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Mauritius Emerges as a ‘Safe Haven’ for Affluent South Africans, Boosting Luxury Property Market

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The high-end property market in Mauritius is experiencing a revival after years of diminished interest brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and challenges in international travel. Real estate experts, both international agents and local developers, report that sales in prime developments have witnessed unprecedented growth in the past 18 months.

  1. The luxury property market in Mauritius has experienced a significant revival in the past 18 months, driven by investors from Britain, Europe, and South Africa who view the island as a ‘safe haven’ for investment and lifestyle purposes.
  2. Mauritius is an attractive destination for high-net-worth individuals due to its strategic location, dynamic business landscape, and advantageous tax policies, including the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) that offers residency rights and tax benefits.
  3. The profile of luxury buyers in Mauritius is shifting, with an increasing number of families and developers entering the market, attracted by the island’s lavish lifestyle, thriving business environment, and high-quality educational institutions.

The resurgence in the luxury property market is driven by buyers from Britain, Europe, and South Africa, who perceive the island as a ‘safe haven.’ These investors are purchasing properties for both investment purposes and improved lifestyle experiences.

Between 2014 and mid-2022, foreign direct investment in luxury real estate in Mauritius amounted to 63.3 billion rupees (R25 billion) – accounting for approximately 40% of all international investment inflow, according to the Bank of Mauritius. Bloomberg reported that rising demand for luxury properties contributed to an increase in inflows, reaching 25 billion rupees (R10 billion) in 2022.

The Africa Wealth Report 2022 highlighted that Mauritius is home to nearly 5,000 high-net-worth individuals, representing a 78% growth compared to the previous decade. The island nation is highly sought after by affluent individuals from around the globe, owing to its strategic location, vibrant business environment, and favorable tax policies.

Robert Green from Sphere Estates explained the appeal of Mauritius to overseas investors, stating, “Overseas investors are attracted to Mauritius because of the lifestyle but also because it is considered one of the safest African nations with a dynamic economy and stable political framework. It makes sense fiscally with property buyers seeing a good capital uplift from their investment.”

Green also highlighted the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) as a significant factor, providing buyers with residency rights and tax benefits, thus fostering a conducive environment for investment. He noted that an increasing number of families are relocating to Mauritius either full-time or part-time, drawn by the opulent lifestyle, thriving business climate, and high-quality educational institutions.

Christophe Piquet from Heritage Villas Valriche observed a shift in the profile of luxury buyers. He said, “Heritage Villas Valriche has typically attracted buyers that are 50+, early retired, have sold their business and have a penchant for golf, traveling, and nature. We are now starting to attract families and also developers buying and constructing to sell on.”

Green emphasized that international investors view Mauritius as a prime destination for safeguarding their wealth through investments in the real estate market.

In addition to its booming property sector, Mauritius was voted the World’s Best Nature Destination in a study conducted by TripAdvisor. The island’s lush tropical forests, pristine white sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, and pleasant year-round climate make it a popular destination for those seeking retreats and outdoor adventures.

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