Mauritius is a popular holiday destination. With its outstanding setting, it is a real paradise nestled in the heart of the Indian Ocean. But we also know the island for its flourishing real estate market. Over the years, Mauritius has built a solid reputation among investors thanks to its political and economic stability, but above all thanks to its tax advantages favourable to foreign investment. This is the case in the real estate sector.
Are you a non-Mauritian and are you interested in buying a real estate property in Mauritius ? Then follow the guide.
The Property development scheme
Real estate investment for foreigners in Mauritius is quite possible thanks to the Property Development Scheme (PDS). Non-Mauritians wishing to buy villas, new houses or other types of housing must go through this program. The idea behind it : to facilitate the acquisition by a foreign national of a property in Mauritius.
Since 2015, the PDS has replaced all the IRS (Integrated resort scheme), RES (Real estate scheme), and IHS (Integrated resort scheme) real estate schemes. It brings together the necessary steps and conditions to allow foreigners to invest in the island while avoiding real estate speculation for the locals. It makes no distinction between large and small owners, hence the registration fee of 5%.
With the prior approval of the Board of Investment (BOI), the PDS now allows foreign nationals with or without an occupation permit, a residence permit, a permanent residence permit to purchase real estate worth more than 6 million rupees (approximately 294,000,000 ariary, 73,800 euros) in buildings with two or more floors.
The programme also stipulates that the land subject to sale must not be located on the beaches of Mauritius and must have been owned by the owner for at least five years.
Conditions stipulated by the PDS
Some conditions are of course required for non-Mauritians wishing to buy a property in Mauritius :
- the development of luxury residential units on land in full ownership between 0.4220 and 21.105 hectares
- the development of at least six high quality residential estates
- high-level public spaces that help promote social interaction and a sense of community
- recreational activities, commercial facilities and high-level equipment designed to enhance residential units
- management services for residents including safety, maintenance, gardening, solid waste disposal and domestic services
- a social contribution in terms of social services, community development and facilities for the benefit of the community
- the development of luxury residential units on land of at least 1 acre (3,419 m²)
The steps to buy a residence in Mauritius in PDS
To be eligible for a purchase of real estate in Mauritius, any foreigner must first obtain the prior approval of the BOI (Board of Investment). This agreement must be submitted online to the BOI by a company authorized by PDS using the Property Acquisition and Management System.
The non-Mauritian wishing to proceed with the procedure must then provide the following required documents :
- a notarized copy of the first 5 pages of his passport
- a letter from a local bank or notary certifying the validation of the « Know Your Client » procedure
- a completed resident permit application form
- a notarized copy of his birth certificate
- an extract from his criminal record dating back less than 6 months
- a non-refundable processing fee of Rs. 10,000, equivalent to 250 Euros
In general, the processing time for the request ranges from three to five days. If the BOI approves the request, the buyer may sign the Preliminary Reservation Contract.
All legal formalities relating to the acquisition will have to be carried out at a notary: the buyer must transfer 10% of the total purchase price to an escrow account opened in the buyer’s name in a Mauritian bank within 15 days. Finally, he will have to sign the deed of sale and pay 90% of the total price for a property already built or 20% if it is an investment in Sale in the Future State of Completion (VEFA). A notary fee of 1.15% and a government fee of 5% (or US$25,000) will be charged to the BOI.
If he wishes, the foreign buyer has the possibility to approach a real estate agent in order to facilitate and guarantee the success of his transaction. An evil for a good, one would be tempted to say, since studies conducted internationally reveal that 8 out of 10 transactions worldwide are carried out via real estate agencies.
Create a company in Mauritius to buy real estate
As we can see, buying real estate in Mauritius is extremely restrictive for a foreigner. Then there remains another solution that will open the post office to many other types of real estate with : create a company in Mauritius and use it to buy real estate.