glamourous sporting events the Monaco Grand Prix is notorious for a lack of overtaking opportunities, and the new space might in time address the historical criticism of the race.
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.
One property company 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'.