Conveniently accessible via short, direct flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, the tropical island of Mauritius is proving a great destination for South African buyers looking to acquire residency.
More South Africans are doing business with Mauritius, making it an ideal location to springboard activity elsewhere on the continent, while tax rates for business and individuals are very attractive, at only 15% – with the advantage of no capital gains or inheritance tax.
As a result, there’s already a large South African expat community on the island, according to Pam Golding.
“This trend continues to gather momentum with a surge in acquisitions by South Africans over the past few years, and the past 12 months in particular,” said Richard Haller, director for Pam Golding Properties Mauritius.
“Mauritius has certainly come to the fore, offering strong offshore investment opportunities in hard currency, as well as a secure lifestyle, within a burgeoning economy with a stable government, world-class international schools and a growing tourism market. All this with appealing property investments priced from only $290,000 – plus, with purchases over $500,000 you acquire permanent residency for you and your family.
“While the bulk of our enquiries are from South Africans and also French buyers, including French expatriates living in Africa, who have a natural synergy with Mauritius, where both English and French is widely spoken, purchasers also emanate from Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and elsewhere in Europe.”
For South Africans, interest continues to be centred around the areas of Grand Baie on the north coast (dubbed the St Tropez of Mauritius) and Black River in Tamarin on the west coast – areas where Pam Golding Properties offices are located – and in the price band from $300,000 to $2 million.
In Grand Baie in the luxurious Mont Choisy Le Parc Golf & Beach Estate, where properties are currently priced from $880,000, home owners have seen significant capital growth, said Haller.
“For example, we have recently resold a number of villas at prices in the region of $2 million to $6 million, which reflects capital growth of 50-60% in just four years.”
“We’re also seeing huge returns in Element Bay, a few minutes from Grand Baie, where we’ve just concluded a resale for a two-bedroom penthouse which was acquired for $370,000 and sold for $500,000 three to four years later. This development includes a gym, swimming pool and variety of water sport activities and is only a minute’s walk to the beach,” said Haller.
Rental incomes are also providing owners in prime located developments such as these with 3.5-4.5% gross yield per annum on top of capital growth, said Pam Golding.
Increasingly, said Haller, the trend among travellers is to look for luxury rentals which resemble more of a home-from-home than a hotel.
They prefer standalone villas or luxury apartments where they can enjoy luxury island living while using on site facilities akin to a resort.
Expats on work contracts generally seek a corporate rental for a period of about three years, mostly in the price range from Rs50,000 (Mauritian Rupees) to Rs130,000 $1,500 to $3,800 per month, while luxury rentals are between Rs130,000 and Rs325,000 $3,800 to $9,500.
In the north in Grand Baie Pam Golding Properties said it is marketing a new resort-style development called Ki Resort Apartments, which is aimed at the South African residency and investment market. This is situated in Pereybere, a few hundred metres from the coastal road, offering access to the developers’ BeachClub right on Pereybere beach.
Two-bedroom units sell for $290,000. Residents have access to large swimming pools, a fully-equipped gym, café, underground parking and store rooms.
At one of the property group’s other developments, three- and four-bedroom villas start from $2.66 million. Designed by world-renowned architect Stefan Antoni of SAOTA, the estate includes a fitness centre and swimming pool set in landscaped gardens.
In Black River on the west coast in Tamarin, with sea and mountain views and conveniently near the airport, a luxury development called Akasha Villas is currently under construction, comprising freestanding, three to six-bedroom villas with large verandas and spacious living areas well-priced from $910,000.
Also marketed through Pam Golding Properties and located in a prime beachfront location in Black River is another resort-style development, Asmara Beachfront Residences, with views of the La Tourelle mountain range and with apartments priced from $660,000.
Haller said it’s very rare for foreigners to be able to buy units on a beachfront site in a development such as this, with a pool and beach club, tennis court, gym and spa.