Discovering Paradise

Discovering Paradise

Warm, tranquil water surrounded by lush and almost artificially green landscape. This is the first impression you get when you explore the lesser-known south-eastern part of Mauritius. Relatively unspoiled by tourism and the daily run-around of tour guides, the area maintains its pristine and authentically Mauritian experience.

This is what the developers of a new village, Pointe d’Esny Le Village, want to bring to residents. “Integration is really important to us. We don’t want to create these developments of foreigners with Mauritians aside,” says Diane Watkins, Executive Director of Barnes International Realty in Mauritius.

The development

Located 15 minutes from the international airport, and within 45 minutes from the capital, Port Louis, the Village is ideally situated for those looking to make Mauritius their home while staying in touch with the rest of the world.

First delivery of homes is set to take place by 2020, with a range of apartments, duplexes, and villas planned for development. The first phase will see three types of villas, one type of apartment, and two types of duplexes. Phase two is planned for completion within six years.

The development works in conjunction with the local Property Development Scheme (PDS), which aims to promote investment in property without seclusion or segregation. As a result, serviced plots (of which there are 102) can only be bought by locals. Once developed, however, these can be sold to anyone.

The commercial hub of the development, open to the public and residents, will feature a school, sports centre, bars and restaurants, as well as a senior living facility. Residents will also have exclusive access to the beach club. Currently a luxury hotel, the beach club opens up to the one of the best-preserved natural lagoons in the world.

Prices start just shy of $500 000 for a 131sqm apartment, with the top-of-the-range 450sqm villas reaching approximately $2m. Furthering attempts to stay true to the island style of living, homes are built with natural materials that reflect the surroundings. Expect to see shingle roofs, stone masonry, and warm hues. Since this is a tropical island, boundary walls are kept at a minimum. Not only will this enable the air to move (much-needed in the summer months), but it also adds to the communal sense of living.

“Only 15% of the total land area will be developed. The rest will be natural and green spaces,” explains Diane. Cristophe Curé, Group Property Manager for Compagnie de Beau Vallon – the developers behind the project – also adds: “Invasive vegetation will be removed. We want to restore the natural plant life on the development.”

The surrounding land – with its lush mountains and vast sugarcane fields – belongs to the developers and will remain undeveloped, further fostering a sense of nature.

Mauritius as a business hub

With a population of approximately 1.3m people, the tiny island of Mauritius packs a punch. Named the best country in Africa to do business, in the 2017 World Bank Doing Business Report, the island has much to offer for foreign investors looking for a new home.

Income tax, corporate tax, and VAT is at a flat rate of 15%, meaning no more wealth tax, capital gains tax, or inheritance tax. With English being the official language, business is easy to do in the country’s main centers. An investment-friendly banking system, title deeds are computerised and completed in approximately one month.

Mauritius at a glance

  • Flat tax rate of 15%
  • Political stability
  • Time zone on track with Europe
  • English widely spoken
  • Expanding logistics platform
  • Incorporation of a company within 2 hours
  • Fibre-optic connectivity
  • Adult literacy rate of 89,8% (2011)

Traditionally built on the sugar trade, the Mauritian economy has diversified in recent years. With a GDP growth of 4% in 2017, industry is expanding to textile, technology, and the finance sector. Add to that the island’s stellar reputation as a tourism hotspot, and it’s not difficult to see why owning a property here is good for business.

As a foreigner, there are several options when it comes to investing in property. If residency isn’t high on your list, you can opt for an apartment worth at least MUR6m (approximately R2m). This is allowed thanks to an amendment made to the Non-Citizens (Property Restriction) Act, in 2016.

In order to obtain residency through property investment, the aforementioned PDS comes into play. Here,  a minimum of $500 000 needs to be invested in a property. This offers the purchaser and their dependents residency as long as they own the property in question.

The island holds many opportunities, including a Smart Cities Scheme (SCS) that aims to improve the island’s green and IT sectors. Education on the island comprises more than 2 000 institutions. With international business schools, international pre-primary, primary and secondary schools, and several campuses of renowned international universities, educating yourself or your family is a breeze.

Managing your foreign property

For those looking to invest in Pointe d’Esny Le Village, the good news keeps coming. The monthly levy will include everything from maintenance of the communal areas, your garden and pool, and insurance. “The point is to keep the whole area maintained,” Diane explains.

Once complete, a total of R4b will have been spent on the development. It will be managed by Barnes International, with short and long term letting being done though the agency. Once again, this offers homeowners peace of mind when it comes to their investment.

Cristophe adds that the development will be fully self sufficient. With strong water pressure, fibre internet, and a sewage treatment plant that diverts waste from the lagoon and allows for irrigation.

While Mauritius is known for its packed beaches and fully equipped beach resorts, there is something enchanting about discovering a part of the island that hasn’t been touched by the outside world. With a team of local experts on board, this new development promises to marry the old with the new in a sustainable way.

Disclaimer: Monique was hosted by Barnes International Realty and Compagnie de Beau Vallon

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