Still dreaming of an idyllic island home?

While many foreign buyers invest in holiday homes in South Africa, the question is what offshore destinations appeal to South African buyers and investors.

The most obvious choice is an island paradise home in Mauritius, says Seeff Mauritius Licensee, Theo Pietersen. While holiday apartments and homes on this idyllic island can set you back a few million, Pietersen says that the best value on offer here at the moment is the new five-star Azuri resort development located on the north coast of the island, about twenty minutes' drive from the capital city of Port Louis.

Selling at around 40 percent below other schemes on the island, homes here are offering exceptional value with prices starting at just R4,1 million for a 180sqm sea-front apartment, he says.

The development offers an idyllic ocean setting with additional river and forest views. Buyers can choose from a selection of lock-up-and-go options such as apartments, penthouses and townhouses set amidst beautifully landscaped gardens with swimming pools.

The architecture of the development blends modern design with plantation-style interiors that merge the typical Mauritian lifestyle of indoor and outdoor living. The development includes a five-star boutique hotel, private school, retail and restaurant facilities and a boat club with mooring facilities.

Investors and buyers also have the opportunity to participate in the rental pool programme that guarantees a 5 percent return for three years.

The units are selling fast, adds Pietersen. More than half of the units have already been sold. Seeff recently sold 16 of these units in one month alone, an indication he says of the exceptional value on offer. Buyers from across the country including Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are snapping up these affordable island buys.

Located only about a four hour flight from South Africa, Mauritius it is the ideal island getaway and almost a second home for many South Africans. In addition to the new Mall of Mauritius that opened towards the end of last year, the island has a number of familiar retail brands such as Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Fruit & Veg City and Mr Price to the island.

Many South African buyers have acquired a property in one of the development schemes that allows foreigners to invest in resort-scheme properties. Some have even relocated to the island to take advantage of the growing commerce here, adds Pietersen.

It is an exceptional investor-friendly environment. The country has a favourable taxation policy with a flat 15 percent income tax rate for private individuals and companies. It also allows full repatriation of capital and there is no capital gains tax on property nor are there any inheritance or wealth taxes. Property owners and their immediate families also quality for permanent residency. The favourable interest rate which is over 3,6 Mauritian Rupees to the South African Rand is yet another draw card for investors and buyers.

South African buyers also benefit in that they can buy into the scheme without using their annual allowance that could be taken out of the country.

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