SA buyers streaming to Mauritius

South Africans have been clamouring for property on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius since the introduction of the Mauritian Real Estate Scheme (RES) and the current global economic upheaval is fuelling the trend.

So says Kentish Moorghen, GM of the new Chas Everitt International office on the island, who notes that the RES offers potential buyers slightly less expensive properties than those in the Integrated Resorts Scheme (IRS) portfolio, which is also open to foreigners.

And given current economic conditions, SA investors are far more inclined to purchase RES properties, he says. Properties in this scheme range in price from around18m rupees to 25m rupees (roughly R6m) and usually come complete with ocean view and a pool.

Potential buyers also need an occupational permit, which must then be converted to private residency status in order to be able to qualify for property purchases. Foreigners not making cash purchases are eligible for financing through the IRS and RES schemes subject to the approval of the Board of Investment.

Says Moorghen: “South African interest in Mauritian property has increased greatly over the years. Mauritius offers a relatively crime-free, relaxed existence a mere four hours’ flight away from SA and the local inflation rate is very stable. Additionally, residents can easily co-ordinate all their business operations from the island as we now have all the amenities necessary to facilitate these interests.”

The credit crunch has unsurprisingly had an impact on foreign investment into the country and IRS purchases have slowed but Moorghen says that the market will probably turn upwards within the next six months or so. Construction costs are also expected to drop which will give the market further impetus.

Meanwhile, he says, the new Chas Everitt office, which grew out of the highly respected local property company Davyland, is battling to keep up with demand for all types of property. “Investors, of which the majority are South African, are already familiar with the Chas Everitt brand and this, coupled with our proud track record at Davyland, gives them and local property interests the confidence to bring their business to us.”

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