Interviews | Interview of Philippe de Beer, CEO - Park Lane Properties

Interview of Philippe de Beer

Hello Philippe! Can you introduce Park Lane in a few words?

We are a family-owned boutique luxury real estate agency with nearly 20 years of experience and presence in the real estate market in Mauritius. With our three offices in Tamarin, Trianon, and Grand Baie, along with a headquarters in Tamarin, we are able to offer a variety of real estate services throughout the Mauritian territory, including residential and commercial property transactions (sales and purchases), long-term rentals, careful selection and promotion of real estate projects, real estate investment advice, off-market property search for our clients, and international project marketing, among others.

Interview Philippe de Beer - Park Lane Properties

We have built a strong reputation based on expertise, professionalism, integrity, and trust – values embraced by every member of the Park Lane team. We prioritize our clients' needs, and our approach revolves around meticulous crafting and offering of customized customer experiences. Park Lane's dynamic team, drawn from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and expertise, provides us with tremendous strength, allowing us to understand and support each client in their real estate journey. We blend market mastery with a personal touch in real estate transactions – a philosophy reflected in our slogan, "A more personalized approach to real estate."

Our affiliation with prestigious international networks, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and Luxury Portfolio International®, enables us to solidify our position as local experts with a genuine international reach in over 70 countries.

Our philosophy is also reflected in our community engagement, driven by a deep sense of belonging and responsibility to the communities in different regions of the island. We meticulously select organizations and causes to support, aiming to improve society's well-being while enhancing our brand's reputation. We provide financial support to these organizations and contribute to various causes through benevolent initiatives.

What is the current state of the Mauritian real estate market?

Local Market (Residential, excluding sales to non-citizens):
During the period from July 2022 to June 2023, there was a slight decrease in the number of residential property transactions, with a 2% decline, dropping from 11,018 transactions the previous year to 10,783. However, the overall value increased by 17% to a total of Rs 44 billion in sales. In terms of the number of transactions, land sales dominated the market at 65%, with 85% of these representing residential land. There was a 28% decrease in the number of land transactions but an 11% increase in the total value of land sales. In addition, 18% of transactions were for houses, 12% for apartments, and 3% for townhouses/duplexes, with a significant 94% increase in the latter category.
The highest volume of land transactions for agricultural land was in the Flacq region, while for residential land projects, it was in Flic en Flac, Albion, and Rose Belle. As for land resales, the most active areas were Highlands, Flic en Flac, Mon Trésor, Domaine de Palmyre, Côte d’Or, Royal Park Balaclava, and Beau Vallon.

In terms of built residential property transactions, there was a slight increase of 3%, with 54% being houses, 37% apartments, and 10% townhouses/duplexes. New apartment transactions during the period were concentrated in projects in Trianon, Phoenix, Tamarin, Coromandel, Montagne Ory, Flic en Flac, Quatre Bornes, and Grand Baie. For resales, Flic en Flac led with 205 transactions at a median price of Rs 4.3 million, followed by Quatre Bornes with 101 transactions (median price Rs 4.9 million), Côte d’Or with 65 transactions (median price Rs 7.5 million), Curepipe with 65 transactions (median price Rs 3.5 million), and Pereybère with 60 transactions (median price Rs 4 million).

Sales to non-citizens:
Sales to non-citizens increased significantly, totaling 652 units sold, a 36% increase, with a total value of over Rs 20.9 billion, representing a 46% increase, and a median price of Rs 19.7 million. In terms of the number of transactions, apartments accounted for 52%, followed by houses at 32%, land at 7%, and townhouses/duplexes at 6%. Among these transactions, 32% occurred within PDS (Property Development Scheme) projects, 22% within R+2 apartment residences, 18% in RES (Real Estate Scheme), 14.4% in IRS (Integrated Resort Scheme), and 6.7% in Smart City developments. In total, 62% of the sales were new project sales, and 38% were resales in the secondary market. The buyers were primarily of French nationality (33%), followed by South Africans (25%) and various other nationalities (25%). French buyers primarily purchased properties in the North and Southwest regions, with 56% of transactions involving apartments and 33% involving villas. South African buyers preferred apartments for 50% of their purchases, followed by 39% in villas, with a focus on the North and Tamarin/Rivière Noire regions.

What is the proportion between rentals and purchases in your business activity?

For the period from July 2022 to June 2023, sales accounted for 78.9% of our revenue, which increased by 20.6% compared to the period from July 2021 to June 2022. We maintain a strong presence in the local market and are pleased with the positive growth in our transactions with foreign clients.

Are the increasing investment opportunities for foreigners in Mauritius bearing fruit?

The facilities granted to foreigners for investing in Mauritius have indeed borne fruit, and there is a growing interest from non-citizens in the Mauritian destination. This interest is not limited to traditional markets like France and South Africa but also extends to emerging markets, including some Eastern European countries, neighboring France, as well as countries in Africa and Asia.

These facilities include various real estate programs that offer permanent residency (IRS, RES, PDS, Smart Cities, R+2 apartment residences), retired visa options, various occupation permits for investors, self-employed individuals, foreign employees, as well as the nomad permit (Premium Visa). Mauritius continues to attract foreign investors due to its favorable tax regime, business-friendly legal framework, stable economic and political environment, high-quality infrastructure (road networks, private healthcare services, international schools, robust banking and financial services, among others), exceptional quality of life, and positive economic growth prospects. Some tax agreements, particularly those related to double taxation, further encourage expatriation to Mauritius. It's also true that instability in certain regions or countries has increased interest in Mauritius. The island continues to attract an international clientele looking to invest in a safe environment with a dynamic and growing real estate market, ensuring a secure and peaceful living experience, not to mention the natural attractions of our beautiful island.

The measures introduced over the years have heightened the demand for quality real estate, whether for second homes, rental investments, or relocations. Foreigners are increasingly seeking real estate opportunities in Mauritius, and we have had the privilege of assisting them in their investment projects.

Our agency, with its strong emphasis on highly personalized service, is particularly well-positioned to guide our foreign clients throughout the buying process, helping them find properties that best suit their needs and investment goals. We have found that our clients appreciate this personalized approach as purchasing real estate abroad can be complex, and they need reliable guidance from a trusted real estate partner.

All these developments dedicated to foreigners at prices well above the market rate have an impact on the local real estate prices. In addition to that, with rapidly rising inflation and decreasing purchasing power, how can Mauritians hope to find affordable housing?

Fortunately, real estate developments designed to attract foreigners to Mauritius have not had a significant impact on local property prices. This can be explained by several important reasons. Firstly, the regulations in place to govern these types of projects, such as IRS, RES, PDS, Smart City, and even R+2 apartment residences, have been carefully crafted not to disrupt the existing Mauritian real estate market. These restrictions help maintain a balance between foreign demand and local demand. Foreign demand does not exert significant pressure on local housing prices as these projects are mostly not in traditional residential neighborhoods.

The increase in per-square-meter prices in the local residential sector has been more influenced by rising construction costs since the COVID-19 pandemic rather than by projects accessible to non-citizens. Construction materials, labor, and other factors have contributed to an increase in construction costs, which has had an impact on local housing prices.

Furthermore, successive governments are always aware of concerns regarding local housing and have implemented initiatives to assist Mauritians in accessing affordable housing. This includes social housing programs and tax incentives for developers committed to building affordable housing for Mauritians, as well as incentives for first-time homebuyers.

Park Lane Properties in Mauritius

Find our properties for sale & rent in Mauritius: Houses and villas, flats and apartments, land, commercial spaces, offices. Browse through our wide selection.

How does Park Lane assist Mauritian individuals in search of a property to buy or rent?

At Park Lane Properties, we consider our Mauritian clients the heart of our real estate business. Our commitment to them is built on fundamental values such as trust, integrity, and dedication. Our highly personalized approach and sincere desire to prioritize our clients' interests are the cornerstones of our service. We strive to establish long-term trust-based relationships with our clients, whether they are local or foreign.

When a Mauritian individual approaches us in search of a property to buy or rent, our first step is to listen attentively. Every client has unique real estate needs, preferences, and goals, and it is essential for us to thoroughly understand these specifics. Whether it's for a primary residence, an investment, or a rental, we tailor our services accordingly.

Our dedicated team accompanies our clients throughout the process, from the initial consultation to the closing of the transaction. This includes searching for properties that meet their criteria, arranging viewings, negotiating, assisting with administrative procedures, and much more. Our goal is to streamline the process for our clients, making property acquisition a smooth and stress-free experience.
As a leading real estate agency, our team possesses an in-depth knowledge of the Mauritian real estate market. We stay informed about the latest trends, developing neighborhoods, and investment opportunities. This expertise allows us to guide our clients carefully, providing them with valuable information to make informed decisions.
Transparency and integrity are at the core of our approach. We believe that trust is essential, which is why we operate with complete transparency, providing comprehensive information about properties, including their potential advantages and disadvantages. Our clients know they can rely on us to be honest and ethical at every stage of the process.

We meticulously handle all the details of the buying or renting process, including document management, inspections, and negotiations. Our team provides constant follow-up to ensure our clients receive the highest-quality service at every step. Our goal is to make our clients feel supported and reassured from start to finish.

Ultimately, our mission is to create long-term trust-based relationships with our Mauritian clients. We understand that real estate is a matter of trust, and that's why we are committed to serving our clients' interests above all else. Our customer-focused approach has allowed 65% of our revenue to come from our Mauritian clientele, demonstrating our clients' loyalty to our agency. We take pride in playing a key role in their real estate journey and assisting them in achieving their real estate dreams for nearly 20 years.