Mauritius is a popular tourist destination in the world. But its economic, political and fiscal environment also favors the arrival of many foreign investors. Mauritius is one of the most advantageous countries for real estate investment abroad. Since its independence in March 1968, the island has displayed a legendary economic stability and a remarkable business performance. This country, perfectly bilingual, presents all the advantages of a successful real estate investment abroad.
The real estate market in Mauritius
Since the 1970s, many foreign investors, especially the French, have been interested in Mauritius for its profitable and advantageous real estate market.
An ideal geographic location
Located near the island of La Réunion, in the southern hemisphere and in the heart of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is just as close to other islands such as Madagascar (900 km), and the Seychelles (2000 km). With an area of 2040 km², Mauritius is characterized by kilometres of white sand beaches, gourmet cuisine with many tastes, star-studded luxury hotels and a welcoming and perfectly bilingual population. With La Réunion and Rodriques, it formed the Mascarene archipelago.
A favorable climate
Due to the regular trade winds of the southeast, Mauritius enjoys a tropical climate sunny in summer and temperate in winter. From November to April, coastal temperatures range from 24 to 30°. In winter, they rarely drop below 18°, but do not exceed 25°. Mauritian summer is often marked by high heat (40°C), but it is perfectly viable thanks to a light sea breeze and a stronger wind to the east. In the capital, the temperature drops by about 5° without ever exceeding 30° in general. Significant temperature differences are observed in winter, ranging from 2° to 27° during the day to as much as 15° along the coast and 9° in the center.
Like all islands in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is also experiencing an annual cyclonic period, between late January and March. But it rarely lasts more than 48 hours and is not very violent.
Outstanding political and economic stability
Mauritius has a very strong economic development since its independence. By implementing an investment-oriented policy, the country benefits from a highly developed economy and stability. The Mauritius economy is both prosperous and diversified. It includes a number of promising sectors, including electronic commerce, textiles, tourism and real estate. Mauritius also offers a safe and supportive environment for all investors.
Exceptional quality of life
Mauritius is a tourist destination, certainly the most sought after in Africa and attracts a very large number of tourists every year. Many visitors even decide to move there to invest in real estate or enjoy a serene retirement through a residential real estate purchase. The exceptional quality of life offered by Mauritius is a real asset for a successful rental investment abroad. In this country, foreigners have seen their purchasing capacity increase tenfold, while having access to a life that is much better than in their country of origin.
An attractive tax system
Mauritius tax policy benefits local and foreign investors. It offers many very advantageous tax opportunities for a real estate investment, including a single tax rate of 15% on personal income and profits. Mauritian taxation is also distinguished by the absence of taxes on dividends, wealth and capital gains. It also makes no mention of any inheritance duty or social charges. In addition, the Mauritian Government applies a great deal of freedom to exchange money within its territory, in particular through the absence of any special restrictions on the repatriation of dividends and profits.
Investing in real estate in Mauritius
Real estate investment in Mauritius is supported by a specific policy put in place by the Mauritian government. The State, through the approvals that allow foreign investors to become legal owners of one or more immovable property in Mauritius, encourages foreign investment in the country. The introduction of the Property Development Scheme (PDS) allows a foreign national to purchase real estate and at the same time become a permanent resident, through a minimum purchase of $500,000 (approximately €380,000).
For a property purchase carried out on Mauritian territory, the foreign national benefits from a single tax rate of 15% on income tax and VAT. It is also exempt from tax on dividends, capital gains, inheritance rights and wealth.
By signing a double taxation agreement with some 30 countries, including France, Mauritius also allows any taxpayer resident in Mauritius to pay only his taxes on the territory.
Real estate programs available to foreign investors in Mauritius
The PDS or Property Development Scheme
Previously, the Mauritian state had set up three schemes to allow a foreign national to invest in real estate in Mauritius. IRS (Integrated Resort Scheme), RES (Real Estate Scheme) and IHS (Invest Hotel Scheme). The first two investment schemes differ mainly on the size of the residence, the minimum allowable purchase price and the arrangements. Since June 2015, a new legal framework has been put in place to replace and include the IRS and RES, in order to better monitor the real estate programs available in Mauritius.
The PDS (Property Development Scheme) proposes conditions similar to the two previous investment schemes. Among other things, the presence of certain infrastructures (spa, shopping center, gym, club, etc.), the securing of residences, or even the development of a land with an area equal to or greater than 10 ha. However, The PDS does not impose a minimum purchase requirement to access all tax benefits.
The SCS (Smart City Scheme)
This judicial investment framework also allows a foreign national to take advantage of all the tax advantages applied to Mauritius. The SCS mainly concerns the development of a smart city, on a minimum of 21 ha, including commercial areas, public services, activity centers, shops, green and leisure areas, hotels and residential areas designed in a pleasant ecological environment. The specificity of the Smart City Scheme also lies in the sale of 25% of the residential units of the project, exclusively dedicated to Mauritian citizens or members of the diaspora.
For any type of real estate investment in Mauritius, the foreign national must file an application for acquisition with the Board of Investment (BOI), in Port-Louis, with the required information and documents on the official website of the Board. In addition, the development of PDS or SCS real estate projects is reserved exclusively for real estate developers with real expertise in the business. Any real estate project carried out on Mauritian territory must respect the environment and integrate perfectly into Mauritian life.