Is­land life­style on pri­vate beach

Al­ready a pop­u­lar hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion with close to 85 000 South Africans vis­it­ing an­nu­ally, Mau­ri­tius of­fers prop­erty op­tions for the South African mar­ket. Michelle Swart finds out more

Business Day - Home Front - - MAURITIUS -

ASIDE from be­ing an idyl­lic hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion, Mau­ri­tius has be­come an at­trac­tive prop­erty in­vest­ment op­tion for many South Africans. This has been made pos­si­ble through two schemes — the in­te­grated re­sort scheme (IRS) and the lat­est ad­di­tion, the real es­tate scheme (RES), which al­lows for­eign­ers to ac­quire free­hold prop­erty, res­i­dency, busi­ness rights and pos­si­ble even­tual cit­i­zen­ship.

One of the lat­est RES of­fer­ings is West Is­land Re­sort, lo­cated in Black River on the Mau­ri­tius west coast.This re­sort and spa de­vel­op­ment of­fers buy­ers free­hold prop­erty with di­rect ac­cess to the wa­ter in a ma­rina for its res­i­dents.

De­vel­oper Ross Alexan­der says that un­like many other de­vel­op­ments in Mau­ri­tius, West Is­land is lo­cated on the wa­ter, which is un­usual as most land on the wa­ter’s edge is leased land, and not avail­able for res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment.

Con­sist­ing of 87 units set within three apart­ment blocks of three floors each, West Is­land is set on a pri­vate beach clus­tered around a yacht basin, with a res­i­dents’ en­ter­tain­ment area that in­cludes a restau­rant, bar, gym and spa, pool, chil­dren’s club and marine cen­tre for boat­ing and div­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Alexan­der says that on-site boat garages will be avail­able to res­i­dents, along with a full concierge ser­vice.

The de­vel­op­ment of­fers one and two bed­room suites, fam­ily res­i­dences, pent­houses and dou­ble storey lux­ury vil­las, all with di­rect wa­ter ac­cess and ocean and moun­tain views. The apart­ments range in size from 65m² one-bed­room suites to 280m² pent­houses com­plete with pri­vate lifts. The 10 vil­las, that have full sea views are dou­ble-storey stand-alone build­ings set on large stands. These lux­u­ri­ous homes have be­tween about 380m² to 405m² un­der roof.

Alexan­der says that the pent­houses have large en­ter­tain­ment bal­conies, many with swim­ming pools and out­door bar or en­ter­tain­ment fa­cil­i­ties so that res­i­dents can take ad­van­tage of the great out­door weather the west coast of Mau­ri­tius of­fers.

While all units are sold fully fit­ted with state-of-the-art ap­pli­ances and soft fin­ishes, buyer do have a choice of dif­fer­ent dé­cor pack­ages for the apart­ment units.

When it comes to the vil­las, Alexan­der says the own­ers will have a wider choice in terms of fin­ishes and fit­tings.

“Mau­ri­tius has changed over the past few years,” says Alexan­der, him­self a res­i­dent on the is­land.

“Fa­cil­i­ties have be­come more mod­ern and the life­style is very sim­i­lar to SA, mak­ing it an easy ad­just­ment for those who want to re­lo­cate here per­ma­nently.”

He says that well known brands such as Pick n Pay, Check­ers, Game and the like are well rep­re­sented on the is­land, and the area has ex­cel­lent in­fra­struc­ture and ameni­ties.

Tamarin, where West Is­land is sit­u­ated, of­fers res­i­dents a se­lec­tion of schools, med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties and en­ter­tain­ment.

Theo Pietersen, li­censee of Se­eff Mau­ri­tius, one of the agen­cies man­dated to sell this de­vel­op­ment, says: “The RES scheme of­fers a more affordable prop­erty in­vest­ment op­tion for South Africans. The is­land’s cli­mate, beauty and prox­im­ity (four hours by air) has led to grow­ing num­bers of South Africans re­lo­cat­ing here, while those with busi­ness in­ter­ests are also grow­ing. Its po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic sta­bil­ity and ex­cel­lent fis­cal ben­e­fits — such as a flat 15% tax rate, lack of forex con­trols or trade bar­ri­ers and quo­tas and un­re­stricted cap­i­tal repa­tri­a­tion — con­trib­ute to its ap­peal.”

Pietersen says that the typ­i­cal is­land-style ar­chi­tec­ture fea­tures deep wrap-around ve­ran­das, over­hang­ing thatch roofs and the use of nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and tex­tures such as stone floors and nat­u­ral tim­ber.

“Neu­tral white and grey in­te­ri­ors, three-me­tre-high ceil­ings and large slid­ing doors that link out­door spaces add to the un­clut­tered sea­side feel. Qual­ity fin­ishes in­clude Cae­sar stone counter tops and in­te­grated ap­pli­ances. The de­vel­op­ment also in­cor­po­rates lead­ing-edge sus­tain­able el­e­ments such as so­lar en­ergy, waste man­age­ment, lo­cal ma­te­ri­als, con­trolled emis­sions and pas­sive cool­ing tech­niques.”

Alexan­der be­lieves that the West Is­land rental pool is one of the most at­trac­tive re­turn on in­vest­ment op­tions avail­able to own­ers. “Most sim­i­lar schemes in Mau­ri­tius have a ho­tel group run­ning the rental pool, which means higher levies as own­ers have to pay for all the ser­vices.”

He says that while tourism has in­creased, ho­tel oc­cu­pancy on the is­land has de­creased as many vis­i­tors are opt­ing to rent out apart­ments or vil­las in­stead. This is one of the pri­mary rea­sons that West Is­land has con­tracted a man­age­ment com­pany to run the rental pool, mean­ing that own­ers only pay for a ba­sic ser­vice and ten­ants are pro­vided with a menu of op­tions for ad­di­tional ser­vices that would be for their cost.

“This keeps the levies low and the rental re­turn higher.”

Pietersen says that fi­nance is avail­able through In­vestec Bank in SA or buy­ers can bor­row in Mau­ri­tius, where 70% bonds are avail­able over an eight-year term at 10% in­ter­est a year.

Ad­ver­tis­ing for this de­vel­op­ment was only launched last week and 17 units have been re­served al­ready. Price: From about $500 000 Con­tact: West Is­land Sales team Der­rick Mace +230 423 5072 Jo­han­nes­burg of­fice — Lyn 083 654 8608 Se­eff Mau­ri­tius Astride Hardy +230 483 8568

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