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
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