Outi de Falbaire, the founder and CEO of Barnes Mauritius, said that the average home price of around $3,000 a square meter ($280 a square foot) has held steady since before the pandemic. Although luxury prices can reach as high as $10,000 a square meter ($930 a square foot) in some cases, she noted that the average is “very low compared to any tropical island around the world.”
Sales volumes dipped “heavily” in 2020, she said, but Mauritius “recovered very nicely since October 2021, when the island was again opened to outsiders who could arrive without having to do a quarantine.”
Between its declaration of independence from Britain in 1968 and 2005, the country’s residential real estate market was closed to buyers who were not Mauritian citizens. When the market opened to all, “the first projects were sold very fast and the demand for more was big,” Ms. de Falbaire said. “As a result, many landowners converted their land into real estate projects and the reverse happened: We now have more stock than buyers.”
However, she added, “those projects that are well-placed, and of high end, do always sell well.” In particular demand: renowned golf courses, where new properties often sell out as soon as they’re offered.
Last year, the government lowered the minimum purchase threshold for Mauritius’s residency by investment program from $500,000 to $375,000, though it’s too soon for the change to impact the market, Mr. Geldenhuys said, because many developments are still in the pipeline.
But Ms. de Falbaire said she is selling properties at that price level to buyers motivated by residency. One developer “just launched a new phase of 22 units in that price bracket, and it was sold out within a few days,” she said. She also mentioned a client from South Africa who bought a property this month and who “definitely wanted a residence permit for Mauritians. That was one of their criteria.”