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So you want to buy island property? Mauritius is (still) waiting…

WORDS: DEBBIE HATHWAY – IMAGES: SUPPLIED

Ask any of the role players in Mauritius property why you should move there and they’ll rattle off a list that seems rehearsed. It’s not. It’s just easily remembered because on paradise island the living is just that – easy.

This still rings true even now with a much-reported oil spill off the Mauritian coastline, says Richard Haller, director, Pam Golding Properties Mauritius.

“The oil spill is limited to a small pocket on the South Coast of the Island, close to the airport. The prime areas for real estate of Grand Baie and Tamarin are far away from this and there’s absolutely no impact at all in these areas. The main issue with the oil spill is that it’s in an ecologically pristine area,” Haller says.

Strong interest

“We continue to see a strong flow of enquiries for property in Mauritius and we continue to close sales, even though the borders are closed. We have a substantial list of clients planning to come out once flights resume. The objectives of Mauritius to be a strong and stable country and grow the number of high net worth investors on the island remains. I expect next year to be a strong year in real estate thanks to pent-up demand. We’re currently undertaking a large number of Zoom calls every week guiding clients on property purchases,” he says.

Hakuna matata

For South Africans, there are several factors in favour of property investment here that amplify the Mauritian allure. You can make it your primary residence or your second home if you choose to commute and stay a short flight away from extended family. It doesn’t take long for the dictum “don’t worry, be happy” to become second nature when you’re living in the most content country in Africa. That’s according to the World Happiness Report 2020, which ranks countries according to citizens’ ratings of quality of life.

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Safety

Still it gets better. The words “safety and security” are music to South African ears – we’ll go anywhere and do just about anything for that. New World Wealth ranks Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia among the safest countries in Africa for women and children in its AfrAsia Bank Africa Wealth Report 2019. Safety has a huge influence on a country’s wealth growth too, and Mauritius is the fastest growing wealth market in Africa.

Even so, because South Africans often sleep better at night with physical evidence of their safe environment, top property developers in Mauritius make access control and a 24/7 security presence part of the package.

Money matters

Then there are the financial perks. Mauritian residents receive very attractive tax breaks. Personal and corporate income tax is capped at 15% and there’s no inheritance tax or capital gains tax on properties purchased.

Recently, since the 2020/2021 budget presentation, the entry requirement for permanent residency through property investment has dropped by a whopping $125,000 (±R2,1m) and the longevity of the permit has doubled.

Now you get 20 years on your permanent residency permit when you invest $375,000 (±R6,3m) in property earmarked for foreign investment, subject to Economic Development Board approval.

Yes, things might be a little more expensive because so much is imported to the island, but that depends on your lifestyle. It can’t compare with the quality of life you get in exchange.

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Tick the boxes

Mauritius offers various positives for specifically South African investors – English is one of the island’s official languages; upmarket developments encourage social interaction through exclusive beach clubs and communal spaces; international schools and university campuses broaden the education offering; the healthcare system is well developed, and driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Mauritius is multi-ethnic, multireligious, and multicultural so you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cuisine.

Outdoor enthusiasts, bird lovers, water-sports junkies, golfers, beachgoers, hikers, climbers, trail runners and cyclists have endless opportunities to stay fit and stress free. Of course, there are those who opt to admire the views of the ocean, mountains or rolling fields of sugar cane from a comfortable distance with a rum cocktail or a Phoenix beer in hand, and who’s to stop them?

Come visit

If you want to move to Mauritius, the best advice is to visit. Spend some time familiarising yourself with the island and its layout so you can decide where you would like to live.

Once international travel opens up, set aside at least a week and make contact with a reputable estate agent who can show you around. In the meantime, enjoy the virtual tours of qualifying properties online and liaise with agents via Zoom and the like.

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So many options…

In the north, there are several good options in Grand Baie, says Jonathan Tagg, project director, Pam Golding Properties (Mauritius). Much of what’s on offer is for sale off plan or already under construction.

“We seek out the most reliable development companies that offer safe investments in first-rate locations favoured by expats, thereby maximising future growth and rentability for our clients. There’s a fantastic window of opportunity to secure property in this location that blends the best of coastal and estate living. Properties such as Ki Resort, Ki Residences and Soleïa III Residences are a great entry point into the Mauritian market. They’re also ideal for couples who want an island getaway for a few months each year.”

According to Axelle Mazery, head of marketing, sales and communication, Compagnie de Mont Choisy, strong ownership rights favour foreign investment in property in Mauritius, which has one of the best-administered economies in the world.

“Investing in Mont Choisy Golf & Beach Estate, an exclusive 375ha development that includes the acclaimed Mont Choisy Le Parc, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Location advantages include proximity to Le Boulevard in the Mont Choisy Smart City precinct, which enables access to more lifestyle, health, entertainment and outdoor facilities, and a leisure centre incorporating tennis and paddle tennis courts, a children’s play area, a gym, a sauna and a hammam opening in 2021. There are also running and horse-riding tracks in the estate forest. Where better to reinvent your life?”

Says Rinie Boshoff, real estate consultant, 2Futures, “Now is your chance to own a two-bedroom penthouse with a pool and a pergola on a rooftop terrace at Ki Resort in Pereybere. Ki Resort is the only cosmopolitan resort-style living environment in the north that’s within the budget for permanent residency.

“Here you will also enjoy the type of services you’d get at an upmarket hotel and exclusive access to a stylish beach club. Even better: you can pay for your new home via a payment plan over two-and-a-half years. Pay 25% when you sign the title deed, another 15% in a year’s time, and the remaining 60% by the end of the period in 2022.”

The east

The east coast of Mauritius has preserved an authentic rural character and Anahita Mauritius sits perfectly in this environment, says Alexandre Gellé, head of sales, Alteo Properties. “Our gated residential estate unfolds across 213ha of tropical gardens along 6km of coastline beside the widest lagoon on the island. More than 250 families have invested in Anahita over the past 10 years and enjoy our unique lifestyle: an 18-hole golf course designed by Ernie Els, two five-star resorts, an exclusive beach on Ile aux Cerfs, fine services and activities, and the surrounding natural environment to explore.”

You and your immediate family are automatically granted a residence permit upon purchasing property within Anahita. “We have a range of two- to three-bedroom freehold apartments with sea or golf views from R11,9m, three-bedroom semidetached villas along the golf course from R18,6m, as well as new off-plan villas from R18,4m. These are wonderful opportunities to live in the heart of an established estate developed by a reputed promoter that has generated a 25% yield on average upon resale after three years,” Gellé says.

One&Only Le Saint Géran is a legendary resort, established more than 40 years ago on a private peninsula in Mauritius. This is the first development of private homes to be launched by One&Only. The 52 private villas are the only freehold properties with direct access to a pristine sandy beach, and buyers qualify for permanent residency. These two- to six-bedroom homes are available in a choice of five designs and two distinct styles.

“The infrastructure work, entrance and back-of-house are complete and the show home (Villa 26) was delivered in December last year. Building on the rest of the homes will start once we have achieved our financial threshold by May next year. Construction is estimated to take 24 months, with an intended delivery of the first villas by end 2022,” says Hugues Jannet, director, One&Only Private Homes at Le Saint Géran.

See for yourself

  • Pam Golding – pamgolding.co.za
  • Compagnie de Mont Choisy – montchoisy.com
  • 2Futures – 2futures.mu
  • Alteo Properties – anahitamauritius.com
  • One&Only Private Homes at Le Saint Géran – oneandonlyresorts.com