Mauritius is most well known for being a luxury tourist destination and a global offshore centre. The property sector in Mauritius has also enjoyed unprecedented growth in recent years with a broad range of properties available to buy from 6 million rupees to several million euros. This growth has been assisted by successive governments support for foreign investors purchasing Mauritius real estate. Mauritius has beautiful scenery, welcoming people, an idyllic location, limited land mass, reliable registration of land, and political and economic stability. This makes it a perfect real estate investment, especially if you are going for permanent residence at the same time.
Frequently asked questions regarding real estate in Mauritius
- Can foreigners buy property in Mauritius?
- How can I Invest in property in Mauritius?
2.1. Property Development Scheme (RES and IRS)
2.2. Ground plus Two apartments
2.3. Smart Cities
- What is the most profitable real estate investment?
- Is property in Mauritius a good investment?
- How much does it cost to build a house in Mauritius?
- Is property expensive in Mauritius?
- How can I get permanent residency in Mauritius?
- How much is an apartment in Mauritius?
- Can South Africans buy a house in Mauritius?
- Where should I live in Mauritius?
- What Tax Incentives are there for buying property in Mauritius?
- What is buying off-plan?
- Key pieces of Advice before buying in Mauritius
1 – Can foreigners buy property in Mauritius?
A non-citizen can invest in real estate in Mauritius, with or without a residence permit. A foreigner can buy property in Mauritius, either as an individual or thorough a company, a trust, a foundation, an LP or a Société. A non-citizen could until July 2022 only buy property in approved schemes detailed below such as the Property Development Scheme but this has all changed, read the latest Budget amendments. Buying land in a Smart City for a personal residential property is only available to those already with residence or occupation permits. Other than this, land cannot be purchased in Mauritius without special permission.
2 – How can I Invest in property in Mauritius?
Overseas investors can only invest in Mauritius in certain schemes and need authorisation from the Economic Development Board (EDB). Outside these schemes, permission is needed from the Prime Minister’s Office. Recent changes in legislation have allowed foreigners more options to purchase Mauritian Real Estate. The range now begins at apartments that can be purchased as from MUR 6 million (or less in a Smart City) as well as the luxury villas in the PDS schemes that can cost several million dollars.
2.1 – PDS, IRS and RES
The Property development Scheme (PDS) is the main current EDB-approved development for foreigners to buy properties. The PDS has replaced the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) and Real Estate Scheme (RES) although they remain in existing developments. It is carefully structured and regulated in order to protect buyers as much as possible. There are rules as to the size of project and the amount of communal land for all the owners of the individual units to enjoy for example. There are are many other limitations and requirements on the PDS Company who are making each development.
A residence permit under the Immigration Act is granted to the non-citizen upon acquisition of a residential property not less than USD 375,000 or its equivalent in any other freely convertible foreign or Mauritian currencies.
The residence permit granted to the non-citizen remains in force until such time the non-citizen shall cease to hold the residential property.
If you buy through a company or other entity then you can nominate who will receive the benefit of the residency.
The residence permit that comes with purchasing a property over USD 375,000 allows the investor to work in Mauritius without acquiring an occupation permit.
2.2 – Ground Plus 2
As of December 2016, the Non-Citizens (Property Restrictions) Act was amended to relax the rules on foreigners buying apartments. Alongside the schemes for residency, Mauritius allows foreigners to buy apartments that are at least 3 floors high, i.e. Ground plus two extra floors. The buyer needs to seek approval from the EDB, and the property purchase price needs to be at least MUR 6 million.
Any non-citizen can buy a property in Mauritius with the necessary permission, with or without a residence permit. Companies, trusts, Foundations and sociétés can buy one of more of these apartments and rent them out. This gives the investor the right to permanent residence if one spends above USD 375,000. This is a change that came recently as before that there was only a long-stay visa.
2.3 – Smart Cities
Smart Cities are privately owned, Government-licenced projects, whereby environmentally friendly working, living and leisure spaces are created. They are the size of a village or a small town. They are technologically-innovative and carefully designed so that people do not need to commute outside the borders and are part of a sociable and conscionable community. The best way is to imagine cycle paths, parks, gyms, community shops, offices and residential harmoniously side-by-side. There are various requirements in the licencing conditions that guarantee that the objectives of achieving the above are met. If you spend above USD 375,000 then you get residence like a PDS.
Foreigners can buy land in a Smart City. Non-citizens have never been able to buy land in Mauritius without special permission. A temporary provision however allowing holders of a Residence Permit, OP or PR Permit to acquire one plot of serviced land not exceeding 2,100m2 for residential purposes within smart cities until 30 June 2022 was enacted. The residential building needs to be completed within 5 years. This is a limited opportunity but note that you will already need your permit before buying the land.
3 – What is the most profitable real estate investment
We are not looking to recommend any particular projects or developments on this page. For the best rental yields we suggest that commercial real estate is very tempting. For capital appreciation almost all Mauritian property is a good investment. This is even more so when it is coupled with the fact there is no capital gains tax in Mauritius. Land is limited in Mauritius and if it continues to go in the same trajectory as Singapore, then investment in Mauritian real estate is going to be shrewd long-term investment. To maximise gains, normally the earlier you buy into a project, the more profitable the investment is, but there are obviously greater risks going in too early.
4 – Is property in Mauritius a good investment
Mauritius is a tiny island and is really the only place in Africa that offers the combination of benefits that it has, safety, hot climate, political stability, beautiful landscape and good fiscal and tax framework. As it will continue to be a global hub into Africa and Asia for investment and trade, then there will always be significant amounts of expats wanting to live in Mauritius and invest in Mauritius.
There are thousands of French and South African nationals coming to Mauritius each year to get away from their taxes and turbulence respectively. This is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future. This will mean that there will always be, subject to global viruses, a large demand from expats for properties, whether to rent or buy. Land will always be at a premium as the island is so small, and it will always attract the rich and have a reputation for luxury. Foreign investors are very well protected by Mauritian law when buying property. If you get a good local property partner and local property advice, then we believe it is a very good long term-investment.
5 – How much does it cost to build a house in Mauritius?
Expect the building costs for a nice 3/4 bedroom villa in Mauritius if you have bought serviced land to be between MUR 15 to 25 million. The prices vary so much, depending on who you use, where you are building, what the conditions are of the IRS/ Smart City etc. The starting point is that as a foreigner one cannot just buy land in Mauritius. If you try and use a vehicle or trust to get around this then you will be making an illegal purchase.
The exception is the current rule that allows non-citizens with a permit to buy land in a Smart City as long as they build it within 5 years. One must buy only in the prescribed schemes detailed above such as PDS and a Smart City. With the permission of the Prime Minister’s Office you can apply for permission to buy a company that owns Mauritian land. You can also apply to apply to buy Mauritian real estate for business purposes through the Economic Development Board.
6 – Is property expensive in Mauritius?
Yes, but it really is all relative. One can spend USD 150,000 in a Smart City on an apartment. One can spend 10 million euros on something amazing that is beachfront. Mauritius real estate is neither as expensive as Singapore, London and New York, nor is it as cheap as Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia. One may be more influenced by the immigration law and permits rather than the specific average cost. What we mean by this is that if you are looking to get Mauritian permanent residence by purchasing a property then you will need to spend USD 375,000.
Until 2020 the amount was USD 500,000. For USD 500,000 you would generally be looking at a 3 bedroom villa, with a pool, in a nice complex, within a few minutes’ drive to the beach. One can now buy apartments from 6 million rupees. This will not give residency, but it allows expats passing through for a few years the chance to buy something smaller and then perhaps keep it as an investment property after leaving.
7- How can I get permanent residency in Mauritius?
You can get permanent residence in 3 ways. Firstly, you can invest in Mauritian property which gives permanent residence for you and your family whilst you own the property. Secondly you can get a permanent residence permit by satisfying the criteria on an existing permit. This permanent residence permit in Mauritius is valid for 20 years. Lastly, you can get a permanent residence permit through investment in Mauritius in specific industries that the Government has identified.
8 – How much is an apartment in Mauritius?
There are apartments in Mauritius for a few hundred thousand dollars, and there are some beachfront penthouses that are a few million dollars. The key numbers to understand are that you can only buy an apartment in the Ground + 2 scheme, if the price of it is over MUR 6 million. This will not give any benefits of residency. If you spend over USD 375,000 in a G + 2 scheme then this will give you and your family permanent residence. You can also find apartments that match this criteria in PDS schemes and Smart Cities.
9 – Can South Africans buy a house in Mauritius?
Yes South Africans can buy a house in Mauritius, or an apartment. Like foreign nationals from most nations, one needs to buy in an approved scheme. The main schemes to look for are Property Development Schemes and Smart Cities. You can look on the Economic Development Board Site for what has been approved. Be careful that you research the developers well before purchasing. This will give a South African or any other foreign national, permanent residence if you spend over USD 375,000 on a single property.
10 – Where should I live in Mauritius
There are two main locations where expats live, in the North and in the West. Both of these location are fantastic places to live. The north is more vibrant, has more schools, facilities, restaurants and space. The West is better organised, and is more beautiful in terms of scenery with the mountains and national park. The west is let down by the poor commuting links to everywhere else on the island and is unbearably hot in the summer. The north is a lot larger and has a lot more property available. We suggest you come and look before deciding to commit to either location.
11 – What Tax Incentives are there for buying property in Mauritius?
Investors face no restriction on the repatriation of funds or revenue raised from the sale or renting of the property. Mauritius has no capital gains tax, dividends or inheritance tax and it has a universal tax rate of 15%. There is a lot of property for sale in Mauritius from apartments to villas, touching the beach to hugging the mountain. Investing in Mauritius real estate through a vehicle generally makes sense for tax purposes.
12 – What is buying off-plan?
This simply means that the property has not been finished yet. It may just be a piece of land that the developer has a permit for, or it could already be under construction. When a purchaser buys a property off-plan, the contract is governed by a vente en l’état futur d’achèvement (VEFA). This is in accordance with provisions of articles 1601-1 to 1601-45 of the Code Civil Mauricien. These are in place to protect purchasers through for example, ensuring that the payments are made in installments as each phase of the construction is completed. There are guarantees and insurance that should be in place to protect you if you buy, but you must be very careful when buying real estate in Mauritius. Some developments never get built and others are not what the buyer had hoped for.
13 – 5 Key pieces of Advice before buying a property in Mauritius
This is a very basic and simplistic set of items to consider. There are hundreds of things to consider before buying a property in Mauritius.
If you are thinking of moving forward with a property in Mauritius then make sure you check for the following documents before putting down any money.
- The GFA is a bank guarantee for the completion of the property.
- Evidence that it has a PDS/ Smart City Licence although you can independently verify this with the EDB.
- A copy of the insurance certificate required for the developer guarantees.
Get someone independent to assist you. You will need to think about the structure to buy, the possible permits, the furniture, and the items on this list as well as the reputation of the developer and their past projects
Whatever anyone tells you, you cannot buy land in Mauritius or any other real estate without express permission from the relevant body.
Non-citizens are not allowed to engage in property speculation.
Purchasing through a vehicle, whether a company, a trust or a Foundation, does not free the purchaser of the obligations and restrictions as set out in the Non-Citizen Act and any beneficial interest is null and void without going through the proper channels.
Real Estate Agents In Mauritius
TBI is not a real estate agent. We independently work with all of the most prestigious and reliable real estate agents, providing a trusted partner throughout the process. We manage and oversee where necessary whatever investment you are making, whether commercial or residential property. The property investment can be made whilst when you are here or from abroad. We can assist with land acquisition and development, long and short-term leasing, landlord and tenant advice, regulatory matters and procedures, licensing and funding.
We can also assist with purchasing the property in Mauritius through a company or trust, relocation services and any other requirements you have whilst making an investment. There are a significant quantity of real estate agents, with a large gulf in quality between the most and least reliable. TBI can guide you through who you can trust and which developers will not let you down. There are also different locations to consider from Tamarin and the West, to Grand Baie and the North. Everyone has their favourite location.
What TBI Business Advisors can do for you:
- We will have a Zoom/ Teams call or email exchange to understand your requirements.
- We can assist with the finding and purchasing of property, and setting up of an entity to purchase through.
- TBI will advise on the appropriate permit or visa for coming to Mauritius.
- We will send a detailed proposal with clear costs, timeframes and explanations.
- We will assemble the documents and make the application on your behalf.
- If you need assistance with setting up companies whether as an investor or just creating a business here.
- We can assist with relocation tasks such as helping with schools, accommodation, insurance, choosing locations.
- The directors can act as Commissioner for Oaths.
- We can assist with other business advice and can bring in law firms as and when required.
While every effort is made to ensure that the information given is accurate, the information on this site does not contain legal, tax or any other professional advice. We accept no responsibility or liability due to any information or representation, whether accurate or not, relied upon in the contents. It is an information guide to provide the reader with a useful general, but basic understanding of the different considerations. You must seek local legal, tax or other professional advice before relying on the contents of this site.