Mauritius property developers and agents are beginning to see some traction in the number of South Africans buying property on the Indian Ocean island says Theo Pietersen from Seeff Mauritius.
The island is regarded as the best business and property investment on the African continent and a logical alternative residency option for African buyers.
“It is an idyllic Indian Ocean Island destination, close to the continent and is arguably the top offshore property attraction for South Africans. With the property legislation changed to encourage more investment in property along with an aggressive economic and investment strategy, the country intends to further cement its position as the new luxury destination on the African continent,” said Pietersen.
It is already regarded as the best performing economy (recognised by the World Bank) and boasts the highest per capita wealth of $25,700 which is more than double that of second-placed South Africa according to a New World Wealth report.
The World Economic Forum also ranks Mauritius as the most competitive market in Africa.
The legislative change means that you can invest in a range of property options, from commercial to residential for the rental market, so it does not just have to be because you are looking for Mauritius Residency, said Pietersen. In view of this, a range of new opportunities have become available for South African buyers.
“You can now get into the market from as little as around R2.5 million (MUR 6,000,000, excluding taxes and legal fees) for a beach property that would be popular for rentals and around R2.3 million for a commercial office,” said Pietersen, who stressed that these properties are for investment purposes and may be lived in or rented out for a return on investment, but does not permit permanent residency.
The latter would require a notably higher investment.
According to James Bowling, chief executive officer of residency and citizenship by investment facilitator, Monarch & Co, non-Mauritian citizens are eligible for a residence permit upon the purchase of a property under the Property Development Scheme (PDS) programme with a minimum value of $500,000.
Pietersen said that South African investors are also assured of secure property ownerships rights and full expatriation of any profits. There is no Capital Gains Tax (CGT), dividends or inheritance tax and a flat personal and corporate tax rate of 15% applies.
He said further that his offices receive many enquiries from SA buyers and investors about opportunities in Mauritius.
“With so much going for it, Mauritius is truly the new property hot spot on the continent. Aside from general investment in property or for residency purpose, it is also a fabulous holiday and retirement destination, thus offering a diverse range of reasons to invest in property,” he said.
“It is only a 4-5 hour direct flight from SA. There is finance available from SA banks or from Mauritian banks at interest rates of around 5%-7% with 40% cash deposit requirement.
“Coupled with the allowance available to South Africans to invest offshore (being R10 million (R20 million for couples) plus a further R1 million discretionary allowance that South Africans can take out of the country), makes Mauritius a very attractive option,” the agent said.