Given a volatile local economy, political uncertainty, and a depreciating currency, diversifying investments out of South Africa makes sense to mitigate risk. A compelling alternative for South African investors is Mauritius.
The island nation enjoys social and political stability and robust GDP growth. In 2022, real GDP growth rose to an estimated 8.7%, up from 3.4% in 2021, spurred by sustained policy support and the lifting of travel restrictions post the Covid-19 pandemic which buoyed the recovery of the tourism sector. The country’s monetary policy has remained accommodating to support economic activity. Although its economic growth is expected to slow to between 4.5% and 5% in 2023, this figure remains significantly higher than South Africa’s sluggish GDP growth of well below 1% for 2023.
Mauritian government regulations limit property acquisitions by non-citizens to specific schemes, including real estate schemes, integrated resort schemes and property development schemes. In 2013 the Mauritian government launched the Smart City Scheme to support the island country’s economic growth, the development of innovative and smart projects and better planned urbanisation. A mixed-use property development programme, it incorporates office, residential, commercial, educational and medical spaces as well as a leisure component. Non-citizens are permitted to buy land in Mauritius for residential purposes through the smart city scheme. Investors who make a minimum property investment of US$375 000 (approximately R7.2 million) receive permanent residency in Mauritius.
The country offers a flat corporate and trust tax rate of 15% as well as double taxation avoidance agreements with over 40 countries, including South Africa. Unlike many other countries – including South Africa – it does not impose taxes on capital gains or dividends. Personal income is subject to a progressive tax system with the highest income tax rate capped at 20%, compared to South Africa’s 45%.
Leading South African real estate agency, Harcourts, has partnered with a Mauritian property developer Beau Plan to launch Indigo Apartments, an innovative smart city mixed-use development offering a range of investment opportunities to non-citizens. Strategically located between the capital city of Port Louis and the sun-drenched coastline of the North, the Beau Plan Smart City is a five-minute drive to Grand Bay, 10 minutes from Port Louis, 20 minutes to Ebene and 30 minutes from the airport. The off-plan development, which is scheduled to break ground in 2024, will include schooling, grocery stores, top quality medical facilities, restaurants and gym in a secure estate. Phase one of the development will be ready for occupancy in 2025.
The 63 units on offer to South African investors range from R3.2 million to R7.5 million. Deco packs will also be available at an additional cost. Mortgage loans are available at available at competitive interest rates which start from 6%. South African residents are allowed to leverage certain allowances to fund a Mauritian property investment. The single discretionary allowance permits South Africans to transfer up to R1 million annually offshore without requiring approval from SARS. They are also allowed to utilise a foreign capital allowance for amounts up to R10 million. This latter option requires a SARS application.
Property investments in Mauritius offer real returns of around 4% although higher returns are available in good locations and in the short-term rental space.
Hartwieg du Rand, Director at Harcourts Offshore, says an investment in the Indigo Apartment development from Beau Plan is ideal for long-term investors looking to diversify their portfolio to include offshore property. “A Mauritian property investment yields both rental income and the promise of capital appreciation. An off-plan investment offers the best potential for capital appreciation. We anticipate that Beau Plan investors will realise around 25% capital growth within the first year of the investment,” he says.
Post-construction, he adds, typically see returns stabilise at around 5% per annum.
One of the big advantages of investing in Mauritius is that investors don’t need to reside in the property to be eligible for a residency permit. This means that investors are free to rent out their property.
Harcourts offers an end-to-end service to South Africans looking to make a property investment in Mauritius. “We guide you through the process of acquiring the best property at the right value in Mauritius, including advising you on the right structure for your investment so that it is optimally structured for tax and inheritance purposes.
South African investors interested in reserving one of the 63 units available, or who want to find out more can contact Marc d’Argent, +23052564477, [email protected]
In addition, Harcourts will be presenting the Beau Plan development at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Station in Sandton between 09h30 and 15h00 on 2 October; at the Radisson Blu Umhlanga, Durban between 09h30 and 15h00 on 4 October, and at the Radison Blu Waterfront Cape Town between 09h30 and 15h00 on 6 October Reserve your spot any one of these three presentations visiting http://harcourtsmauritius.com/
About Harcourts and Harcourts Offshore
Harcourts have been helping clients since 1888 and today has over 900 offices in nine countries. Its global presence gives it the benefit of a wide referral and marketing network and the expertise of local professionals who have deep and insightful knowledge of the areas in which they operate.
In South Africa, Harcourt is the third largest real estate business in South Africa, boasting 135 offices in all major metro areas.
Harcourts Offshore specialises in property sales, rentals and building a property investor portfolio. The company provides buyers and sellers with all the trusted Harcourts proprietary tools and services they have become accustomed to in the island paradise of Mauritius.