Riviera penthouse to be ‘world’s most expensive’

A penthouse apartment on the French Riviera will go on sale next year with developers expecting it to become the most expensive in the world when it exchanges hands. It could cost a cool €300 million, but thankfully comes without any "vis-a-vis". Take a look.

Riviera penthouse to be 'world's most expensive'
You'll need money and a head for heights. Will this become the most expensive apartment in the world when it goes on sale next year? Photo: Challenges/Twitter

The world’s most plush apartment will be up for sale next year, but be warned, you’ll need a head for heights and incredibly deep pockets to be able to afford it.

The penthouse apartment will be built at the top of the 170-metre-high Odeon tower in the tax haven of Monaco on the chic French Riviera.

It will include four floors of the tower – from the 45th to the 49th and in total will measure 3,500 square metres. It is set to be handed over for sale in September 2015.

The developer – the powerful Marzocco group – hope it will sell in the region of €300 million – slightly more than your average barn conversion in the Dordogne.

“We think we can even get a little bit more,” Daniele Marzocco, one of the directors said back in June.  

Apart from the obligatory bedrooms, lounge, dining and kitchen on each floor, the apartment will feature a sauna, private cinema, steam room and an infinity pool with a slide on the 47th floor, plus a bloody good view and no “vis-a-vis” (Overlook from neighbours).

The French news site Challenges claims however that the developers might have a hard time getting it off their hands for a decent price.

“In the small world of luxury penthouses, sales are negotiated hard, often through lawyers and they are rarely sold within 18 months,” an unnamed expert told the newspaper.

The expert also warned over misinformation saying “the properties are rarely sold at the price announced”.

Reports say the developers have so far found buyers for 26 out of the 36 luxury apartments in the Odeon tower, the first sky-scraper to be built in the principality since the 1980s, which is costing more than €600 million to construct.

The finishing touches are being put to the tower with work set to be complete by early next year.

According to the Marzocco group around one quarter of the apartments sold have gone to expats from the former Soviet Union.

The Monaco government bought up 166 apartments at lower levels for the exclusive purchase of residents of the principality, who will use a different entrance to the other owners.

Those flats will go on sale in September.

To see more of the Odeon Tower, you can watch this promotional video.

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Property taxes: How much will it cost to extend your French home?

Installing a swimming pool, building a garden shed, or adding a conservatory to your French home has become more expensive in 2023.

Property taxes: How much will it cost to extend your French home?

If you are planning a renovation project in 2023 you’re likely looking at rising cost for materials and labour due to inflation – but there is one other cost to consider; taxes. 

In France there is a one-off tax that has to be paid on certain building works, and the government has raised the rate for this.

The taxe d’aménagement, sometimes referred to as the garden shed tax, applies to all property development – construction, reconstruction and extension – of buildings that require planning permission or a building permit.

Garden sheds, swimming pools or extensions with a surface area of more than 5 square metres are subject to the development tax – although a 50 percent reduction is applied to the flat-rate values of certain buildings, particularly the first 100 square metres of main residences.

READ ALSO Everything you need to know about installing a swimming pool at your French property

The tax is collected by local councils, who set their own percentage rates for the tax, working off the base rate set by the government.

A decree published in the Journal Officiel set the base figures for 2023 at the following rates: 

  • €1,004 per square metre in Île-de-France (up from €929 per square metre in 2022);
  • €886 per square metre outside Île-de-France (€820 per square metre in 2022).

The flat-rate values per square metre of building space, which constitute the basis for the development tax, are revised on January 1st of each year according to the latest construction cost index published by national statistics body Insee. 

Additionally, specific rates are set for:

  • €250 per square metre  for a swimming pool (up from €200 in 2022);
  • €12 per square metre of ground-fixed solar panels (up from €10 in 2022);
  • €3,000 per wind turbine more than 12 metres high;
  • €3,000 per pitch for tents, caravans and mobile leisure homes;
  • €10,000 per pitch for a holiday chalet or bungalow.

The amount of the tax is calculated according to the following formula: 

(Taxable area multiplied by the government-set base figure) multiplied by the percentage tax rate set by the local authorities. This gives the total to be paid in cents. Bills are rounded down.

So, the tax for a 30 square metre extension in an area where the combined local and departmental tax rates total 6.25 percent would be calculated like this:

30 (the size of the development) x 886 (the base tax rate outside Ile-de-France) = 26,580

6.25 (local and departmental tax) x 26,580 = 166,125 cents, more usually expressed as €1,661. 

If the total payable is less than €1,500, you will receive a bill in the six months after planning permission was granted, with details of how to pay.

Otherwise, it is paid in two instalments, 12 months and 24 months after authorisation, with a 10 percent surcharge applied in cases of late payments.

READ ALSO The hidden costs of owning property in France