Why Buy Property in Maldives?
Maldives is a beautiful island land in the Indian Ocean with a total of 1,190 islands, of which only 200 are inhabited. To buy a property in the Maldives is a byword for luxury as Maldives properties that are available for sale are extremely luxurious, lavish and extravagant. Foreign property investors looking to buy property here experience the most luxurious conditions in pristine natural surroundings.
It is only recently that foreigners are being allowed to buy property in the Maldives. For long, foreigners were not allowed to own property in the island nation, but this has changed as recently as in 2010, when new laws were brought in to help foreigners buy property here.
So, how is it like to buy property in the Maldives? People who have made a packet out of a property have generally invested in prime city locations such as Mayfair or Manhattan. Buying in the Maldives is more like buying a yacht. It is a lifestyle choice.
Some of them used to be so remote that it would take hours to get to them from the nearest airport. Hotels were poor quality and there were no incentives for outside investors. That has all changed now.
Robert Green, of Cluttons Resorts, who is involved in a big way in Maldives as a real estate developer, talks about the intricacies of selling property to foreign investors in the Maldives. He says, “These days, you need to be as flexible as possible if you want to attract buyers, and anyone investing £1.6 million is going to need good reasons for doing it.”
“There are plans to set up an exchange scheme like the one that has worked well at Banyan Tree resorts (another top brand of hotel/spas in the Far East), where buyers will swap weeks with properties at other resorts in the Six Senses group. So they may own a property in the Maldives, but actually swap it for weeks in Vietnam, Thailand, Oman, Jordan and Barcelona; and future resorts in Greece, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and the Caribbean.”
So clearly, real estate developers in Maldives are looking at the high end property investor, someone who is not scared of spending millions on a vacation home in an exotic locale blessed with natural splendor.
But for long, buying property in Maldives was seen as a great risk because of the fears of Global Warming. There has been some research that has been done that suggests that the islands of Maldives are actually sinking. However, there is also new research available that suggests that the water levels of the Indian Ocean around the Maldives islands are actually getting lower, so the fears of the Maldives islands sinking may well have been overplayed.
But it is true that there still hasn’t been a rush of foreign property investors buying houses in Maldives, but this is expected to change soon as Maldives has allowed foreigners to buy property in the country on a 50-year lease agreement.
Buying Property in Maldives
The 50-year lease agreement on residences in Maldives offered to foreign buyers is not much different from a similar offer in Thailand, except in Thailand the lease agreement is only for 30 years.
According to this 50-year lease agreement, the foreign buyer has complete ownership rights over the property for 50 years. At the end of the 50-year period, the foreign buyer or his descendants can buy the property back at market value. This way, they can renew the lease agreement for another 50 years.
Home prices in Maldives depend on the location of the property. Normally properties available in the capital of Maldives, Male, are very expensive. But buying them is really quite easy. If you’re looking to buy property in the Maldives, the procedure is the easiest in the world. But it is a good idea to hire an experienced local solicitor to take care of the property transactions. There are no extra expenses or taxes to be paid whatsoever. While there is a property transfer tax, since foreigners would only be leasing a property rather than buying one, they don’t really have to pay any taxes on the property whatsoever.