New look at old favourite

Lea Jacobs in­ves­ti­gates how a new de­vel­op­ment in Mozam­bique is set to change the way in­vestors view prop­erty own­er­ship in this trop­i­cal par­adise

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

BEAU­TI­FUL beaches, an aqua­ma­rine sea and the laid-back life­style of Mozam­bique have ap­pealed to South Africans for years. While the civil war in­ter­rupted this life­style to a large ex­tent, the coun­try is slowly but surely get­ting back on its feet and a new gen­er­a­tion of South Africans are dis­cov­er­ing the un­spoilt beauty of the area once more.

While own­ing a hol­i­day home in this trop­i­cal par­adise may seem like an op­tion made in heaven, the truth can be a lit­tle harsher and many early in­vestors lost money.

Un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion all land in Mozam­bique is the prop­erty of the state and can­not be bought or sold. Prop­erty in­vest­ments fol­low a con­ces­sion-type ar­range­ment that varies de­pend­ing on which op­tion is cho­sen.

“Pre­vi­ously, the only way a for­eigner could ‘own’ prop­erty was by own­ing shares in a Mozam­bi­can com­pany with an ap­proved in­vest­ment pro­ject,” says Jonathan Lunen­burg, of Chas Everitt.

“Un­der these laws in­vestors re­ceived lim­ited se­cu­rity of ten­ure and the sys­tem was not only very con­fus­ing, it was also abused by a num­ber of de­vel­op­ers.”

He says that a newly in­tro­duced pe­ri­odic hous­ing de­cree has changed the way for­eign­ers own prop­erty in the coun­try. While it is still not pos­si­ble to own land, the de­cree is aimed specif­i­cally at those in­vest­ing in hol­i­day units in the coun­try and the leg­is­la­tion guar­an­tees the own­ers have much the same rights as they en­joy in SA un­der sec­tional ti­tle own­er­ship. These in­clude a real right that is equiv­a­lent to a deed cer­tifi­cate, giv­ing the owner the right to sell and/or en­cum­ber the unit.

“Un­for­tu­nately, many de­vel­op­ers that ad­ver­tised de­vel­op­ments in the past ended up giv­ing prop­erty in­vest­ment in the coun­try a bad name. De­vel­op­ments were badly built or not com­pleted at all, lead­ing to a large num­ber of early in­vestors los­ing a great deal of money. The new de­cree ensures that not only are de­vel­op­ments built to the ad­ver­tised stan­dards, but that the levies own­ers have to pay are reg­u­lated and may not es­ca­late ac­cord­ing to a de­vel­oper’s whim. Those in­vest­ing in prop­erty must as­cer­tain whether the de­vel­oper is de­vel­op­ing ac­cord­ing to the de­cree and view any­one who isn’t with cau­tion.”

He says that the new leg­is­la­tion has brought a new gen­er­a­tion of de­vel­op­ers who are ded­i­cated to build­ing qual­ity units with high­qual­ity fin­ishes and that it will have a dra­matic ef­fect on de­mand that will even­tu­ally push prices.

“At this stage beach-front prop­erty in Mozam­bique is about half the price of coastal prop­erty in SA and, per­haps more sig­nif­i­cantly, less than sim­i­lar prop­er­ties in Mau­ri­tius and the Sey­chelles. We have al­ready started see­ing a growth in de­mand, and in Barra Beach, for ex­am­ple, there is only one small plot mea­sur­ing 4 000m² left. Ev­ery­thing else is ei­ther un­der de­vel­op­ment or has al­ready been de­vel­oped.”

Wa­gaya is one of the first de­vel­op­ments fully ap­proved and se­cured un­der the new de­cree.

“Barra Beach is a pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion, with al­lied in­fra­struc­ture such as div­ing cen­tres, ac­tiv­ity cen­tres that of­fer fish­ing char­ters, quad-bike rentals, ocean sa­faris and kite surf­ing. The area has restau­rants and pubs that of­fer var­ied din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. The In­ham­bane re­gion is ser­viced by di­rect flights from Oliver Tambo Air­port, al­though those wish­ing to drive will find that the roads have been up­graded to a good stan­dard for a nor­mal car.”

Lunen­burg says the de­vel­op­ment uses light­weight steel con­struc­tion. The walls and roofs of the units, mea­sur­ing 185m², will be fully in­su­lated, mak­ing them an es­ti­mated 30% cooler than tra­di­tional ones. They will be class 2 wind re­sis­tant and clas­si­fied as a green con­struc­tion, as all com­po­nents will be re­cy­clable.

The three bed­room, two bath­room units sleep eight and come com­plete with a 3.6m/9m boathouse/garage to ac­com­mo­date large boats. In­vestors can choose to take ad­van­tage of a pack­age that in­cludes fur­ni­ture, ap­pli­ances, cut­lery and crock­ery, as well as wa­ter­sport equip­ment such as wet bikes and boats.

“We can of­fer a choice of the finest fin­ishes sourced from over­seas. The units will fea­ture lam­i­nated floor­ing, porce­lain tiles and glass mo­saic tiling, as well as LED down­light sys­tems, to name but a few.”

In ad­di­tion, the de­vel­op­ment will of­fer a num­ber of com­mu­nal fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing re­mote ac­cess and strate­gi­cally placed CCTV cam­eras cov­er­ing both the de­vel­op­ment and beach-front ar­eas. In ad­di­tion there will be an en­ter­tain­ment area in­cor­po­rat­ing a swim­ming pool, undercover spa bath, braai area, kitch­enette and ablu­tions. There will also be on­site laun­dry fa­cil­i­ties, as well as a staff kitchen and din­ing area.

“Al­though we are of­fi­cially launch­ing the de­vel­op­ment in July we wanted to show­case what we were of­fer­ing and have started to con­struct all the com­mu­nal fa­cil­i­ties, as well as an en­tire block con­sist­ing of one apart­ment on the ground level and an­other on the first floor. Vis­i­tors who are in the area dur­ing the Easter hol­i­days are more than wel­come to visit the site dur­ing this time to view our progress.” Price: From $235 000 (about R1 650 000) to $275 000 (about R1 850 000) Con­tact: Chas Everitt Prop­er­ties John Lunen­burg Cell: 078 813 6551 Mozam­bique: +258 847 311 982

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