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Mauritius is counting on its property development schemes to battle the economic doldrums resulting from COVID-19. Before the pandemic, Mauritius real estate was booming.
Several property investment schemes have fuelled interest from foreign homebuyers over the years. The most recent is G+2, which allows foreigners to buy apartments in condominiums of at least two levels above ground. This resulted from a 2016 amendment to the country’s Non-Citizens (Property Restriction) Act.
In 2015, foreigners were able to buy villas for sale in Mauritius through the new Property Development Scheme (PDS). The PDS combines the features of the Real Estate Scheme and Integrated Resort Scheme. What’s more, real estate investors from overseas can also channel their investments via the Integrated Hotel Scheme (IHS) introduced in 2012.
Under these schemes, foreign buyers gain a permanent resident permit with a property purchase for a minimum USD375,000. This makes it easier to invest in Mauritius real estate. The price point was USD500,000 until government announced its budget for 2020/21. Meanwhile, foreigners investing in the country’s property development schemes also gain tax resident status.
There are plenty of real estate developments available to foreign buyers. So, 52 PDS projects have been approved since Mauritius real estate sales were opened to foreign homebuyers. This scheme’s predecessors, the RES and the IRS, gained approvals for 85 and 12 projects, respectively.
Currently, applications for 34 private constructions projects are in the pipeline and these are being fast-tracked to enable further foreign investment. It’s for good reason. From 2005 to 2018, it was estimated that foreign investors spent MUR73,7 billion on real estate transactions under the schemes.
In the first nine months of 2019, foreigners invested close to MUR13,6 billion in island property schemes. This represented a hefty 92,5 percent year-on-year gain in real estate sales to overseas buyers.
Mauritius real estate remains a solid investment for foreigners and the Mauritian government continues to sharpen incentives to regain momentum for economic growth.