Savvy South African investors have for several years been aware of the favourable investment climate of Mauritius, the country the World Bank ranks as the best in Africa in which to conduct business.
Says Diane Watkins, Executive Director of Barnes International Realty in Mauritius: “Property purchases within designated Property Development Scheme (PDS) areas that are in excess of US$500 000 earn foreign investors permanent residence status, personal and corporate tax has been standardised at an investor-friendly rate of15% and there is no capital gains tax.
“There is also no need for property owners in this investment bracket to constantly renew their permanent residence documentation, because it is tied to their title deeds and is also transferrable as part of an estate.
“Foreign investors looking at purchasing property in PDS’ can start more conservatively, though, and still expect excellent medium-to long-term returns.”
Watkins observes that, in recent years, South Africans have become increasingly dominant in Mauritius property and their buying power is contributing to the construction and real estate sector having become the second largest GDP-generator, according to statistics from the country’s Board of Investment.
Most South Africans – whether holidaying on the island or reviewing investment opportunities – will be most familiar with the West and North coasts, although the East Coast also offers a smattering of upmarket resorts.
“The South-East coast, however, is almost entirely unknown to the South African market and this despite the region being home to arguably the most beautiful lagoon in the world. It is with good reason, though, that the area has remained so pristine, charming and unspoilt,” says Watkins.
“Most of the land around the Blue Bay and Pointe d’Esny areas – the two villages that front the lagoon – has had a single owner for nigh on 300 years. That ownership was consolidated under the umbrella of the Compagnie de Beau Vallon Ltée some 97 years ago and remains intact to this day.
“Compagnie de Beau Vallon Ltée has been a successful property developer for a dozen years now, as well as an island agricultural mainstay and a hospitality player, but its new project Pointe d’Esny Le Village is the first in the vicinity of the magnificent setting of the lagoon and as a PDS development it finally unlocks Mauritius’ best kept secret to foreign investors.”
Pointe d’Esny Le Village was launched on the international market last month. It is Mauritius’ first integrated village project close to the ocean under the PDS and incorporates close to 500 residential units from apartments and penthouses to ultra-luxury villas, commercial space, retail areas and hospitality and educational components, as well as world-class leisure and sports amenities.
Watkins says apartments are available from around R5.4 million, Duplexes from R7.2m and Villas range between R15.14m and R28.75m. Cafés and restaurants overlook ponds and lakes and a convenient underpass links the village to the beach and lagoon, which is a protected area of astounding natural beauty.
Thierry Merven, Group Chief Executive Officer of Compagnie de Beau Vallon Ltée, explained at the recent project launch at the company’s Riche en Eau chateau, that the fusion of traditional and contemporary design and extensive use of natural materials would ensure synergy with the unspoilt surrounding landscape.
Merven said the decision to develop Pointe d’Esny Le Village had been taken after a long, considered process.
“Any development in this region had to match our commitment to the preservation and conservation of the area’s heritage, whether architectural, landscape or cultural. Heritage and preservation are integral to our company’s DNA, but the Pointe d’ Esny project also bears witness to the desire to reinvent oneself, to project oneself into the future.”
“In this region we have many assets; authenticity and a sense of community, unspoilt landscapes, the omnipresent water, the largest Mauritian city Mahébourg and the largest lagoon on the island, which is arguably the most beautiful in the world.
“For the first time in many years foreign investors have the opportunity to invest in the beauty of an exceptional lifestyle in Mauritius rather than a built, commercialised environment. Nowhere but in the south-east of the island is this still possible,” Merven concluded.