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Monaco is World's Most Expensive Home Market, Again

Monaco is World's Most Expensive Home Market, Again

(MONACO, FRANCE) -- For the second year in a row, Monaco ranks as the world's most expensive residential real estate market, with prices averaging from $4,300 to $5,900 a square foot.

In fact, it was no competition. London was a distant second, with prices topping out at $4,400 a square foot, according to the just released 2010 Knight Frank Wealth Report. Paris was a distant third, offering a relatively reasonable range of $2,400 to $3,300 a square foot.

That's just one of many interesting tidbits in the Wealth Report, which offers a glimpse at the trends in luxury markets around the world, as well as the interests of high-net worth investors. It's one of the few reports to provide snapshots of specific luxury residential markets around the world.

This year the Knight Frank report chronicles the dramatic turnarounds in some high profile markets, such as Dubai, Portugal's Algarve and Dublin, which saw price declines ranging from 25 to 45 percent. Some of the best performers in 2009--including Hong Kong, Singapore and London--were among the worst in 2008.

Markets in the Asia Pacific region, in particular, soared in 2009, performing far and above their European counterparts.

"I do believe, however, that we will see this gap [between Asia and other cities] narrow again in 2010," said Liam Bailey, Knight Frank's head of residential research. "It seems unlikely that property prices in cities such as Shanghai can continue to grow at these kind of rates, and in many locations there was positive growth in the latter half of 2009."

The report, prepared in conjunction with Citi Private Bank, also studies the investment trends of high net worth individuals, specifically their interest in property. The most recent study found property accounts for one-third of the investment portfolios of wealthy investors, and 70 percent of those investors said 2010 will be a good year to buy property.

"The wealth market is relatively insulated," writes Michael McPartland, managing director and head of residential real estate at Citi Private Bank.  Our clients look for opportunities when everyone else is circling the wagons. Buying becomes opportunistic in a downturn, particularly as people turn to hard assets such as property when other assets experience dislocation."

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