An iconic view which perhaps most symbolizes the renowned beauty and tranquility of the tropical island of Mauritius is the captivating vision of the sun dipping slowly below the horizon as you languidly sip a sundowner.
This is just one of many reasons why international buyers – and South Africans in particular, are looking to acquire a leisure property or permanent residence in this accessible, prime destination, says Chris Immelman, MD of Pam Golding Properties International and Projects Division.
“Traditionally a popular tourism hotspot for South Africans, since legislation in Mauritius was amended to allow foreign ownership of residential property in Integrated Resort Schemes – and subsequently Real Estate Schemes, we have seen a large inflow of buyers attracted by very competitive tax rates, a secure and idyllic lifestyle and warm, sunny climate. And, as Mauritius has a stable economy and sizeable foreign community – including a fair percentage of South Africans, new home owners taking up permanent residence find an inviting environment and social network.”
He says many foreigner buyers prefer either the west or north coast of the island as these coastlines are arguably the most beautiful part of Mauritius, affording the postcard-perfect views of the sun setting over the ocean, offset by white sandy beaches. The just launched La Tourelle Ocean View Villas, an Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) located on the west coast just minutes from Tamarin Bay on the hillside of La Tourelle du Tamarin Mountain, capitalises on its prime, elevated position, with unrivalled vistas across the lush indigenous foliage to the blue Indian Ocean and distant mountain ranges.
Says Immelman: “Having sold all the residential units in Tamarin Golf Estate and Beach Club, located in nearby Tamarin and which was the very first IRS scheme launched in Mauritius, we anticipate a high demand for La Tourelle Ocean View Villas, which are in an extremely sought after location and priced from €1.1million for three or four bedroom villas.” A few years ago, Pam Golding Properties also sold out all 40 units in La Tourelle Apartments, which is fully completed and occupies an adjacent site.
Tamarin is known for its beautiful bays and good infrastructure with shops and restaurants and is popular for surfing, kite-surfing and boating. The west coast is also considered one of the best fishing spots worldwide, especially for big game fishing. A variety of other sea excursions are available, aboard catamarans or speedboats, while crystal clear lagoons provide an array of tropical underwater scenery and diverse marine life. Riverland Sports Club in Tamarin itself provides a wide range of sports and leisure activities, while there are a number of 18-hole championship golf courses in the area. Tamarin is within a 15 minute drive of the unique seven-coloured earth dunes of Chamarel, among the oldest and most spectacular landmarks of Mauritius. Casela Nature and Leisure Park, with some 140 varieties of birds from around the world and numerous animal species, is also within easy reach and includes walking trails, quad biking, ziplines, hanging bridges and safaris.
Set on eight acres, the first phase of the new development in La Tourelle Ocean View Villas comprises 26 luxury villas which will blend discreetly into the hillside, designed to convey the feeling of being suspended between heaven and earth. The units are positioned for maximum privacy and a sense of seclusion.
Ranging in size from 330sqm to 700sqm, the villas will also convey a seamless flow between interior and exterior, with outdoor covered terraces and large expanses of glass enabling residents to take maximum advantage of the panoramic views. The architectural style embodies contemporary tropical elegance, with the use of traditional materials and high quality interior finishes. Each villa has the option of being fitted with the latest high-tech home automation, interactive multimedia systems and interactive TV systems. Residents will be able to control lighting, temperature, multimedia and sound systems, shutters and alarm and have access to a range of online services. A residents club will also form part of the estate, with a lounge and bar, gymnasium, swimming pool and hammam (Turkish bath).
When completed, La Tourelle Ocean View Villas will comprise a total of 78 units, with construction of the first phase anticipated to commence in mid-2015. With 50 years of experience in property development and key infrastructure projects, the developers of the project are Sunset in Paradise Ltd, part of the Bhunjun Group, which is among the Top 50 companies in Mauritius.
Adds Immelman: “Under the IRS legislation, foreign buyers and their immediate families are eligible for permanent Mauritian residence, which remains in force as long as the buyer retains ownership of the property.”
Ideally positioned to do business on an international level, Mauritius remains among the most competitive and successful economies in Africa and prides itself on being open to foreign investment. Considered an appropriate platform for investments in Africa, Mauritius has a flat corporate tax of 15 percent, no inheritance, capital gains or dividend taxes and double treaty agreements with various continents including Africa, Europe and Asia.
“As a result, we see a continued increase in business people and families looking to relocate to Mauritius. Familiar brands such as Woolworths, Ocean Basket, Nando’s and many others allow South Africans to feel at home,” concludes Immelman.