Mauritius: Africa’s top property investment spot

If you’ve got a disposable income and want to diversify your property investment portfolio, then the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is where you should be looking

According to an investment review compiled by New World Wealth and Pam Golding Properties, Mauritius is the wealthiest country and fastest-growing wealth market on the continent.

With the number of dollar millionaires ballooning by 340% since 2000 to 3 200 last year and expected to grow by 130% over the next decade, Mauritius is also one of the top five fastest-growing wealth markets in the world.

Many super rich individuals who have flocked to the island over the years have been lured by its exclusive real-estate offerings which have secured the country’s status as one of the top five prime property hotspots in sub-Saharan Africa – right up there with Cape Town and Umhlanga.

“A large number of wealthy individuals have moved to Mauritius over the past decade, especially from France and Southern Africa,” the report states. “It is estimated that 240 millionaires have moved there from South Africa since 2007.”

READ MORE: Mauritius most competitive market in Africa

Forecasts show that property prices in Mauritius are expected to grow by 40% over the next decade, making it a major player in the global property investment game.

A major drawcard has been the country’s property development schemes (PDS), integrated resort schemes (IRS) and real-estate schemes (RES) which afford investors who purchase properties over $500 000 (R6,8 million) within these zoned developments permanent residency in the country – including residency for their immediate families.

“The first IRS launched in 2006 which afforded foreigners the opportunity to purchase property in Mauritius has seen capital growth of over 300% over a 10-year period.”

Mauritius also offers secure ownership rights, a major driving factor for wealth migration among the world’s richest.

“This is the most critical component of successful wealth creation globally. Ownership rights are very strong in Mauritius, which encourages locals and foreigners to invest in property and businesses in the country,” the report says.

READ MORE: Mauritius is safest African nation for women

With company and personal income tax rates set at a low 15%, Mauritius is a major tax haven that no doubt appeals to the wealthy and retirees.

The island also boasts double taxation agreements with 36 countries and there are no capital gains and no inheritance tax on properties purchased there.

From a business perspective, the World Bank recently ranked Mauritius as the top African country for doing business, while the World Economic Forum rates Mauritius as the most competitive market on the continent.

“Mauritius is committed to making sure that it builds its internal competitiveness so they’ve focused on structural issues in the country to make sure that they attract the right investment and an investment that will return and be seen as the place to do business and live,” says Dr Lyal White, director for the Centre of Dynamic Markets at Gibs.

Being a small country with no real natural resources to leverage off, the Mauritian government has for years been focused on building and enhancing its institutions to ensure they can service the bigger economies from Asia.

“Mauritius is a great example of an economy that has been planning, Asian style planning, as it went from an agrarian economy focused on agriculture, then it went into manufacturing in the form of textiles and now they’ve finally evolved into a service-based economy predominantly in financial services,” White explains.

Over recent years local companies like MTN and Multichoice have set up their financial headquarters in Mauritius because the country has adopted the appropriate policies that allow big international companies to use Mauritius as a throughway.

Results from the 2016 Wealth Migration Survey reveal that Mauritius, Namibia and Botswana are the three most popular African nations that the very wealthy migrate to.

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Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, says the treatment of women is one of the biggest motivating factors that high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) take into consideration when making decisions on where to settle.

“In our view, countries with a good level of safety for women will outperform those with low levels of safety for women going forward,” Amoils says. “In fact, the safety of women is arguably the best way to judge a country’s long-term economic prospects.”

What more could you ask for?