Timo Geldenhuys | Director of Mauritius Sotheby's International Realty


Director of Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty: 

“I believe that there will be a growing interest in property investment.”

1. Present in the North and West of the island, MSIR is now targeting the Centre, East, and South. What's the strategy behind this move?

For background purposes, MSIR evolved from being a corporate entity to an independent entity in July 2020. In this context, we definitely are on the move to grow and expand. These selected regions are developing fast, with new Smart City projects in the pipeline. Therefore, there is a growing demand for the Centre, East and South regions, and we now have a representation there. Our real estate agent who will be servicing the Centre already lives in the Floreal/Curepipe area and knows the trends, market data, and has a strong client base there. MSIR aims to add value to these areas by showcasing and selling these regions’ properties and environment to our local and international clients. At the end of the day, where there is a demand, MSIR will provide their expertise and services.  

2. The real estate sector represents 85% of the total FDI flows to Mauritius. However, we note a decrease of up to 40% of the investment flows in 2020. Does the real estate sector still hold growth potential?

The world’s economy is still affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and similar to most other sectors, the same applies for the real estate segment. However, I would like to point out that the Mauritian authorities  have  handled the pandemic exceptionally effectively and the country has been Covid-safe since April 2020. People realize that Mauritius is a great and safe place to be, which encourages investments in the real estate sector. I believe that there will be a growing interest in property investment, and we are ready and waiting to meet the demand. 

3. Europe and South Africa are the main markets for the Mauritian real estate sector. On the other hand, the Mauritian authorities advocate market diversification. What are your views here?

We must understand that the traditional markets will remain key targets. However, Covid-19 boosted the digital platforms with more and more people working remotely, thus creating new opportunities. On this note, Mauritius launched its Premium Travel Visa targeting digital nomads who wish to seek refuge in our Covid-safe island. Concerning new markets, eastern countries, the Middle-East and Eastern Africa have a strong potential as we receive more and more inquiries. Despite the travel restrictions, I can say that with the virtual tours and live sessions via platforms like Zoom or Teams, it is easy to help potential buyers in their decision-making. They can get a feeling of the property and the environment while not being physically present. We are in a digital era, boosted by this new post-pandemic normal. We have to adapt and surf the wave.  

4. Talking about opportunities, according to experts reaching world herd immunity will take more time than expected. Here, Mauritius launched its vaccination campaign. How will this help?

It’s clear that Mauritius is getting ready to open its borders and activate the tourism industry’s revival. The vaccination campaign here concerns all the frontliners, including the tourism industry staff.  For us, It will be interesting to see the perspectives that these Covid-19 vaccines will open for investment in the real estate sector. However, I think that the real estate agents should also be on the vaccination’s priority list. We will be dealing with foreign investors, and they need to trust the sanitary measures before getting involved in business.  

Published on February 23, 2021 by Laetitia Melidor