Real-estate players who operate on the island report a surge in interest among South Africans looking to relocate to Mauritius. “We have seen a dramatic escalation over the past 12 months in interest from South African families with young children, as well as older couples looking to reside on the island,” says Richard Haller, director of Pam Golding Properties Mauritius.
The reason for this appears to be two-fold. Firstly, the fast pace at which the island’s economy is developing has created increased demand for skilled professionals, luring more young South African families to Mauritius for work opportunities. Secondly, an appetite among South Africans to diversify their rand-based portfolios through a property investment in Mauritius has gained momentum.
Figures from the Mauritian Economic Development Board show that up to 2016, South African investors represented 27% of all foreign property buyers, with the French at 50% and the remainder from other countries. Based on the recent spike in property sales to South African investors, Haller suspects that the South African proportion is now closer to 35%. “Buying property in Mauritius is a good all-round investment, as it offers diversification benefits to those heavily invested in South Africa, as well as permanent residency for the buyer, their spouse, and children aged under 24 years,” Haller says.
He adds buyers who don’t relocate to the island typically plan to use the property for holidays and later, when they retire, as an offshore bolthole for a few months a year. Most of the real-estate activity continues to be centred around Grand Baie on the north coast and Black River on the west coast. Haller notes that properties in these two areas typically sell for the equivalent of from R4-million to R30-million. He adds: “Both areas have good infrastructure, are close to schools, restaurants, shops, and medical care, and offer a sense of community.”