The Mauritius economy has undergone a major transformation since its independence in 1968. The country has gradually moved from sugarcane monoculture to other sectors like real estate, tourism, and the export processing zone.
The country’s involvement in real estate led to setting up a scheme that allowed or gave foreign investors access to acquiring freehold properties. Although certain conditions apply for the purchase of residential property under this scheme, foreigners can only make a minimum investment of USD500, 000 excluding tax and are only liable to a maximum plot area of 0.5341 hectares.
After the launch of the property scheme, 2,500 residential units have been sold. These developments have brought in more than Rs50 billion. This scheme has revolutionised the Mauritius real estate market. Foreign investors are now more attracted to the country because the minimum investment has been reviewed and adjusted to 375,000 US dollars. It offers so many advantages to buyers including eligibility for a residence permit and a favorable tax environment.
Other schemes like the smart city scheme have been launched. This scheme also followed the same approach of providing foreign real estate investors with new, integrated, sustainable, and modem properties in various cities in Mauritius. These developments in the real estate sector have positioned the country as the economic getaway to Africa. Foreigners who invest at least USD5 million in a Smart City development may also apply for Mauritian citizenship.
The rental market experienced a similar impact to SADC neighbours with tenants not able to pay full rent and landlords either accommodating or needing to write off losses, but the market remains active. Landlords are keen to hold on to paying tenants due to risk of finding another tenant.