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Q: We want to buy a second property in another country and are quite keen on Mauritius.

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Is this country a good choice? And what options are available in terms of residency there, as we will ideally live between both countries?

A: South Africans make up the second-largest number of foreign investors in Mauritius, after the French. They are drawn to the island’s political stability, strong economy, productive business environment and recognised rule of law, as well great tax incentives, excellent schools, low crime rate, world-class health care and fantastic quality of life.

Now, with borders reopening and interest rates at record lows, a lot more South Africans are expected to push play on plans to relocate their families and businesses on to Mauritian soil. Buying property is actually one of the easiest ways to get Mauritian residency. All you need to do is invest in one of the designated real estate schemes.

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Investment options include the Property Development Scheme, Integrated Resort Scheme, Real Estate Scheme, Smart City Scheme and G+2. Each scheme has its own benefits and price points, with buy-ins ranging from 6 million Mauritian rupees (± R2m) to $370 000 (± R5.4m).

Most South Africans tend to look for properties between MUR8.5m and MUR20m. Favourite locations include Black River and Tamarin on the west coast. As for financing, most Mauritian banks offer mortgages to foreign buyers. Interest rates vary depending on the currency of choice.

One thing to be aware of is the maximum loan-to-value ratio for foreigners, which is about 70% of the appraised value of the property. Loan terms also tend to be capped at 15 years, which means investors need to prepare for a sizable deposit and shorter repayment period than they may be used to at home. – Isabelle Hardy, branch manager for Rawson Properties Mauritius

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