Just do it!

14 Aug 2020
So you want to buy island property? Mauritius is waiting

Ask any of the role players in Mauritius property why you should move there and they’ll rattle off a list that seems rehearsed. It’s not. It’s just easily remembered because on paradise island the living is just that – easy. For South Africans, there are several factors in favour of property investment here that amplify the allure of this Indian Ocean destination. You can make it your primary residence or your second home if you choose to commute and stay a short flight away from extended family. It doesn’t take long for the dictum “don’t worry, be happy” to become second nature when you’re living in the most content country in Africa.

That’s according to the World Happiness Report 2020, which ranks countries according to citizens’ ratings of quality of life.

Still it gets better. The words “safety and security” are music to South African ears – we’ll go anywhere and do just about anything for that. New World Wealth ranks Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia among the safest countries in Africa for women and children in its AfrAsia Bank Africa Wealth Report 2019. Safety is a huge influence on a country’s wealth growth too, and Mauritius is the fastest growing wealth market in Africa. Even so, because South Africans often sleep better at night with physical evidence of their safe environment, top property developers in Mauritius make access control and a 24/7 security presence part of the package.

Money matters

Then there are the financial perks. Mauritius residents receive very attractive tax breaks. Personal and corporate income tax is capped at 15% and there is no inheritance tax or capital gains tax on properties purchased. Since the recent 2020/2021 budget presentation, the entry requirement for permanent residency with property investment has dropped by a whopping $125,000 and the longevity of the permit has doubled. Now you get 20 years on your permanent residency permit when you invest $375,000 in property earmarked for foreign investment, subject to Economic Development Board approval. Yes, things might be a little more expensive because so much is imported to the island, but that depends on your lifestyle. It can’t compare with the quality of life you get in exchange.

Island life

English is one of the island’s official languages; upmarket developments encourage social interaction through exclusive beach clubs and communal spaces; international schools and university campuses broaden the education offering; the healthcare system is well developed; and driving is on the lefthand side of the road. Mauritius is multiethnic, multireligious and multicultural – so you’re spoilt for choice in terms of cuisine, for example. Outdoor enthusiasts, bird lovers, water-sports junkies, golfers, beachgoers, hikers,climbers, trail runners and cyclists have endless opportunities to stay fit and stress-free. Of course, there are those who opt to admire the views of the ocean, mountains or rolling fields of sugar cane from a comfortable distance with a rum cocktail or a Phoenix beer in hand, and who’s to stop them? If you want to move to Mauritius, the best advice is to visit. Spend some time familiarising yourself with the island and its layout so you can decide where you would like to live. Once international travel opens up, set aside a week at least and make contact with a reputable estate agent who can show you around. In the meantime, enjoy the virtual tours of qualifying properties online and liaise with agents via Zoom and the like.

WORDS: Debbie Hathway - HOMEFRONT

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