Economic re-launch: the Mauritian construction market regained vigour

After few years of moroseness, the Mauritian construction sector has regained a little traction. According to recent figures, this sector generated billions through foreign direct investment. Indeed, more than 130 residential projects for foreign investors have been implemented in Mauritius and others are in progress. In fact, more than 80 projects have been approved by the Board of Investment (BoI). They will be carried out under the Real Estate Scheme (RES) while 8 projects will be undertaken through the Integrated Resorts Scheme (IRS). Furthermore, 34 projects will soon be implemented through the Property Development Scheme (PDS) which combines the IRS and RES.

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In addition, six large-scale projects were approved under the Smart City Scheme, such as Cape Tamarin, Mauritius Jin Fei, Medine Smart City and Moka Smart City, among others. These projects are exempt from Land Conversion Tax and customs duties on imported furnishings. These increased levels of activity provide several opportunities for property developers, materials suppliers, real estate agents and other stakeholders.

 Leading real estate products

The residential complexes implemented through the Real Estate Scheme have been touted as a great success. According to economic observers, there is a real craze for residential projects including luxurious apartments. A number of factors are responsible for this, including the introduction of several incentive measures by the Mauritian government such as the schemes which facilitate the acquisition of real estate products by foreign nationals.

This situation engenders several opportunities for real estate developers. As pointed out earlier, the introduction of the Real Estate Scheme (RES) and the Property Development Scheme (PDS) has engendered several high-end real estate projects. The promoters targeted the regions mostly prized by foreign nationals such as Grand Baie, Tamarin or the villages located along the south-east-coast.

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Various aspects to work on

Like any other economic sector, the real estate and construction markets have to face some challenges. However, policies are being put in place by the Mauritian government to address these challenges and to attract more foreign investors. One of the factors affecting these two sectors is the lack of manpower. Indeed, several RES or PDS projects have been dismissed due to lack of qualified manpower. A situation that the Board of Investment (BoI) takes very seriously. Foreign customers are very demanding and quality cannot be relegated to the background. In addition, the shortage of labour has a considerable impact on the delivery of villas or apartments. Real estate developers operating in the north of the island are working hard to counter the water scarcity affecting this region. In actual fact, RES or PDS projects require very advanced water distribution systems.