COVID-19 : The Mauritian real estate market and the prospects for recovery
COVID-19 : The Mauritian real estate market and the prospects for recovery
L’Express Properties interviewed Philippe de Beer, the CEO of Park Lane Properties, about his views and vision for the Mauritian property sector following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Coronavirus is all over the news, and each of us follows with the greatest attention, the many statistics and facts covered - in particular, concerning the consequences on global economy and real estate investments.
EP: How did you organize yourself when the Coronavirus crisis affected Mauritius?
PDB: Our team quickly set up a ’work from home’ station, each of the employees creating a workspace in a dedicated place in their home. From the first Friday of confinement we were ready and active, on the job. We have adapted our working hours from the start so that we can also allocate sufficient time for our families and children, which at Park Lane we consider very important.
We also immediately set up new internal communication habits, including a multi-level videoconferencing meeting schedule, to stay in touch with the whole Park Lane team. This way, we can all see each other and get news of each other and assess how each team member is coping in confinement and share any difficulties in being operational or even any issues with their family. We also organize smaller working groups several times a week, with the aim of completing everything we have planned in our administrative and commercial strategy for this period of confinement which turns out to be extremely productive.
EP: What assessment should be made of the first fortnight of confinement? Is there a drop in demand (sale / rental)?
PDB: The demands have dropped drastically. The priorities of potential buyers and tenants have changed, it is obvious and all are postponing their research. In terms of volume of requests, we were in the last week of March, that is to say the 2nd week of confinement in Mauritius, at only 10% of the volume of requests compared to the period before Covid-19.
From February to March 2020, our requests for Mauritian citizens were reduced by more than 30% and our requests for foreign citizens by 53%. Our purchase requests decreased by 34%, and rental requests by 37%. Certainly these requests will continue to decline in the coming weeks.
EP: What is your vision for the market and what are your prospects?
PDB: In the short term, all transactions are for the time being postponed and visits no longer take place. There will be very few confirmation of purchases or rentals until the end of confinement. For those buyers and sellers who had already agreed on a price and terms before the containment was announced, there is some concern that the deal will still go ahead. Depending on the type of documents that have been signed to seal the transaction, some agreements may be questioned or renegotiated.
In addition, we can expect some sellers to choose to pause the sale of their property while waiting for a recovery and better days. Buyers may also be smaller in number for a few months.
It will take a little while to see the real long-term impact of Covid-19 on the real estate market in Mauritius and around the world, but we can expect a drop in the volume of post-covid-19 requests. It will take a little time to return to the same level as before the covid-19, but the price of real estate will not necessarily be impacted as a whole, or at least should not undergo a heavy decline.
Knowing the appetite of Mauritians for real estate investment, the market will certainly rebound and recover. But it is true that there is still some uncertainty right now. A possible slowdown. One wonders, for example, with the shadow of a possible recession and the impact that this pandemic will have had on certain households, on the ability and the choice of a good number of potential buyers to go into debt for a property purchase after covid-19. Lower interests rates and Government support measures on businesses and households loans might help to absorb some of that threat.
On the other hand, the more optimistic opinion is that real estate remains, for many, a safe haven compared to other types of investments, in particular the stock market. Some will choose to integrate real estate investment into their investment portfolio if this were not already the case, seeing the volatility and fragility of the stock markets in the face of this type of unexpected crisis. The fall in interest rates will certainly encourage some investors to grasp the opportunity to borrow and invest in real estate.
EP: What is your new communication? How do you address your target audience?
PDB: The real estate market is based almost entirely on human contact before the purchase or rental is finalised. This crisis therefore has a direct impact on our profession and our ability to close a deal. The signatures of authentic deed of sales in front of a notary and then the registration of those deeds at the registry office can not be done, so transactions cannot take place.
It is therefore important, pending the reopening of offices and normal economic activity, to keep in touch with our customers and those who trust us. This is what we are doing more than ever these days. We also continue to advise our customers on the fair price for the sale or rental of their property, with - if necessary - a visit to their property by video conference with them to give them a better valuation.
Digital communication tools and social media are important resources for wider communication, and telephone and other means of digital telephony is the alternative for more exclusive and individual contacts with our customers.
Additional remarks: this period of confinement allows us to also reflect on several subjects in order to make real estate transactions more digital in Mauritius: for example, the need to legislate digital signatures of certain documents such as promises of sale and even deeds of sale, through adequate digital signature platforms and softwares.
Read more here about the Covid-19 article: the vision of two players in the Mauritian real estate market and the prospects for recovery: https://view.joomag.com/lexpress-prope…/0016970001586528813…
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Eligibility for the acquisition of a PDS property in MauritiusThe PDS programs represent an excellent opportunity for foreigners wishing to settle in Mauritius, whether as an individual or a company. The acquisition of a property within the framework of this scheme will make the buyers benefit from tax advantages in Mauritius. However, there are legal conditions for a person to officially acquire such property. In this article, you ...Read more
CAP TAMARIN - THE SMART & HAPPY VILLAGE in MauritiusImagine a place where you can savour each moment of every day! A place that allows you to live life to the fullest. A place where all the essentials are in close proximity. A place where adventure is a stone’s throw away. A place where people of all ages and cultures live together. A great place you can call home!An extension of the village of Tamarin and developed over an area of 44 hectares, Cap Tamarin is the smart village of tomorrow that puts YOU and YOUR HAPPINESS at the heart of all its developments. With the iconic La Tourelle mountain in the backdrop and ...Read more
Windfall for South Africans with property in Mauritius ?A great opportunity for South Africans to invest in real estate in MauritiusPORT LOUIS – A change to the regulatory requirements for property investment schemes that have lured many affluent South Africans to the Mauritian property market could boost the value of properties bought under the older, less stringent schemes.In its 2015/16 budget, the Mauritian government announced that the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) and Real Estate Scheme (RES) would be restructured and replaced by a new scheme, the Property Development Scheme (PDS). The PDS would require developers to ...Read more
Senior Habitat: Retiring in MauritiusWhen retirement comes, many want to leave France to live in a new environment. Beyond a simple vacation, retirees plan to settle more permanently in the tropics. For some years now, Mauritius has become the most popular destination for retired French people. And this is not surprising. One just needs to see this heavenly place to be convinced. Offering numerous appealing advantages, it is a place that provides a whole new lifestyle. Whether it is for fiscal or health reasons, or any other aspect of life, the attraction for Mauritius is justified.An advantageous tax systemThrough its ...Read more
Property in Mauritius : Careful when buying property in direct with an ownerCautionary note on real estate acquisitions between individualsOn real estate sites online, including in Mauritius, you can find everything in terms of prices, with vendors trying to sell their property in Mauritius directly to potential buyers at a much higher price than the market price. It is best to find your property through a good realtor in Mauritius, recognized and patented. The real estate agent will tell you if the sale price is in line with the property market in Mauritius, and will tell you if it’s a good deal or if the property may be ...Read more
All about tax advantages in MauritiusIt makes sense why many foreigners have chosen to relocate and invest in Mauritius: The tax advantages here rank amongst the top 10 in the world!Mauritius emerged no. 13 out of 190 countries and no. 1 in Africa in the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Report. This is a jump from 20th place the previous year and the highest for Mauritius since 2007.Here are some of the tax advantages in Mauritius for residents and foreign investors:• double taxation agreements with more than 40 countries• income tax rate at a flat 15 percent• no taxes on dividends, ...Read more
Non-Citizens can now buy apartments above Rs 6 mReal estate investment is now available to non-residents in MauritiusNon-Citizens can now buy apartments in Ground + 2 buildings without necessarily having an occupational permit in hand, which was the requirement previously, and with no limitation on the number of units being bought and with the right to rent them out, which was not the case up to now.The Non-Citizens (Property Restriction) Act has been amended on 20 December 2016 to allow foreigners to purchase apartments in condominium developments of at least two levels above ground (G+2) with the prior approval of the ...Read more
Real estate in Mauritius : Construction legislation - the 10 year guarantee is being put in placeTen Year Guarantee for real estate developments in MauritiusIt would seem that new regulations are being put in place in Mauritius, for the benefit of buyers of properties in real estate developments in Mauritius. Excellent news ! Read the article attached published in l’Express newspaper in Mauritius on 8 april 2013 (article in french attached).Read more
3 reasons why Mauritius is becoming a hotspot for South Africans to retire!‘IT’S NO EASY DECISION TO LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY, CULTURE AND PEOPLE, HOWEVER MAURITIUS SEEMS TO BE AN INCREASINGLY EASY TRANSITION FOR MANY RETIREES.’ When it comes to the crux of it there are three simple reasons why South Africans are willing to pack up their lives, put their property up for sale and make a new life in Mauritius. 1. SUN AND SURFSimply put it’s a paradise. The lure of palm trees, cocktails out of coconuts and the piercing blue ocean that you see on the front page of getaway magazine becomes a daily ...Read more
Mauritius: the right choice to invest in real estateMauritius represents an interesting destination for expatriates for many reasons. Whether they are looking for a new life or just motivated by an investment in real estate, foreigners have found in Mauritius the ideal place to settle. A wonderful quality of life, a good geographical location between Africa and Asia, tax benefits ... this island has it all. If you are looking for an interesting opportunity, here is one that you should grab as quickly as possible.A very solicited investmentMauritius allows aRead more
Mauritius Budget 2020-21 Real Estate related measuresSince the 31st May 2020, Mauritius has resumed its normal business activity after the end of the confinement was officially announced. In this critical socio-economic climate, Dr the Honourable R. Padayachy, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development delivered his first budget speech Thursday 5th June, followed by a week of parliamentary discussions.You will find below the measures relating to the real estate sector as well as the measures taken to encourage non-citizens to choose Mauritius as a destination of choice to retire, live, work and invest ...Read more
January-April 2021 and real estate in MauritiusInvited by ionnews.mu, our CEO Philippe de Beer shared some valuable feedback about real estate in Mauritius during these first few months of 2021.Philippe de Beer: "It’s a good time for real estate investment"The year 2021 took the same turn as the previous one, with a second confinement which, "fortunately lasted less" rejoices Philippe de Beer, CEO and founder of Park Lane Properties. " Although real estate activities continued at a distance, it was difficult to close deals. With the lockdown, the signing of authentic deeds was postponed and the process of engaging ...Read more
COVID-19 Bill: Landlord and Tenant Act amendedWith the world leaders meeting, discussing, and finding ways to ease the population back into the workforce and active life, there has been important amendements made to 56 laws in Mauritius.Concerning the real estate sector, article 30 of the COVID-19 law (Miscellaneous provisions) relates to amendments to the law governing the rental of property (Landlord & Tenant Act) listed below, and granting a six-month moratorium on payment rent for those renting professional, commercial and residential premises. The objective is to allow those who could not or cannot pay their rent during the ...Read more
“Force Majeure” and Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) under the Laws of MauritiusWhat is Force Majeure? A force majeure refers to the occurrence of an event which is outside the reasonable control of a party and which prevents that party from performing its obligations under a contract.Therefore, “La force majeure est un cas d’exonération de la responsabilité.”The “test” for force majeure is an objective test which requires the satisfaction of two criteria:-(i) Imprévisible (dans la survenance de l’évènement)-Unpredictable (in the happening of the event)Whether the event would normally be unpredictable ...Read more
The concept of PDS in MauritiusIn recent years, Mauritius has opened to foreign investment by setting up schemes and incentives to encourage and facilitate foreign direct investment. Several initiatives have been taken to allow foreigners to acquire real estate in Mauritius. The first real estate investment scheme was the IRS (Integrated Resort Scheme) launched in 2002, then the RES (Real Estate Scheme) in 2006. In 2015, the authorities combined various elements from the IRS and the RES under a new scheme, the PDS (Property Development Scheme), which was then fine-tuned with some changes.The PDS program for social ...Read more
Sports Activities and Leisure Attractions in MauritiusActivities around nature in MauritiusYou have decided to go to Mauritius as part of your next vacation? It is a perfect choice as this country in the Indian Ocean is a destination most appreciated by many travelers. With a focus on family, Mauritius stands out for its unmatched conviviality. For your holidays, enjoy the various activities you will find around the island.Swimming with dolphinsAdults and children will certainly be delighted to meet wild and free dolphins. Why not go to the Bay of Tamarin and Black River to discover these sublime animals that ...Read more
Rent Property in MauritiusWhen investing in real estate, there are many ways to make it a profitable investment, and one of them is to rent it out. In Mauritius, the rental property market is booming. Whether for houses, apartments or studios, the demand for long term rentals is there. They can come from Mauritians, expatriates or students. To properly rent out your property in Mauritius, it is important to know the market and be well accompanied.The importance of the geographical location of the propertyAlthough properties that are located outside urban areas are sought after for calm ...Read more
Tax advantages in MauritiusMauritius is ranked among the most ethical countries in terms of taxation by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). As such, it attracts many foreign investors. Companies, individuals or retirees, all come to benefit from the tax advantages offered by this island with dream landscapes. A flourishing real estate market, a booming economy, a stable political life, not to mention the advantages of a tropical climate, Mauritius is a flagship destination for expatriates and foreign investors.An advantageous tax systemMauritius is one of the countries with the lowest taxes. ...Read more
Business Magazine interviews Philippe de Beer, CEO Park Lane Properties"Investment in commercial spaces has become more attractive than residential properties"25/10/2018. Business Magazine, the weekly economic magazine of Mauritius, asks Philippe de Beer for professional real estate advice:BM: What is your view on the evolution of the real estate sector since the beginning of the year?PDB: " The local real estate market remains very active. First of all, access to home ownership for an emerging middle class remains one of their primary objectives with ...Read more
What is so attractive with Mauritius and how is the property market ?What is so attractive with Mauritius and why would someone come and live there ?Mauritius, a beautiful island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, situated in the ‘golden triangle’ connecting Asia, Africa and Australia, is undoubtedly one of the most attractive countries in the world to live in. An ideal combination of political and economic stability, a clean and safe environment, magnificient lagoons, great road infrastructures and relatively low tax rates make it the ultimate place of residence, easy air access, with a very convenient time zone with Europe ...Read more
Investing in Real Estate in Mauritius is Smarter Than EverWhite sand beaches, clear turquoise blue lagoons, lush tropical vegetation, untouched natural beauty, a favourable all-year round climate, beautifully designed homes… It’s easy to see how investing in property in Mauritius is becoming more and more popular with the young and the not-so-young.Many developments now offer sustainability, leisure, and commercial facilities, even schools, to complete the idyllic and privileged existence on one of the most beautiful islands in the world.“It’s not simply about buying a house, it’s about embracing a lifestyle. And ...Read more
International Schools in MauritiusEducation in MauritiusThe education system in Mauritius is based on the British system as the island is a former British colony. The system is generally split up into pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary. The teaching of English and French is compulsory in all schools.Children enter primary school at age 5 and study for 6 years towards their certificate of primary education. After completing 4 more years, students write their O-Levels in at least 6 subjects. College-bound students continue for 2 more years in preparation for the A-Level examinations administered by ...Read more
BUDGET BRIEF 2016-2017 : measures relating to the real estate sectorThe Following measures will impact positively the real estate sector :REGISTRATION DUTIES· Exemption for a Mauritian acquiring a newly built dwelling costing less than Rs.6 million on land which is not on Pas Géométriques or within an Integrated Resort Scheme, Real Estate Scheme, Property Development Scheme or Hotel Invest Scheme during the period from 1 September 2016 to 30 June 2020.· Exemption for a promoter when acquiring land (which is not on Pas Géométriques or within an Integrated Resort Scheme, Real Estate Scheme, Property Development ...Read more
Buying buildable land in MauritiusA project to build a house depends, of course, on the acquisition of land. However, this cannot be done without giving it some thought and going through a process. The choice of the right residential land to build your villa is a decision that requires careful consideration for your real estate project. The ideal plot of land should meet a number of criteria related to its status to ensure you will be able to build on it. There are essential steps to take when embarking in the acquisition of land successfully.Choosing the right groundTo begin with, the first thing to do is to obtain the ...Read more
Customer Reviews Gain Weight in the Real Estate IndustryAfter conquering the tourism, hotel and ecommerce sectors, customer reviews are now gaining the real estate market.As individuals become increasingly demanding, industry professionals know not to underestimate their comments, or even capitalize on them. In a tense real estate market and with more and more volatile consumers, real estate professionals must offer an irreproachable customer service.When it comes to choosing a real estate agency to buy or sell a property, many individuals consider customer reviews, word of mouth or the advice of friends as essential ...Read more
An overview of 2020The end of the year is already here and it’s time to breathe a huge sigh of relief when bidding goodbye to 2020 !It is with prudence, but also with a small tingle of excitement, that we all look forward to starting a new year ... anticipating that it will bring its load of promises and hope for everyone.When reviewing 2020, I am sure you fully agree with me that it was a very challenging year for everyone, far and near.Challenges lead to Adaptations and Record Results ...Read more