Mauritius, a beautiful island in the middle of the Indian Ocean and gateway to India, Africa, Australia and Asia, has become one of the most desirable countries in the world in which to live.
An ideal combination of political and economic stability, a clean and safe environment, natural splendour, modern infrastructure and favourable tax system make Mauritius that magical choice for many discerning home buyers. Add to all of those benefits the island’s easy access by air, a convenient time zone with Europe (GMT+4) and enjoyable climate, and it is evident why real estate in Mauritius is so popular amongst overseas lifestyle buyers.
Mauritius has one of the strongest economies and is one of the most stable democracies in Africa. It enjoys one of the highest standards of living in Africa, with a GNI per capita of 9,630 USD in 2014, according to the World Bank Group.
According to the Bank of Mauritius, the economy expanded by 3.5% in 2014. This came after GDP growth rates of 3.2% the year before, 3.4% in 2012, 3.6% in 2011 and 4.2% in 2010. Growth is particularly supported by the services sector. Financial services, trade and ICT sectors grew by 5.4%, 3.2% and 6.4% respectively in 2014. Tourism jumped by 4.1% that year.
Mauritius is internationally recognised for its rule of law, coupled with good governance. Mauritius has developed a hybrid and transparent, uniform and impartial legal system that is a composite of British Common Law and the French Code Napoléon and Code Civil.
A few years ago, the government decided to open the island to wealthy foreign buyers and the property market in Mauritius is continuing to expand as a result. The government introduced the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) in 2004 in its attempt to drive more foreign investment. Under this plan, foreign nationals may buy freehold properties for residential purposes in a number of approved developments that have been built to international standards and boast world-class amenities and facilities.
In order to meet the government requirements, buyers must invest a minimum of 500,000 USD in a residential property, located in an IRS development. In exchange, buyers and immediate dependents obtain permanent residency in Mauritius that extends for the period of ownership. Benefits also include access to an attractive fiscal regime that includes low personal and corporate tax, no inheritance and capital gains tax. Mauritius has an extensive network of Double Taxation Agreements, having entered into agreements with 43 countries.
A residency permit also allows residents to apply for an Occupation Certificate to either work in, or start a business in Mauritius. Consequently, Mauritius has successfully positioned itself on the international scene as a very desirable destination in the Indian Ocean, with its laid-back tropical lifestyle.
Mauritius luxury real estate and homes for sale continue to be most popular amongst the French and South Africans. Behind those nationalities come buyers from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, China, Australia and Russia.
Easily accessible via flights from Africa, Europe and Asia, Mauritius has regular flights from major international destinations such as Paris, London, Dubai, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Perth and Sydney, amongst others. Serviced by Air Mauritius, British Airways, Emirates, Air France, South African Airways and other major airlines, expats who choose Mauritius remain confident of being in easy contact with the world.
A broad variety of facilities is available in Mauritius in terms of education, healthcare and medical services, shopping, recreation and sports. The island is not only famed for its beautiful countryside, lagoons, coral reefs and beaches, but also for its heritage of colonial architecture, typical villages, folk traditions and festivities.
With its strategic location, a well developed infrastructure, tropical weather, cultural diversity and beautiful beaches, Mauritius is a paradisiacal destination for those who seek an exceptional lifestyle experience, promising a sophisticated blend of timeless elegance and modern luxury.