An island investment
Tony Matkovich, sales consultant at La Balise Marina, speaks to HomeFront about this Mauritian development
Q AWhy is Mauritius currently such a hot investment node? The Mauritian government has invested time, resources and money into changing and innovating the way in which it attracts and conducts business, both locally and internationally. This has made this Indian Ocean Island synonymous with a favourable economic and business climate, educated and friendly people as well as a beautifully preserved environment, delightful beaches and natural climate.
Mauritius provides a gateway to the Middle East, India, Asia, Australia and Africa for many businesses and entrepreneurs looking to enter the emerging markets of these regions. It has a strong, diversified economy that offers fiscal benefits, such as a flat 15% corporate and personal tax rate, the absence of inheritance and capital gains tax, no foreign exchange controls, trade barriers or quotas and no restrictions on capital repatriation. It has a strong financial and off-shore sector, a stable political environment, a modern and reliable IT and telecommunications infrastructure and a comprehensive legal framework. What is the benefit for South Africans who invest in Mauritian property? Mauritius has proved that through innovative governance and associated policies growth and sustainability is achieved. Not only do the residents of Mauritius benefit, but foreign investors now have the chance to enjoy the advantages of the island’s business and lifestyle offerings through permanent residency afforded them through the integrated resorts scheme (IRS) for any foreign buyers of luxury freehold title residential property over $500 000. No-one who has invested in Mauritian IRS property has resold their villa for less than the acquired value. Additionally, as Mauritius forms part of SADC, South Africans wanting to purchase property in Mauritius are not subject to the R2m foreign investment allowance. This affords the opportunity to own a second home in an internationally emerging, foreign currency based property market, offering a rand hedge to investors without any investment cap or associated limitation of the R2-million personal offshore allowances. What does the La Balise Marina development offer property investors? La Balise Marina is a low density, one of its kind, fully serviced Marina IRS development situated in Black River on the West Coast of Mauritius. La Balise is the first IRS development offering foreign buyers waterfront freehold property.
The development offers a premium lifestyle with about 113 residential units ranging from canal duplexes of 135m2 to villas of more than 350m², each finished to high standards. The marina has direct access to the sea with a mooring attached to each unit. The two-and threebedroom duplexes range in size from 135m2 to 170m2 of covered area, while the villas are built on stands with an average size of 1 200m2 to 1 500m². Home size ranges from 301m2 for a threebedroom, three-bathroom villa to 359,9m2 for a five-bedroom, five-bathroom villa. Most units also have a swimming pool. Who are the developers and what track record do they have? La Balise Marina is being developed by ENL Property and Investec Bank (Mauritius). The main shareholders of ENL Property are the Espitalier Noël family, who started the Mon Désert sugar factory in the late 1820s and over the years have developed a substantial and successful sugar business on the island.
Along with the agricultural aspect of the business, ENL moved into other industries, including commerce and services, manufacturing, as well as finance and investment in the late 1950s.
When the company ENL Commercial was set up in 1969 it allowed ENL to build up a diversification strategy. ENL Limited, through its subsidiary ENL Investment, owns a controlling stake in Rogers & Co, one of the largest companies on the island, a 49% stake in the Food & Allied Group, the largest agro-industrial group, and a significant interest in New Mauritius Hotels, the owner and operator of The Beachcomber hotel chain. The other development partner in this venture, Investec Bank (Mauritius), is an internationally renowned bank with major operations in SA, the UK and Mauritius. The promoters have also appointed reputable professionals and suppliers in order to ensure that the end product that is delivered to residence owners is of the highest quality. Where is the development at in terms of construction? The 37 acres of land that the La Balise Marina will be developed on is already owned by the promoters, negating the need to fund its purchase through residential sales, thereby substantially reducing project risk. A substantial capital investment has been made by the promoters to undertake the site preparation and development, which is already under way. The development is being undertaken in two phases, and we are currently promoting Phase 1 of the development. How well has this development been received by investors? The launch to South African investors proved to be very successful, as La Balise has reported strong sales of residential units. This is further supported by macroeconomic factors such as a stronger rand and the continued aversion South African investors have to local property. The Mauritian property market has defied the global trend of deflated property values due to the country’s continued economic growth and innovative government policies that support this property market trend.
There are also a number of international buyers who have secured a property in the development, but currently the majority of investors are South African, with 52% of sales in process coming from this country. What added value does the development offer investors? An additional factor that is attracting a great deal of interest in the development is the rental pool. The rental pool will offer purchasers the opportunity to benefit from a regular return on their investment as it will be drawn from a communal managed rental pool.
Therefore, when the home is not in use by the owner for holiday purposes it becomes a working asset that further justifies the investment.
The unique boutique marinastyle resort will also offer spa facilities and a retail centre for shopping requirements, as well as many resort amenities, including a gym, a lap pool, a kids’ club and a tennis court. Pricing: From Rs21 074m + $70 000 for a two-bedroom, one bathroom unit Up to Rs 97 682m + $70 000 for a five-bedroom, five-bathroom villa Contact: Ryan Proksch 011 234 2180 Tony Matkovich (on island) +230 483 7272