The real estate industry in Mauritius is vibrant and thriving. Properties such as land, apartments, bungalows and beach villas are widely advertised online. Hotels and commercial spaces are being marketed – either for rent or for sale. The expensive properties are lands or villas fronting the beach or those situated on tourist areas such as Port Louis and Grand Baie. A few years back, however, the industry was not this prosperous and real estate agents were focusing their efforts on Mauritians (residing either in Mauritius or abroad) wishing to invest in their home town. All this has changed however, with the recently introduced Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS).
The Mauritian government decided to increase foreign investment and one way is to cater to foreigners who wish to purchase real estate in the country. Before the introduction of IRS, it was virtually impossible for non-Mauritians to purchase a property in Mauritius. Even with the scheme in force, foreigners still cannot buy any beach villa they desire. Instead, they are offered luxury residential property under a developer registered for the IRS. These villas have luxurious amenities such as swimming pools, spa, golf courses and other sport facilities. Residents are also provided with security, maintenance, solid waste disposal services and household services.
The Tamarina Golf Estate and Beach Club was the first one to develop such plush real estates. It sold out even before it was completed. On the east coast of Mauritius, Anahita also developed elite residential villas under the IRS. Ninety-three percent of the properties were sold out in an invitation-only sales launch in just one day. About half a year before that, the Four Seasons Private Residences Mauritius also sold out its residential villas. The residents of the Lunea villas are provided with all the necessary necessities fit for a lavish lifestyle – a gourmet restaurant, an infinity pool, fitness centers, kids club and a series of trendy boutiques.
More real estate developers are following suit. The Domaine de Beau Rivage Residential Golf Resort is offering a real estate investment opportunity for those who wish to get away from the demands of the urban areas and settle to the luxury of communing with nature. Like all other luxury villas, this residential golf resort offers an 18-hole championship green designed by the European golf legend, Colin Montgomerie. Aside from that, residents will be able to enjoy a marina, restaurants, a club house and broadband connections.
Villas Valriche is another cause for the increasing enthusiasm of would-be real estate buyers. There are 288 villas for sale, with buyers having the choice of a two-, three- or four-bed villas. The project is estimated to be finished in 2010 and promises an exhilarating view of the Mauritian sea and the Black River Gorge National Park.
Those who are contemplating investment in these properties have to remember that such luxurious living doesn’t come cheap. Under the IRS, non-Mauritians have to invest a minimum of US$ 500,000 and have to shell out US$ 70,000 for land registration tax. Prospective buyers may have to spend more than that, however. A two-bedroom villa at 180 sq. m. costs $800,000 while a four-bedroom luxury residential property at 387 sq.m. costs 1.79 million dollars. One of the upside of such spending, aside from the ultra-comfortable lifestyle, is the granting of a permanent residential status three years after occupation of the property.