The island nation of Mauritius sits on the Indian Ocean some 1,200 miles off the African coast.

Haven for Beach Life, Golfing, Kitesurfing & Favorable Tax Laws

The Republic of Mauritius declared independence from Great Britain in 1968.  Prior to 2005, residential land on this island paradise with its population of approximately 1.25M people was available only to Mauritian citizens.  Once the market opened to all, property sold lightning fast and demand was sky high.

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And why not?  This tropical island is stunningly beautiful with powdery white sand and turquoise waters.  Resort communities outfitted with golf courses, five-star hotels, beach clubs, restaurants and gardens have bloomed.

Mauritius offers an additional attraction – tax friendliness.  The Republic has no property, inheritance or capital gains taxes, no taxes on dividends but does impose a maximum tax on rental revenue of 15%.

Mauritius Currently a Buyer’s Market

According to data from Lexpress Property, Mauritius’s online property search portal, the island’s housing market contracted in 2020.  As tourism plummeted due to COVID, demand plummeted since Mauritis is heavily dependent upon tourism.

Timo Geldenhuys, a partner with Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty, confirmed that the market currently favors buyers.  “We have an oversupply in the market right now, but we anticipate that as borders open this will change.”

Despite this oversupply, prices have held firm simply because sellers “…aren’t desperate sellers, so they’re not going to drop their prices.”  Geldenhuys continued by saying that if current homeowners are “…willing and wanting to sell, they would just hold the property until the market recovers.”

Home Prices

With no major/minor fluctuations in the market due to COVID, sale prices range from $2,500-$6,000/square meter ($232-$557/square foot) including the cost of land.

Currently, demand is highest for entry level homes priced at approximately $400,000 to $700,000 while, according to Geldenhuys, the higher end of the market has been “slow to come back.”

Outi de Falbaire, founder and CEO of Barnes Mauitius, said that the price of $232-$557/square foot has held firm.  Luxury prices can go as high as $930/square foot in some cases, but these lux prices are “…very low compared to any tropical island around the world.”

Who Buys on Mauritius

Many buyers want to take advantage of both Mauritis’s favorable foreign tax structure as well as the republic’s residency-by-invesment program.  Last year, the government lowered its investment residency program from $500,000 to $375,000.  De Falbaire mentioned a client from South Africa who bought a property last month who “…definitely wanted a residence permit for Mauritians.  That was one of their criteria.”

Half of Mauritis’s buyers is French.  (This makes complete sense since the island was under French rule between 1715-1810 before Great Britain took over.)  The balance of buyers come from South Africa (30% of the market) with other international buyers from Britain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the US.

Buying Basics

Geldenhuys said, “Foreigners can only purchase residential properties in government approved schemes in Mauritius.”

Basically, there are two options:  the Integrated Resort Scheme for high-end resort properties and the Small Cities initiative for other residential properties.

Buyers pay closing costs, including transfer taxes, notary fees and the agent’s commission.  All tallied, the total comes to about 8% of the purchase price.

Thanks to The New York Times.




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