South Africans continue to find value - with sound investment potential - in residential property on the idyllic island of Mauritius, reports Jonathan Tagg, director of Pam Golding Properties Mauritius.
"Amid the global economic crisis Mauritian tourism held up well compared to other markets and still has one of the highest return destination percentages with European clients. This has a direct impact on those investing in prime residential property on the island as a leisure investment, with a rental option providing a sound income stream. Being an island with limited land and enjoying an upsurge in affluent immigrants, property prices in Mauritius continue to rise."
Tagg says this is also born out by the fact that at the 48-unit luxury Cape Bay Beach Resort development – ideally positioned within easy reach of Grand Baie - which was sold out through Pam Golding Properties a year ago, prices of re-sales have already increased by approximately 20 percent since the original owners signed their title deeds. The luxury, furnished apartments originally sold at prices ranging from the equivalent of around R3 million. Prices are subject to fluctuations according to the rand/rupee exchange rate.
Some 60 percent of the buyers at Cape Bay were South Africans, with the balance from Europe, Dubai and Reunion. Around 20 percent of the purchasers will use their homes for about six to nine months of the year, with some residing there full time. 
Cape Bay is a Real Estate Scheme (RES) and such projects have proven popular as the pricing starts around USD320 000, whereas previously foreigners could only buy into Integrated Resort Schemes (IRS) which tend to start from approximately USD1million and upwards. With construction now well under way at Cape Bay no further sales are currently available for purchase. The first floor of the first block of apartments is completed with construction of the other apartment building having commenced. Completion of the project is anticipated in 16 months.
Comments Tagg: "The RES have also been well received as there has been a great deal of pent-up demand for smaller lock-up-and-go properties, coupled with the fact that Mauritius is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Europeans – the French in particular, as well as South Africans. RES developments are also built on smaller sites of land which enables developers to acquire land closer to the beaches and the towns which provide infrastructure.
New development, La Residence, also selling wellCurrently purchasers are already snapping up apartments at a further new RES, La Residence, launched by the same developer, Two Tribes, with 27 of the total of 48 units sold to similar markets as Cape Bay, as well as to some local Mauritian buyers.
"The La Residence development is very similar to Cape Bay in its quality offering however prices start a little lower, from around R2.3 million for a fully furnished two bedroom apartment, based on the current rand/rupee exchange rate of approximately 1:3.8. Construction of infrastructure is expected to begin in June this year (2010) and the resort will also offer home owners a rental option with income stream," says Tagg.
La Residence will include a gymnasium, spa, small café, full-size swimming pool, 24-hour concierge, direct access elevators and gated security and is located in an exclusive area just a short walk from Perebeyere Beach and five minutes to Grand Baie. Situated in a lush, garden environment, wherever possible green design and building principles have been put in place. Natural materials, cooling waterways, slate floors and plantation-style shutters not only form the development's design aesthetic, they keep energy demands and environmental impact to a minimum.  An integrated communications system includes satellite TV/FM/ADSL points.
The selection of two bedroom apartments and three en suite bedroom penthouses range in size from 125sqm – including a terrace of 30sqm, to 240sqm – including a deck and pool of 70sqm. Floor to ceiling windows and expansive sliding doors maximise the scenic views, light and feeling of indoor-outdoor living. Decks and terraces feature private splash pools as a standard feature of each apartment, while interior options range from relaxed beach chic to a more contemporary feel.
Tagg says Grand Baie is a very popular tourist area and PGP predominantly markets projects located to the north of Mauritius, or alternatively on the west coast, another popular area for tourists and expatriates. Mauritius has high appeal for South Africans due to its accessibility and as many already know the island well and seek to spend leisure time or retire there.
"There has always been a large community of South African expats living here which is a motivating factor for other South Africans wishing to relocate or holiday here. With prices starting from around R2.2 million, La Residence is very well priced when compared with the South African market, considering the exceptional location. Other destinations in Europe are far more expensive and Mauritius offers a good climate and lifestyle."
Issued by Gaye de Villiers

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