South African investors flock to Mauritius

January marked a pivotal moment for Rawson Property Group as it opened its doors on the popular island destination for the first time.

According to Rawson Property Group MD, Tony Clarke, this expansion will provide attractive investment opportunities for South Africans.

“Mauritius has become a very popular emigration destination for South Africans, and is also a favourite spot for business relocation and expansion,” said Clarke.

“It has enviable political stability and an impressive track record of economic growth, with very liberal, business-friendly policies and extremely favourable tax laws.”

Indeed, with income tax capped at 15% and land transfer tax at 5%, Mauritius is a very tax-efficient destination for South Africans. Zero inheritance and capital gains tax only adds to the appeal for those weighing up the benefits of long-term investments like property.

“Next to the French, the second-largest number of foreign investors in Mauritius is now South Africans,” said franchisee, Isabelle Hardy.

“That said, we also have buyers from Great Britain, Reunion, Madagascar, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and China. Our buyers range from seasoned investors, to seniors coming to retire, to working professionals and young couples looking for a safe, lifestyle-focussed place to raise their families.”

Hardy said most South Africans tend to invest around the MUR8.5 million mark (R3.2 million), although other foreign investments range all the way up to MUR39.860mil (R15 million).

The average 4-bedroomed villa on an erf of 1000m2 will cost upwards of MUR37.867 million (R14.288 million), but more compact properties are available for far less.

“Foreign buyers are only allowed to buy freehold land,” said Hardy, “but there is a wide range of properties to choose from within that space. In fact, between the IRS [Integrated Resort Scheme] RES [Real Estate Scheme], and PDS [Property Development Scheme], there have been almost 150 new developments approved for foreign investment since our property market was opened up to international buyers.”

Some of the more popular developments open to foreign nationals include: Le Parc de Mont Choisy Golf and Beach Estate, Rockview, Ki Resort Apartments, and Nautilya in the north; Pointe d’Esny le Village on the southeast coast; and Akasha Villas and Asmara Beachfront Residences on the west coast.

“Beachfront and sea-view properties are the most expensive,” said Hardy, “with those across the coastal road with mountain views, for example, being more affordable.

“Price trends are stable, but demand is low because of Covid-19. During the pandemic we saw a lower demand from the European market and a high number of property enquiries from keen South Africans.”

Hardy said that stable price trends together with the depreciation of the Mauritian rupee against other currencies, means there are some great opportunities for foreign investors.

Low interest rates on offer from Mauritian lenders means locals can also get in on the action and take advantage of Mauritius’ incredible capital appreciation on properties.

This typically ranges from around 35% to as much as 60% within 3 to 5 years. Add to this gross rental yields of 3.5% to 4% per annum in prime developments, has made Mauritius a popular investment destination, Rawson said.

Read: Mauritius launches new visa that will allow South Africans to live and work there long-term

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South African investors flock to Mauritius