Understanding proof of funds When Buying Property in Mauritius

Anahita, Mauritius

Understanding Proof of funds When Buying Property in Mauritius

When buying a home, you will likely have many questions and considerations. One important aspect that will arise is the Proof of Funds in Mauritius (POF). POF is a document that demonstrates the amount of money a person or entity has available. This document is important as it shows the seller that you can cover the purchase costs.

In certain cases, the proof of funds document can be requested for a rental as well. 

Types of Proof of Funds Accepted in Mauritius

Several types of documents qualify as proof of funds in Mauritius. They include a bank statement/bank confirmation letter, a pay slip, a mortgage agreement and in certain cases a dividend certificate – should it be relevant, could be accepted. 

You will also have a questionnaire to fill out, where you will need to specify your source of funds; i.e, employment income, inheritance, maturity or surrender of life policy, divorce settlement, dividend payment, business Profits, retirement income, sale of property, savings/ deposits, lottery/ gambling, gift, company sale, loan, current business activities, and others. 

What is the Verification Process?

Once these documents are received by the agency, they will be forwarded to the registered compliance agency for verification. The compliance agency will then assess whether the client poses any risk of suspicious transactions and inform the agency accordingly.

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If you have more questions about proof of funds in Mauritius, feel free to reach out to us – info@sir.mu.

Greener property developments and greater openness to foreign talents

Mauritius is expat-friendly

National Budget Brief 2024/2025

Greener Property Developments and Greater Openness to Foreign Talents

Whether you’re a Mauritian looking to acquire property, a foreigner wanting to work in Mauritius, or planning to relocate to the island, this national budget has something for everyone.

Mauritius is expat-friendly, attracting foreigners worldwide who often choose the island as their second home or relocation destination. In 2023, the real estate sector contributed 5% to the GDP and attracted MUR 21.1 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI).

With an advantageous tax system and property schemes designed for international buyers, Mauritius could be your perfect home. 

Let’s take a closer look at the specifics of this budget speech.

Mauritius is expat-friendly

Buyer Schemes and Property Schemes Update

Mauritian Buyers

  • Home Loan Payment Scheme :

individuals who contracted a secured housing loan can benefit from a refund of 5% of the disbursed loan amount until 30 June 2025, capped at Rs 500,000.

 

  • Home Ownership Scheme :

a) property buyers for residence benefit from a 5% refund on the property value, for up to Rs 500,000;

b) a buyer of a property acquired under vente en l’état futur d’achèvement (VEFA) will be eligible for the 5% refund until 30 June 2025;

c) a property under reservation will qualify for the Scheme if the deed of transfer is registered not later than 30 June 2025;

d) a property acquired under a vente à terme, will qualify for the refund if the buyer pays the purchase price, not later than 30 June 2025. 

Morcellement Developments and Property Schemes ( International & local buyers | property developers )

  • To ensure privacy and tranquillity, no morcellement permit will be issued for contiguous residential plots unless there is a minimum setback of 30 metres from new or existing settlements;

 

  • A Strategic Environmental Assessment is required for any morcellement or PDS project larger than 10 arpents, as well as for any smart city development;

 

  • Projects exceeding 5 arpents, including those under the Smart City Scheme and Property Development Scheme (PDS), must allocate at least 4% of the total land to a green forest. This area should primarily feature endemic trees, providing a garden setting and landscape that complements the development;

 

  • The contribution from a smart city company per residential property or serviced land plot will increase from Rs25,000 to Rs 100,000. This amount will now be payable to the National Resilience Fund instead of the Smart City Social Fund.

Registration Duty

  • The transfer of immovable property as equity in a company will be subject to Registration Duty (RD), calculated on the difference between the property’s value and the value of shares held in the company.

 

  • Any transfer of more than 10% shareholding in a company will qualify as an effective change in ownership. Therefore, such a transfer in a company owning immovable property will be subject to Registration Duty (RD).

Mauritius, Welcomes Foreign Talents

  • A 10-year expert Occupation Permit will be introduced to attract foreign talent in wealth management, family offices, virtual assets, and virtual tokens;

 

  • The threshold for Occupation Permits for professionals will be reduced from Rs 30,000 to Rs 22,500;

 

  • A Temporary Occupation Permit of 3 months will be introduced for professionals with a minimum of 10 years of experience, allowing them to work while awaiting final approval;

 

  • Holders of Residence Permits as Retired Non-Citizens will be allowed to work without needing an additional Work or Occupation Permit;

 

  • The time frame to deliver or renew a work permit will be set at 3 weeks.

Live in Mauritius

If you’re looking for a property to rent or buy in Mauritius, contact us – info@sir.mu

Can a foreigner open a bank account and transfer money?

Opening a bank account as a foreigner

Can a foreigner open a bank account and transfer money?

Valerie Lincoln, Private Banker, shares some insights

When planning to invest in property in Mauritius, one important question pertains to funds transfer.

Chris Lazare – Director of Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty met Valerie Lincoln, Private Banker at AfrAsia to discuss the banking services available to foreigners in Mauritius. 

Opening a bank account as a foreigner is actually pretty easy. The process is relatively simple and requires only a few essential documents, such as a valid identification, proof of address, and in some cases, a bank reference letter. There is also a form to fill out. 

Generally, opening an account takes between 3 to 4 business days.

What about banking services?

Other than opening a bank account as a foreigner, another important information you will need concerns the banking services. Our banks offer a range of services tailored to the needs of foreigners, whether they are visiting, travelling for business, or considering settling in the country.

Bank accounts can be opened in multiple currencies, including the Mauritian rupee, euro, US dollar, and British pound. This allows clients to manage their finances flexibly according to their specific needs.

For those looking to invest or start a new life in Mauritius, it is possible to create various structures such as companies, which can also have their own bank accounts. These structures can be advantageous for optimising investments and benefiting from the island’s economic opportunities.

Can a foreigner take a loan in Mauritius?

Foreigners can easily obtain real estate loans to finance property acquisitions on the island. These loans can be granted in multiple currencies, depending on the client’s income, and the process is also relatively straightforward. 

Generally, banks can finance up to 70% of the property amount, but this percentage can increase to almost 100% if additional guarantees are provided. Financing can cover both built properties and off-plan projects, with funds called over a period of up to 24 months.

If you need more information, contact us – info@sir.mu

Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty Sponsors Padel League Mauritius

Padel in Mauritius

Padel in Mauritius

New Partnership: Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty Sponsors Padel League Mauritius

A new collaboration intensifying our common passion for sports, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Padel League Mauritius. This partnership aims to promote Padel in Mauritius, a sport booming on the island. With this partnership, we strengthen our commitment to the sports community, while highlighting the diverse real estate investment opportunities in Mauritius.

It’s worth noting that sponsored tournaments draw an impressive number of participants, with an average of 48 male players and 24 to 36 female players. The events span two days, with qualifications on Friday and main matches on Saturday. Also, tournaments are categorised as M500 and M1000, attracting elite padel players.

Expats and Padel in Mauritius

With about 60% of players being expats, Padel League Mauritius intends to extend its competitions to international participants soon.  For the moment, the competition already attracts players from Reunion Island and Madagascar.

This move towards international participation underscores the ambition to elevate padel in Mauritius to the global arena” says a representative of Padel League Mauritius.

Mauritius, a Preferred Destination for International Athletes

As padel gains popularity worldwide, Mauritius is positioning itself as an attractive destination for high-level expat athletes.

Furthermore, with the opening of new clubs scheduled between 2024 and 2025, the number of tournaments and sports opportunities will only increase, contributing to the growth of padel in Mauritius.

This new partnership, thus intends to contribute in strengthening the island’s image as a preferred destination for sports enthusiasts and real estate investors seeking an exceptional living experience.

Did you know? Expatriates Can Now Acquire Local Market Properties*

In Mauritius, expatriates now benefit from new real estate investment opportunities thanks to a recent amendment to the law. Existing residence permit holders can now acquire properties outside the traditional schemes.

The Criteria include a property size limit, a minimum price of USD 500,000 and various applicable taxes. This regulation offers long-term residents the opportunity to purchase exclusive properties, including family homes in residential areas.

 

* Click the link below to see conditions

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If you’re looking for a property to rent or buy in Mauritius, contact us – info@sir.mu

Unlocking Returns and Getaways: Own a Property Within a Hotel Development

Own a Property Within a Hotel Development

Own a Property Within a Hotel Development

Unlocking Returns and Getaways

More than just a captivating coastal or golf destination, many foreigners opt to reside in Mauritius as an investment strategy to diversify their portfolio, thanks to our favourable tax regime.

When it comes to investing in property in Mauritius, foreigners have several options available to them. One such option is the Invest Hotel Scheme (IHS), which enables foreigners to own a property within a hotel development under certain conditions. Let’s delve into the specifics.

Why Consider the IHS in Mauritius?

While not the most widely known property investment scheme, the IHS offers individual buyers access to all the facilities of a lavishly-furnished luxury resort hotel, including dining options, fully serviced spas and fitness centres, and resort-style pools, with the added benefit of generating a fixed monthly income.

Primarily designed for those seeking a holiday home, the IHS allows property owners to rent out their unit easily while they are away. It is to be noted that those who own a property within a hotel development via the IHS are permitted to use their unit for up to 45 days within any 12-month period, with some exceptions in specific cases.

The Advantages of the IHS Properties

Foreigners who own a property within a hotel development enjoy privileged access to all hotel facilities while also receiving fixed returns on their unit rentals, anticipating capital appreciation over time. According to Sacha Bouic, a real estate expert at Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty, “Choosing an IHS is a hassle-free investment as the property enters the rental pool managed by the hotel team. Typically, owners receive a fixed rental income, usually around 5%, depending on factors like property type and location. Additionally, capital appreciation can vary between 5% and 10% on average, and it’s worth noting that IHS properties are often beachfront, presenting a unique opportunity for foreigners.”

While individual beachfront properties are typically available only on leasehold land, making them accessible to Mauritians exclusively, foreigners can acquire a beachfront villa under the IHS under specific conditions. Jennifer Hirst, another real estate expert at Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty, explains, “Owners have access to hotel facilities, and when they’re away, the property is managed by the hotel, ensuring rental and maintenance are taken care of, along with good returns for the owner.”

Who and How to be Eligible for an IHS Investment?

When foreigners own a property within a hotel development, payment shall be effected in US dollars or its equivalent in any other freely convertible foreign currency or Mauritius currency. Also, the amount payable for the acquisition of a stand-alone villa shall not be less than USD 500,000. 

Those who can acquire an IHS property include a non-citizen, a citizen of Mauritius, a company incorporated, or registered, as a foreign company under the Companies Act, a société where its deed of formation is deposited with the Registrar of Companies, a partnership under the Limited Partnerships Act, or a trust under the Trusts Act, where the trusteeship services are provided by a qualified trustee.

IHS Properties and Residency

With investments exceeding USD 375,000, IHS property owners and their families are eligible for residency.

Live in Mauritius

If you’re looking for a property to rent or buy in Mauritius, contact us – info@sir.mu

Mauritian Cuisine, A Symphony of Flavours

Culture Corner

Discover the Mauritian Cuisine, A Symphony of Flavours

The Mauritian cuisine reflects our mix of Indian, Chinese, African, and European heritage, resulting in a culinary mosaic bursting with diverse flavours.

From the aromas of our diverse street food options, our islander recipes, traditional cuisine as well as fine dining, every bite tells a story of cultural fusion and gastronomic delight.

Mauritian Cuisine

Captivating Tastes Inspired by Our Cultural Heritage

The authentic Mauritian cuisine is a vibrant melting pot of the rich traditions and spices that echo the diversity of our population. Drawing from the aromatic depths of Indian masalas, the aroma of Sichuanese spices, the islander seafood, and the locally grown vegetables – our cuisine embodies a harmonious blend of diverse culinary legacies.

Our Mauritian cuisine can easily be experienced by tasting the street food delicacies and local restaurants around the island. Street food in Mauritius isn’t merely a quick bite; it’s a soulful expression of home-cooked happiness. Indeed, every vendor infuses their dish with a taste of home, ensuring each bite is a journey through familiar flavours.

 Let’s have a look at some must-taste:

Our Local Food Selection

1. Boulettes

Mauritian Cuisine

A nod to Chinese cuisine, these small steamed dumplings are filled with a medley of delights, from shrimp to lamb, and are served in a fragrant hot broth. They are a popular street food that you can find all over the island. 

2. Dholl Puri

Mauritian Cuisine

Dholl puri is a flatbread made from yellow split peas that are ground into flour. It’s often served with curry, whether a veggie curry or a meat curry. Obviously, the pickles are a must!

3. Biryani

Mauritian Cuisine

Of Indian inspiration, this is a mixed rice dish prepared with spices and meat. More than just a dish, the scent of its spices are seducing, making this dish a favourite for special occasions within many Mauritian families.

4. Rougaille

Mauritian cuisine

This is a tomato-based dish with incredibly rich flavours from a mix of onions, garlic, ginger, thyme, chilli, coriander and curry leaves. Once the base sauce is done, you can add your choice of meat, fish, seafood, and others.

Savour the Freshest Seafood

Mauritian cuisine

You can naturally find an extensive selection of seafood in the Mauritian cuisine menu, including fresh fish, octopus, calamari, lobster, sea urchins, oysters, and more. These can be prepared in various ways, whether grilled to perfection or simmered in spicy sauces. Pair them with fragrant rice and lentil soup for a truly satisfying dining experience that celebrates islander living.

International Gourmet Cuisine

Mauritian cuisine

Mauritius being home to expats from around the world, you can find authentic French restaurants, Italian restaurants, western fast-food, Thai restaurants, Chinese restaurants, Japanese restaurants, Indian restaurants… ensuring every palate finds its perfect match.

Also, Mauritius being home to many luxury hotels, you will have world-class chefs that will craft gastronomic masterpieces against the backdrop of breathtaking scenery, promising an unforgettable dining experience.

Live in Mauritius

You can choose to own a property in Mauritius and live the dream everyday! 

If you’re looking for a property in the North, West, East or South Coast of Mauritius, contact us – info@sir.mu 

New Property Acquisition Opportunities for Expats

New Property Acquisition Opportunities for Expats

Property Acquisition by Foreigners

New Opportunities for Expats on the Local Market

A thrilling property update, foreigners, who already are residence permits holders, can now explore a broader range of properties in Mauritius beyond the existing approved schemes. Let’s get into the details. 

New Property Acquisition Options

Timo Geldenhuys: In my previous videos, I highlighted the numerous avenues for property acquisition, including schemes like IRS, RES, PDS, Ground+2, and Smart City Schemes. However, a pivotal amendment to the Non-citizens Property Restriction Act has emerged, offering new options for property acquisition by foreigners.

This amendment specifically targets existing permit holders, who now have the freedom to invest in properties outside the previously mentioned schemes.

Let’s see the terms and conditions.

Who Can Acquire Property Outside of Approved Schemes?

Various permit holders qualify. They include:

  • The primary holder of a permanent residence permit
  • The primary holder of a residence permit issued by virtue of a previous purchase under the aforementioned property schemes
  • The primary holder of an occupation permit as an investor, professional, or self-employed individual
  • The primary holder of a short-term occupation permit
  • The primary holder of a family occupation permit
  • The primary holder of a retiree permit

What Are the Main Criteria for Acquisition?

The criteria that the property must meet are as follows:

  • The property cannot exceed 5,276 square metres, which is equivalent to 1.25 Arpent
  • The property can be a vacant piece of land, a villa, a standalone house, an apartment or penthouse.
  • It cannot be agricultural land.
  • The land cannot exceed 5,276 square metres in size.
  • It cannot be leasehold land, thus excluding all beachfront properties currently under leasehold.

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What About the Price Point and Tax Applied ?

The amendment to the Non-citizens Property Restriction Act sets a threshold for property acquisition by foreigners, requiring a price exceeding USD 500,000 or its equivalent in foreign hard currency, such as Euros or Pounds. 

Standard taxes in Mauritius apply, including a 5% transfer fee and 5% registration duty, that are typically shared between buyer and seller. Moreover, an additional 10% tax is imposed solely on the buyer.

This elevated cost underscores the exclusivity of such acquisitions, tailored for long-term residents who have identified specific properties they wish to purchase outside of the established schemes.

While the premium price reflects the uniqueness of these opportunities, it also opens doors for acquiring family homes within existing residential areas, a privilege not commonly available to foreigners.

Live in Mauritius

If you have any property-related inquiries or needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty.

If you have any questions, contact us – info@sir.mu 

Builder Confidence Grows Amid Strong Demand

luxury real estate

Luxury Outlook 2024

Builder Confidence Grows Amid Strong Demand

Welcome to the Sotheby’s International Realty 2024 Luxury Outlook—a comprehensive exploration of the luxury real estate market worldwide. While the complete report delves into various topics such as policy trends, real estate opportunities, the impact of demographic shifts, and the luxury rental market, among others, this blog post will specifically focus on the builders’ confidence, and the trend for cash acquisition amid the growing global demand for properties.

New Property Developments Breaking Ground To Meet The Demand

As luxury real estate markets try to build back inventory to pre-pandemic levels, some areas are seeing robust new growth amid continuing strong demand from buyers and restored confidence among builders and developers. For instance, in the United States the lack of existing inventory, while there is a strong demand is pushing for more constructions. “In South Florida, luxury new development in West Palm Beach is booming,” says Sonja Stevens, senior global real estate advisor, Sotheby’s International Realty – Palm Beach Brokerage.

Outside the U.S., Thailand is also seeing a renewed demand for new luxury real estate. “There is a clear demand for luxury housing projects and new luxury condominiums, driven by limited supplies and evolving buyer preferences,” says Phakrjira Jansakran, director of sales, List Sotheby’s International Realty, Thailand.

What About Mauritius?

The island is also home to new off-plan projects both in the North and West regions. “ There is a constant supply of new developments on the market and developers are conscious that there is a greater demand for lower price points, while the luxury real estate segment is very niche” says Timo Geldenhuys – Director at Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty. 

Cash is Always King

While the demand is rising, the rise in mortgage interest rates has translated into a higher percentage of all-cash deals around the world. Let’s have a look at the global trend. 

During the third quarter of 2023, 57% of the over–US$5 million market were cash deals, says Lisa Larson, associate broker, Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage. “The majority of over-US$10 million were cash, too”, she says. 

In Dubai, all-cash deals have been the rule rather than the exception. “It’s common for ultra-high-net-worth individuals who choose to buy here to purchase in all cash,” says Honey Deylami, executive partner, Dubai Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s very rare that ultra-high-net-worth individuals look for a mortgage for their primary or vacation homes.”

The same trend was noticed in South Africa, where some 70% of luxury real estate purchases are all-cash deals in Cape Town, a long time trend that shows no signs of diminishing, according to Claude McKirby, owner and director, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

Foreigners Can Now Access More Properties Around Mauritius

In Mauritius, while the minimum investment for residency is USD 375 000, buyers from around the world had to confine themselves to specific property programs to buy a property in Mauritius. 

However, foreigners who already are residence permits holders, can now explore a broader range of properties in Mauritius beyond the existing approved schemes.

Indeed, the much-anticipated regulatory updates have expanded the options for foreigners looking to invest in properties, provided there’s a minimum investment of USD 500 000.

Live in Mauritius

If you’re looking for a property to rent or buy in Mauritius, contact us – info@sir.mu

Mauritius is connected to over 150 worldwide destinations

Mauritius is connected to over 150 worldwide destinations

Season 2 | 2-Minute Tuesdays

Air Routes: Mauritius is Connected to Over 150 Worldwide Destinations

Welcome back to another exciting episode of 2-Minute Tuesdays! In this vlog, we’ll discuss air connectivity in Mauritius, exploring the numerous airlines that link the island to major international hubs across the globe.

Mauritius, A Globally Connected Destination

Timo Geldenhuys: Today, we are discussing the connectivity and air traffic to and from the island, emphasizing the ease of access. As you are aware, Mauritius is a small tropical island, and our reliance on incoming and outgoing flights is crucial.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we enjoyed robust global connectivity. However, like every other place worldwide, we faced challenges during the pandemic, but I am delighted to share that we have successfully restored full air connectivity. 

Presently, we operate flights to over 150 cities worldwide through our diverse alliance partners.

To Which Destinations Are We Primarily Connected?

Mauritius boasts direct connections to 9 out of the 15 largest hubs globally. We offer direct flights to all our major target markets, encompassing South Africa and Europe, with daily flights to France and the U.K. Notably, we maintain two daily A380 flights from Dubai, showcasing our strong connectivity and accessibility from a global perspective.

Why is Air Connectivity in Mauritius Important for a Foreign Buyer?

First and foremost, if you’re a foreigner and own a property on the island, you can come and leave easily. Moreover, from an investment standpoint, continuous influx of people onto the island is crucial. Presently, we welcome approximately 1.3 million tourists annually. The goal is to increase this number to 2 million by 2030 and ambitiously reach 8 million tourists per year by 2050. The enhancement of air connectivity in Mauritius is a key factor in achieving these targets, promising consistent expansion. 

 

So, the answer is clear – getting on and off the island is very easy.

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What Airlines Serve Mauritius?

Indeed, we have an array of international airlines facilitating easy access to Mauritius. Renowned carriers such as Air Mauritius, Emirates, and British Airways contribute to our extensive connectivity. Additionally, smaller European airlines like Edelweiss and Corsair play a significant role. Our connections also extend to the East, reaching Australia. Whether you are coming from Europe, the Middle East, or Down Under, accessing Mauritius swiftly is made convenient through our diverse airline partnerships.

Live in Mauritius

If you have any property-related inquiries or needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty.

If you have any questions, contact us – info@sir.mu