If you’ve ever visited Mauritius, or even just seen pictures of it’s ocean paradise, it is more than tempting to think of buying property there. After all, accommodation is extremely expensive and the possibilities for renting the property out while you are not there could be very financially beneficial. It may be an extreme dream, but Mauritius is an island so beautiful it probably shouldn’t exist outside of a dream, but it does – and so can your dream.
Thankfully, there are plenty of specialized companies who can help find your island retreat in Mauritius. Many of these let you view properties from the comfort of your own home via an Internet connection, only traveling to the country to view something when you know you like the look of it. These companies are extremely useful also in helping with the legal process of buying, but these services do come at a cost. As the official language of Mauritius is English, buying for yourself may not be as difficult as you would expect.
Every time of property you would expect in Europe and America is available in Western properties, from apartments to bungalows and houses. Land is also widely available, so if you prefer the idea of building your own island retreat the possibility is there. Property prices vary little across the island, mainly due to it’s size – as Mauritius is only around 40 miles long, where you are does not entirely matter. Prices are ever so slightly high in the capital and port of Port Louis, but the difference is nothing staggering.
Property prices are dependent on what you’re looking for, but that’s true of any countries. One of the main problems is finding property that can be bought by non-Mauritians, as there is often strict preference given to Mauritian nationals. However, these properties are available if you’re willing to spend a few hours on the Internet finding them.
For a holiday apartment of up to three bedrooms, prices are usually around $84,000 / L43,000. These will usually have a floor size of up to 100 square meters The majority of these are built near beaches, but on an island as small as Mauritius, you’re never far from the sea front. Apartment complexes are common, with basic facilities useful for holidaying as well as a permanent living area.
If you prefer the idea of a house, prices vary once more. As with any property market, Mauritius property is about finding the best deal to suit you. Prices are generally lower than the Northern hemisphere normal, but there is rarely anything that could be considered hugely cheap. Reasonable is the word when it comes to Mauritius property.
If it’s real Mauritian luxury you’re after, the property market does provide. For example, you can buy a six bedroom house with it’s own private beach for around $950,000 / £486,000. If this is a little out of range, houses with three or four bedrooms tend to start around $150,000 / £78,000 which is certainly cheaper than buying in the UK or America.
The real estate industry in Mauritius is vibrant and thriving. Properties such as land, apartments, bungalows and beach villas are widely advertised online. Hotels and commercial spaces are being marketed – either for rent or for sale. The expensive properties are lands or villas fronting the beach or those situated on tourist areas such as Port Louis and Grand Baie. A few years back, however, the industry was not this prosperous and real estate agents were focusing their efforts on Mauritians (residing either in Mauritius or abroad) wishing to invest in their home town.
The Mauritian government decided to increase foreign investment and one way is to cater to foreigners who wish to purchase real estate in the country. Before the introduction of IRS, it was virtually impossible for non-Mauritians to purchase a property in Mauritius. Even with the scheme in force, foreigners still cannot buy any beach villa they desire. Instead, they are offered luxury residential property under a developer registered for the IRS. These villas have luxurious amenities such as swimming pools, spa, golf courses and other sport facilities. Residents are also provided with security, maintenance, solid waste disposal services and household services.
The Tamarina Golf Estate and Beach Club was the first one to develop such plush real estates. It sold out even before it was completed. On the east coast of Mauritius, Anahita also developed elite residential villas under the IRS. Ninety-three percent of the properties were sold out in an invitation-only sales launch in just one day. About half a year before that, the Four Seasons Private Residences Mauritius also sold out its residential villas. The residents of the Lunea villas are provided with all the necessary necessities fit for a lavish lifestyle – a gourmet restaurant, an infinity pool, fitness centers, kids club and a series of trendy boutiques.
More real estate developers are following suit. The Domaine de Beau Rivage Residential Golf Resort is offering a real estate investment opportunity for those who wish to get away from the demands of the urban areas and settle to the luxury of communing with nature. Like all other luxury villas, this residential golf resort offers an 18-hole championship green designed by the European golf legend, Colin Montgomerie. Aside from that, residents will be able to enjoy a marina, restaurants, a club house and broadband connections.
Villas Valriche is another cause for the increasing enthusiasm of would-be real estate buyers. There are 288 villas for sale, with buyers having the choice of a two-, three- or four-bed villas. The project is estimated to be finished in 2010 and promises an exhilarating view of the Mauritian sea and the Black River Gorge National Park.
Those who are contemplating investment in these properties have to remember that such luxurious living doesn’t come cheap. Under the IRS, non-Mauritians have to invest a minimum of US$ 500,000 and have to shell out US$ 70,000 for land registration tax. Prospective buyers may have to spend more than that, however. A two-bedroom villa at 180 sq. m. costs $800,000 while a four-bedroom luxury residential property at 387 sq.m. costs 1.79 million dollars. One of the upside of such spending, aside from the ultra-comfortable lifestyle, is the granting of a permanent residential status three years after occupation of the property.
With Mauritius property, you can buy a suitably comfortable and well maintained property for a more than reasonable price. If you intend to visit the island regularly, it will inevitably work out cheaper than the very expensive accommodation prices. But be careful, as many Mauritius properties have the condition of cash purchases only. Do your research and you could soon be spending your summers in your own home in Paradise.