2020 was a year full of challenges for the real estate sector... With closed borders and a difficult economic situation, if there is one question our partners are asking themselves, it is how to bounce back and adapt to the new norms? What does the new year look like? Three property developers share with us their assessment and their expectations for this new year...
Managing Director - Horizon Properties
"We ended the year 2020 with a sale on the Manta Cove project... This after a long year of waiting and inactivity, with the borders closed, without many opportunities for customers to come and visit. In our range of properties for sale (those worth more than $800,000), we noted a large drop in activity... In contrast to low-budget PDS sales and an increased demand for medium and long-term rentals.
During this period of respite, we focused on the construction and completion of our other project, The WaterClub. It was for us an ideal opportunity to perfect its finishes. We also invested more in digital communication and in our relations with our partner agencies... Favouring communication tools that sell at a distance, notably more 3D, or an optimised website.
We hope to be able, in 2021, to finalise our new projects, complete their design and launch them on the market, while meeting the expectations of new market demands. These new projects are trying to adapt to tomorrow’s reality, with strategic partners. While waiting to see how things develop at the international level, we hope that the country remains COVID-safe. This will help to attract people seeking freedom, and wanting to settle in the medium or long term.”
CEO - Davyland Properties Ltd
"The real estate market came to a standstill with COVID-19, and we suffered at Davyland. Fortunately for us, we were still able to get back on our feet and make sales during the last four months of the year, as many people –especially Mauritians –took advantage of low bank interest rates during this period to invest in apartments or land.
We have also increased our e-marketing visibility. In addition to our mailing services, and our website –filled with photos and information to make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for –we now offer a personalised Customer Care service. As a result, we remain available to customers 24/7, and are able to better understand their needs... And therefore serve them better. While we have just launched a fragmentation project at the end of 2020, we are aiming to launch others in 2021...
We hope that the market can pick up again. In the meantime, we will have to consider that prices will vary greatly on the market, depending of course on the evolution of the COVID as well as the financial situation. This new year remains rather vague in terms of investment, especially for foreigners. We hope, however, that they will get to grips with it, by making their choices, even from a distance. We remain confident that real estate remains a safe bet. Investing in it remains more profitable than keeping your savings in the bank! The banks should review interest rates, as loan applications and grants will start again with new facilities. We should take the example of China where the price of real estate has remained stable."
Executive Director Property Development - ENL Property Ltd
"Even though the circumstances were difficult, the 2020 balance sheet is rather positive. Indeed, we were able to witness several of our residential and commercial projects materialise in our various neighbourhoods, such as the Promenades d’Helvetia. We have been able to observe that the demand for residential land has continued to grow, as has the demand for commercial real estate.
It is clear that the Mauritians have a clear preference for residential land. As far as rentals are concerned, we find that the most sought-after properties are those located in an integrated environment, as is the case at Helvetia, where everything is available on foot.
With the closure of the borders, we had to adapt, as selling to foreigners became impossible. Which is why we opted for virtual tours. We note, however, that it is difficult to complete all the formalities for distance selling.
For professional real estate, even though many companies have turned to work from home, office life and human contact are difficult to replace. We have therefore put in place a hybrid formula, which we will launch shortly.
Initial indications show us that properties located in an integrated environment correspond to the demands of today’s market, whether for purchase or rental purposes.
Our ambition for 2021 is to continue the integrated development of the Smart City of Moka, with several flagship projects soon to be launched. It will also be the year in which we will continue our efforts to bring together the inhabitants and stakeholders of the region.
Our objective is to improve the quality of life in Moka, through our citizen collective Moka’mwad. We are convinced that a participatory, collaborative and attentive approach will create a unique place to live in Mauritius! Real estate remains a safe investment, especially when it is part of an integrated project with specifications that maximise the added value of the property.”